"silver tabs," "gold tabs," etc.
Branden Morris (morris@NET1PLUS.COM)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 22:46:47 -0500
A few days ago (I'm travelling and get this digested), Kathie Cerveny wrote:
"By the way --- I find 'silver tabs' rather degrading. It takes a good lot
of expertise and time to FUNCTION on a district and/or council committee, we
don't get to go outdoors and have fun."
Knowing her only from her posts, it seems that Kathie is a very
knowledgeable and enthusiastic Scouter, and one who works at the council
level -- which is why that last sentence disturbed me. I didn't see any of
the familiar signs of humor, so I'm taking her words at face value.
All too often we set up these barriers in Scouting -- "us" vs "them,"
"volunteer" vs "professional," "Cub Leaders" vs "Scout leaders," and "red
tabs" vs "gold tabs." People at the unit level are apprehensive of those
who work for a council, a region, or National. We use terms like "Ivory
Tower." We ask questions like "Does anyone at National really listen to
We need to keep in mind that although we've all had experiences that color
our perceptions, and set up warning flags in our thoughts, all Scouters are
on the same team. "National" is nothing more than a group of Scouters --
volunteer and professional -- who do they best they can for Scouting. Do
they always do right? Of course not. But 99% of them do the best they can.
It doesn't matter at which level you work; it doesn't matter what color
shoulder loops you wear. We're _all_ on the same team.
As well as the traditional ASM registration, I also hold registrations with
the council and the area, and serve in a national capacity. In a given week
I could wear blue, red, green, silver, and gold tabs on different nights
(some on the same night! :)) But I'm always doing what I can to make the
program better. And even if I don't get to camp as often as I'd like, you
can bet I'm always having fun :)
There are enough problems facing Scouting without ones that we add
ourselves. I'd hope we all keep in mind that all scouters, everywhere, are
on the same team.
Branden Morris -- email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City