Re: Scouts and Alcohol
Derleth, Michael (mderleth@ELI.NET)
Wed, 20 Aug 1997 08:53:27 -0400
Two things the BSA is constantly fighting are image and money.
Why is it that the Scout Leader accused of abuse is front-page
news? --because it's not expected from a Scouter. Sure we're
being held to a much higher standard, but that's the public
Given the public perception (and the Scout oath/law things
already brought up), I feel Troop participation in
any event where alcohol is served is not proper. Setup and
teardown, fine. Running the BBQ pit, great. Serving beer, no
way. If you have anyone, at any time, near the beer tent with
a uniform on, the perception is bad. Unfair perhaps, but bad.
Now that we've dealt with image, how about money? Fund-raisers
are always needed and I too hate to let a good one go by. How
might you be able to participate without damaging the public
perception of the BSA?
Arrange to do just the setup/teardown. Or other carefully chosen
things instead of the whole party. If the National Company won't
help, perhaps you could "share the wealth" with another group
like the Lions or Jaycees who could do the beer tent, while you
did the rest. Possibly non-uniformed parents could help with no
Scouts anywhere around. The acid test: If I walked in cold,
would I know a BSA group is taking part in this?
Second question: What message could you inadvertently send to
your youth with participation? Rules are made to be bent? If it's
not in uniform (or pays enough) it's OK? I can see my Scouts
the next time I confiscate a Playboy saying "but Mr. D, we weren't
in uniform while we were reading it!"
It may be possible to do this, without damaging the perception or
image of your troop, my troop or the BSA. That's the middle-ground
I hope you find. Good Luck.
Michael Derleth MDerleth@ELI.NET
ASM T14 Vancouver, WA Eagle Scout Staffer SR-177
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City