Re: Scouts, horses and gambling
Dan O'Canna (ocanna@ALPHA.CAER.UKY.EDU)
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 10:02:07 -0400
First my background:
I grew up in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. From birthing the
foals to the Kentucky Derby I've been there, done that. From a very early
age, every Saturday, Sunday and almost every day of summer vacation was
spent at a race track. Met people from all walks of life. The super rich
to the abject poor. People of the higest moral caliber to those currently
doing life with out possiblility of paroll.
Along with all of that I've been known to smoke a cigarett and take a
drink of alcohol. Perhaps of the people on this list I have the best
overview of this topic.
I see no reason to take a group of Scouts to an afternoon at the horse
races. The main reason being that it is BORING. Only a few seconds of
activity every half hour, or so. If you want to take your Scouts out
to take a look at the horses make arrangements to go in the morning
durring workouts. Less people, no admission charges, and with the
exception of the break around 9:00 when they harrow the track, there
are horses to watch non-stop. Many tracks now have a Saturday morning
program for the public.
As far as the "moral" discussion:
Gambling, smoking, and drinking are all viewed differently in different
cultures. Even in the melting pot of America our views are not uniform
from area to area or even among the people in my home town.
When involved in a Scouting activity I refrain from all of the above.
Also, I hold off on swearing, telling dirty jokes (mostly) and try to
to an extra good job of living the Scout Oath and Law. I expect the
boys in the troop to do the same. I don't feel that any of those
"negative" behaviors are unacceptable, in moderation, in a non-Scouting
setting. I feel they are not an appropriate role model to set for the
boys in the troop. While of Scouting age, young men will make choices
of how they will live their lives. Many influences they are exposed
to paint a very differnt moral picture than those we teach in Scouting.
The Ideals of Scouting are one of the moderating influences the boys in
our troops are exposed to.
I see no problem with the apparent double standard Scouting's Ideals
present vs. the "real" world. As mentioned above I was able to compare
differnt lifestyles and their consequences. Based on those experiences
and observations I made my moral choices. As a Scout leader I feel
I owe the boys I work with a safe, nurturing, challenging program, that
promotes the Aims of Scouting by using the Methods of Scouting. I
cannot force my moral views on them. Even if I tried they would make
their own decisions. I hope by setting the example they will choose
an appropriate course in life.
Yours in the spirit of Scouting,
Dan O'Canna Lexington, Kentucky
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City