Re: Scout Problems
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 23:19:43 +0000
My original post was prompted by a quote from Terry Slade, which I
presumed was accurate and in context, and subsequent replies.
That quote was : " I am a Scout Leader. Plain and simple. I am not a
nurse maid, a Doctor, or a shrink (I can't spell Psycologist). I do not
have the time to spend with just one boy while the others go
un-attended. With between 30 and 80 boys on a campout or at a meeting,
I refuse to baby sit some problem child. It is hard enough to teach the
boys with out having to be a prison guard. "
I hope Terry will agree that these words, as someone said, probably
written out of frustration, don't to justice to the later story which he
has shared with us. It is clear that he <has> found time to work with a
very disturbed kid, and like most of us has found that sometimes even our
best efforts have failed. He is certainly to be congratulated for trying.
My concern was more with the the reply :
" I read Terry's message and thought I was
listening to myself. Actually printed a copy. Being both a Scout Leader
and a school teacher I see no one taking up for the 'good' kids. They
joined the program with certain expectations and public and parent apathy
typically gets the good kids far less than they deserve. These kids know
it's lonely at the bottom of the heap and they do they're very best to
drag other scouts down with them. Don't we have a duty to provide an
enviroment where a Scout can succeed? This kid of Terry's troop or mine
pushes his parents, teachers, and everyone else to the limit. He needs to
learn there are people in life he can't push around and his Scout Leader
had better teach him now. "
Again, it may be I was over-sensitive - in this printed medium it is
often possible to see nuances that were not intended in the original. I
am not sure what a " good " kid is ... or what a " bad " kid is for that
matter. I have seen kids who displayed undesirable behaviour. In some
cases it appeared to be deliberate, in others it was the result of a
combination of circumstances and psychology. I don't consider that a kid
who has behavioural problems which he can't control without external help is
necessarily " bad " ; he may constitute a " problem " for his leaders,
but that is something different IMHO. Actually I have seen a lot of
challenging youngsters who are very caring and deeply sensitive
individuals. I have also seen some kids who don't cause any trouble, who
advance through the ranks, but who areso goal-oriented and self-centred
that they don't care about anything that is not in their own interests.
Sometimes there are kids whose negative behaviour is such that we can't,
with our limited resources, get through to the individual underneath.
Sometimes their distrust of adult authority, lack or self-esteem or
negativism means that they do not allow us to get close, in case we too
reject them. That neither makes them bad kids or us bad Leaders ...
We have one standard ... " Do Your Best " ... if we can say that we have
tried our best and failed there is no discredit in that. The discredit
is in not having tried ...
Ian N Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City