Tray Murphy (jgmurphy@RICHMOND.INFI.NET)
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 18:37:29 +0000
I'll also jump in the fray, and before you flay me, let me say: I am
an adamant non-smoker!
The BSA Policy is that smoking NOT BE DONE IN THE PRESENCE OF SCOUTS.
It may be a legal substance, but so is alcohol. How many of you
smokers would drink in front of your Scouts at a Scout function?
Would you encourage them to drink, as you do by setting a BAD EXAMPLE
by smoking in front of them? Remember, too, that may non-smoking
parents may not want their sons around smokers - 2nd hand smoke may
also be dangerous, and again, think of the EXAMPLE you set.
Having 2 smoking parents, I know how hard it is to quit. I consider
myself lucky that although I was exposed to casual smoking for years,
that I did not pick up this habit. But I see more and more youth
smoking (and I have caught them on Scout trips, where it is handled
as any other rules infraction: a chance for the Scout(s) to learn and
grow from their mistakes), and many of them come from smoking
Basically, I am trying to put a troop policy in place that says
(more or less):
1) No smoking in the presence of Scouts.
2) This includes vehicles to and from events, even if the driver is a
smoker. I don't want my kid cooped up in a car with a smoker for any
period of time.
3) Go hide somewhere if you can't hold on. I'd like to see smoking
though of as dirty and hidden. I know the "quest for the unknown"
attracts some boys, but the majority would rather avoid the problem
4) Wherever you smoke, you must police the butts. Especially if we
are camping. They must be picked up and disposed of in a waste
container - not on the ground or out of car windows (some localities
in Virginia are starting a "Keep your Butts in the Car" campaign.
Who knows if it will work in a tobacco state like VA).
The health and well-being of Scouts should be our primary concern.
I'm not going to chastise anybody because they got hooked on
cigarettes many years ago, but I don't want the example they set to
be "smoking is fine for me, just you don't do it" - the old "do as I
say, not as I do" routine.
________ ______ __________ ___
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Scoutmaster, Troop 891
Robert E. Lee Council, Richmond, VA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City