Re: 3 tough questions
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Sun, 13 Oct 1996 16:33:29 -0400
Wow! If you put this in a movie script, no one would believe it. Here are
my quick, first impression answers.
If I were you, I'm not sure I would wait at all. At an early opportunity I
would either gather the kids together without the two in question, or perhaps
send a letter to each one, emphasizing the Scout Law, particularly certain
points: Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Brave, Reverant. I'd say
that these are very high standards to live by -- which is why they are such a
key part of Scouting -- and that while we attempt to live up to them every
minute of every day, we do not drum out of the troop someone who falls short.
Our purpose in Scouting is to help people achieve these standards. Then I'd
say that each boy in the troop will have many opportunities in the immediate
future to prove their loyalty and friendship to other troop members who may
need loyal friends more than they ever have before. There will also be
opportunities to be especially helpful and kind to other troop members, who
need kindness; there will be opportunities to be brave in the face of
adversity, and there will be requirements that the troop be reverant toward
the special bonds of boys to their fathers, and to the feelings of other boys
in the troop.
>1) How do I make them feel like their peers or leaders are not looking at
>them differently than before?
The quick answer is don't look at them differently. Is that the right
answer? It seems to me they need to know more than ever before that they
have friends in all weather. That may take a different "look." There is a
simmering problem here, and if the problem is not discussed, it will not go
away. If the problem is headed off, it will be gone. Do you need to discuss
it to head it off? Then do so. If all goes well, the different looks will
be those of increased friendship.
>2) What do I do to prevent comments from the other kids, or would it be
>better to wait and handle them after the fact? If so how?
Make certain every kid knows what the standard for kind, courteous, helpful
and friendly behavior is when others face adversity. Don't make kids guess
at what's right. This is probably not a good time for "discovery" learning.
>3) How do you preach / hold up the Scout law to the group, without
>to pass judgement (in their eyes)on them or their family?
This is less of a problem if the father was not actively involved in the
leadership of your unit, isn't it? Is it against the spirit of Scouting to
wish some parents don't get involved?
Remember that the purpose of Scouting is to help kids become good citizens.
Scouting cannot make the kids' parents be good citizens directly,
unfortunately. But Scouting offers the hope that any kid can get an Eagle,
that any kid can make the right choices in the most difficult situations.
Scouting doesn't pass judgment on others. It helps us hold ourselves to a
higher standard so that we can live with the judgment we pass on ourselves.
Courts pass judgment, Scout units don't. Scout units do support the U.S.
government, and under our government accused people are presumed to be
innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. This is a tough
standard of society, but equipped with the Scout Law, it is easier for Scouts
to live it than for other people. We also assume that almost everyone can
repent and be rehabilitated, under our government. Don't close off those
Just a quick reaction.
Ed Darrell, Duncanville, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City