Re: Danish Drinking and Different Ways
Richard Sullivan (rj.sullivan@UKONLINE.CO.UK)
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 15:51:26 +0000
Jeff, Cheryl, and Marie-Louise,
The comments about the Danish attitude towards drinking
Scouters highlights one of the more fascinating aspects of being a
B.S.A. Scouter in Europe. I have learned there is more than one way
to skin the cat...er, eh, to do different tasks. Drinking attitudes
in Europe are indeed a cultural difference. As a non-imbiber in a
land where the neighborhood Public House is more a part of the social
and physical landscape than was old Willie & Riley's Bar and Grill on
my hometown corner, I have had to adapt. (I still don't drink.)
Law enforcement Liaison functions are no exceptions and the
British Bobby can hold his own with his/her Japanese counterpart as
well as with the Dutch Politie and the Belgian Gendarme. Of course
the Irish Garda is another storey altogether. And NEVER, EVER try to
keep up with the Royal Ulster Constabulary Fraud Squad!
Scouters are much like cops, in many ways. We in the Channel
District have our Camporees and Summer Camp aboard UK Scout
Association affiliated Scout Centres where a Scouters' Club is usualy
as important and integral as the providore (trading post). Because we
are B.S.A. Scouters, we follow B.S.A. rules and abstain. We expect
our American counterparts to do likewise, whether parent or Scouter
or, preferably, both. =20
Yet, I treasure my "Intercamp Scouters' Club" card, which
attests to the fact that the "bearer is not an average person." It is
issued each year at Whitsunday weekend's INTERCAMP, this year in the
Netherlands. Scouters in Europe from The Netherlands, Belgium,
Germany, Scouts Canada, The Czec Republic, Transatlantic Council of
BSA, and UK Scouters in Europe all participate. After a hard day's
international camporeeing, leaders from the participating countries
meet on neutral ground for fellowship. It is not unusual to see
Europeans sipping schooners of draught beer and Americans sipping
The differences extend to a number of areas, none perhaps more
striking than degrees of Co-education. After living in Great Britain
for a few years, I am accustomed to seeing girls in "Scouts" who are
not Girl Guides but Beavers (Tiger equivalent), Cubs, and "Scouts"
(The UKSA dropped "Boy" years ago.) The Czechs do it. Integration
seems to work well, however I was NOT prepared for the Dutch degree of
integration which went well beyond the integrated patrol. Co-ed
sleeping bags (No, Dave Barry, Scout's Honor, I am NOT making this
up!) is too much for me, family life merit badge or not.
In Britain the Scout Law was greatly reduced in the 1960's
when hats were banned. On uk.rec.scouting newsgroup there has been a
lively conversation over the question of removing Duty to The Queen
from the Scout's Oath. With the Baden-Powell Scout Group as well as
the UK Scout Association, I would say that Scouting is very much alive
and well in the UK.
I guess the point of this long-winded ramble is that within
the World Brother (Person?) Hood of Scouting, there is considerable
room for cultural differences without compromising the basic tenates
which our Founder held so dear. I find these differences to be
fascinating and instructive, even when I have no wish to see B.S.A.
follow the same social trends. Scouting, like Scouts and Scouters
comes in all sizes and shapes with all sorts of different accents.
long may it be so.
Yours in Scouting,
Dick Sullivan, B.S.A. ADC-London=20
Channel Dist. TransAtlantic Council
Where American Scouting Began..."In London?"
No, in a fog.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City