Re: Parent Involvment/Camping Involvment
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 18:16:59 -0600
On Tue, 1 Oct 1996, Jim Miller Jr. wrote:
> >I would like to agree with the sentiment that camping, while a useful
> >tool, is not mandatory to success as a Scout.
> The statement above is one I have to disagree with. The only way we
> can arrive at this conclusion is to separate the Aims from the Methods.
> In my mind if we separate these, it's just not Scouting any more.
> I'll make two statements that may raise some ire, but here goes:
> Learning for Life is NOT Scouting.
I agree, although it gives youth a contact with Scouting which if they
choose, can be expanded by joining a Scout unit and may also give them
some values which they might otherwise not get.
> Exploring is NOT Scouting.
Although you are apparently an Explorer Advisor, I would have to
respectfully disagree with your post that Exploring is not Scouting.
This may be a discussion of semantics, but if you look at the overall
program of Scouting, world-wide, the aims and objectives of developing
citizenship, leadership, character development, self-reliance, service,
among other values, are all part of the mission of Scouting.
The tools by which this is accomplished vary
according to program and age group, but they are just that...tools..not
ultimate objectives. Scouting's "product" is the development of youth
into adults with those abilities and values, so no matter what program or
methodology we use, the program is still very much Scouting. The other
youth programs you mention attempt these goals, but often fall short in
Camping and outing do not appeal to all teens, but law enforcement,
medical/health careers, computers, science, and many other aspects do.
Can you really say that these are not just as effective in conveying the
values of Scouting if properly administered, as camping/outing? Should we
leave those teens who don't enjoy camping and outing, out of Scouting? I
certainly hope not.
I have had the good fortune to know a number of Explorers in various
specialty posts, some of whom have become very prestigious individuals,
including one National Law Enforcement Explorer Youth Chair, a National
Explorer President, and a number of Law Enforcement Explorers over
the past 23 years from one post alone, which has produced over 65
excellent law enforcement officers at the federal, state, and local level.
Most of them attribute much of their success and personal values,
integrity, and honor, to their Exploring experience.
Although some of them had been Boy Scouts and a few are Eagle Scouts, most
of them were never in Boy Scouting or Cub Scouting.
The proof of this thesis really becomes apparent at a National
Exploring Leadership Conference or the National Law Enforcement Explorer
Conference; or any number of different Explorer events at the post,
district or council level. I can show you countless examples of Explorers
who are every bit as qualified and of comparable character as those who
have only been in the Boy Scout program.
As we all know, traditional Boy Scout programs have a tough time keeping
teens interested and involved, especially if they have gotten their Eagle
and the lures of "gasoline and perfume" have set in. If they have
opportunities to pursue specialty or career interests with other teens,
they are far more likely to stay in Scouting.
For the first time, a contingent of Explorers from each Region attended
the World Jamboree in Holland in 1995; and this experience was quite
effective and remarkable. Most of the contingents from the other
countries (over 160 countries and 28,000 Scouts, Explorers, Venturers,
Rovers, Girl Scouts, Girl Guides, et al) came together in this remarkable
showcase of Scouting and all shared common values, ideals, experiences,
and goals for the future. Most of the contingents from throughout the
world were composed of young men and young women with the average age
being about 15 or 16.
As a youth I was in Boy Scouting and in Exploring, and frankly, I got far
more out my Exploring Experience, including the Eagle Rank, than from the
Boy Scout involvement. There are a number of reasons for this, but
perhaps the most important was that as a teenager, Exploring had far more
appeal than traditional Boy Scouting, and this appears to be still the
case today. I also was in 4-H, Church Youth Group, and a variety of
school clubs and organizations, but of all of them, only Exploring really
gave me the values and "tools" that I rely upon constantly.
> These are different programs that attempt to achieve the same aims as
> the Scouting program, but through a different methodology. The same
> exact thing can be said for the Boys/Girls Clubs, 4-H, sports teams, and
> any number of other youth programs.
> Specifically, Exploring, although a program run by the Boy Scouts of
> America, uses different methods to achieve the same aims. The Six
> Experience Areas of Exploring are similar to the Eight Methods of
> Scouting, but they don't turn Exploring into Scouting( that's also why I
> can't stand the misuse of the terms as in "Explorer Scout").
For reasons already expressed above, I would have to disagree.
Actually, the use of the terms Explorer and Scout together are
discouraged by BSA; when you are recruiting teens, there is a
stigma attached to the word "Scout" that those who have not been in the
program tend to shy away from, especially young women. Most commonly the
news media tends to use the terms together because they associate Exploring
with Scouting which actually is very accurate.
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, Boulder, CO
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City