Re: the meaning of scouting
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 17:50:22 +0100
Terry Slade says that twenty years outdoor activities were the norm and
goes on to refer to drugs and alcohol programs, youth protection etc.
In the paper today ( The Guardian, UK) it said that one in six young
people under eighteen had used illicit drugs. Twenty years ago or even
thirty years ago in the " swinging sixties " I doubt that drug use by
kids was anything like that. We have ten year olds who are being offered
drugs in the school playground. B-P's " pure in thought, word and deed "
did not extend to drugs and solvents because they were not a problem in 1907.
We no longer <need> to teach Scouts how to stop runaway carthorses with
their Scout staves in most cities <g> ... we do need to teach kids the
dangers of present inner city life.
Scouting is still an outdoor program, but that doesn't mean that we
should not also include other activities and skills. Just look at the
communications we are using now ... when I joined Scouts in 1965 the
first communications satellite, Telstar, had been launched. (And by the way
someone said that its total memory was 64K - yes kilobytes ) My Scouts
have more processing power on their wristwatches !
Society moves on and we need to combine the traditional values and
experiences of Scouting with the developmental needs of today's youth.
That means being more tolerant of each other, respecting individuals and
not assuming that there is one right answer. It means recognising that
perhaps there are other, and better, ways of developing character than
by physical and emotional abuse. When I was at school my teachers got to
the " seat of learning " with a size nine tennis shoe. That is no longer
acceptable. Yet often it is the hazing and psychological abuse that
leaves a greater mark than a transient bruise on the butt. We don't
accept physical abuse, neither should we accept hazing.
There is a place for humour and general good fun ... but that does not
have to be at the expense of a younger or less experienced member who
will feel uncomfortable as a result.
Ian N Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City