Uniforms, ADD, Congrats!
John T. Peeples (john.peeples@STJUDE.ORG)
Mon, 19 May 1997 12:36:57 -0500
Here I go again, trying to kill several birds with one post. (As soon as
my wife posts her own address for her "sermonshop-list" mailings I think
it will be time to go back to 'regular' in place of 'digest' for Scouts-l;
she gets 100's of messages on her list w/o a digest option - it's killing
me!) Anyway a few thoughts from the mid-south:
A few years ago my good friend and predecessor Will Vail adopted a
Troop T-shirt as the uniform of the day for our unit at summer camp. This
is a simple red t with the outline of the state of Arkansas and "troop 231
west memphis arkansas" on the front; we considered different colors to
change each day but luckly realized this was more trouble that it would be
worth. We were about the only troop with our own shirt that year, but the
next year several others joined us; of course we're still in Class A for as
required for flag ceremonies, campfires or as instructed by the camp.
These shirts have been a tradition with the Troop for nearly 10 years now
and are very popular with boys and parents, they are a great help with
Troop spirit and earn our boys recognition around camp - both for their
good deeds and those other (rare) not-so-good deeds!
Scouting in rural east Arkansas is often an expensive activity for
families, especially where there may be several kids in BSA or GSA with
parents serving as leaders. We have established a uniform bank to help
boys (and leaders if necessary) to have a "complete" Class A; we get
uniforms from former Scouts, thrift shops or purchased with funds donated.
However, we still have trouble with Class a pants for new kids - never
have enough; so with all due respect to BSA policy we allow our new Scouts
to wear a Class A with jeans or other similar pants [no 'jams', wild
colors, or t-shirts with unScout like slogons]. We can usually help a
boy find a shirt, nickerchief and hat and by the time he comes to his
First Class BOH he is expected to be in Class A pants, this gives parents
with a limited income a little time to come up with the complete uniform.
I've been flamed before for this policy by many
well intentioned Scouters (so please hold your fire);
however, experience has shown that most of our Scouts will have a complete
Class A long before 1st Class if given a little time to earn the money.
As for leaders in Class A; I had a parent of a new Scout who
attended every meeting and outing last fall and was always a very BIG help
to the Troop. We had our eye on him as ASM but never pushed or forced the
application or uniform on him. He got hooked on Scouting in his own time
and in mid-December submitted his application one week and came the next
in a full Class A (head to toe!); I'm sure it helped to let him ease into
the Troop; and he now attends every function in Class A. Personally, I
was running way late getting out of the office one Monday night and went
straight to the Scout meeting in coat and tie, my Scouts gave me soooo
much grief that I'll try to never (never say never) make that mistake
ADD, discipline ...
I'll try to keep this brief, since several parents of kids with
ADD have already responded and expressed feelings similar to mine.
I was one of those who thought that parents were abusing Ritalin
as a way to control their kids until my own son was diagnosed ADD. In
first grade he could not pay attention, sit still or complete a assignment
on time; he also acted as if he really didn't care what his teachers said.
We took him to our ped who I credit for literally saving my son's life at
birth (another long story) after she gave him a few rather simple tests
concluded ADD (not ADD/HD, not ever attention deficit kid is clinically
hyper). We began with Ritalin that very day and saw an almost immediate
change; his teachers were amazed with his alert, positive attitude,
attention to details and art work. The one point Dr. Evans made with us
and Anderson is that the meds will not cause good behavior by themselves;
but will enable the child to take control and be responsible for his own
behavior. He really wants to do good and I think (now at age 9) he has
become very responsible in taking his meds, if I forget he will remind me
because he now understands what a difference it makes.
I use my own experiences to help other parents understand that if
their son needs Ritilan (or other meds) to help him through school, then
he probably needs them at Scout functions. Usually if they know that I
have a similar situation, they are much more willing to send meds to camp
or outings so that I (or our health office) can administer them and help
their son have a GREAT time.
I try to keep these long posts to three points. I'm glad to see
the posts about new Eagles, successful weekends, great meetings. etc. I
wish I could send each positive post a separate note to thank them for the
"Good News" about Scouting! One of my soap box issues at Roundtables and
training is to encourage leaders and Scouts to work extra hard to SHOUT
the Good News, thank the staff, praise the kids, and thank God for
allowing us to take part in this thing we call Scouting. When I'm feeling
down or had a not-so-good weekend, it's great to read about the good
Along that line on Saturday I watched (yes, almost in the rocking
chair!) as seven of our Scouts spent 4 hours washing cars and raised $103
to help with their summer camp expenses; each Scout earned a $14 credit;
that is $14 less mom and dad have to pay (my son was one of them and I
know every little bit helps!). It was a pleasure to see them take an
active role and try to earn their own way [I've seen lots of boys who
would not even try.]
Keep it UP!
John T. Peeples, Scoutmaster... Troop / Pack 231
First Presbyterian Church, West Memphis, Arkansas
DO YOUR BEST for others, expect the best FROM others; it really does work!
PS: Thanks St. Jude!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City