Re: A permanent decision
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 21:55:50 -0500
Though it may be kind of interesting to join in the tide of comment on
the ever popular discussion of religion and Scouting, I would urge list
members to take a moment to consider Devin's posting about the suicide of
a young Scout and perhaps switch gears for a bit to share.
This is tough topic to discuss and one that many will find uncomfortable.
But life isn't always comfortable. Sometimes bad things do happen and
happen to us or the Scouts we serve. Sometimes these things are pretty
hard to deal with even for an adult, because of all the things we go
through when tragedy strikes - anger, denial, etc.
It is particularly hard for the leader to continue to try to be counselor
and coach with a bunch of fellows while wrestling with his own grief and
questions about what could have been done, even if there wasn't much that
could have been done.
My heart goes out to Devin and his boys. They are going to be having a
rough time for awhile.
I know that many on this list have had personal experience with tragedy
in a Troop whether it was the young Venture Scout in Australia or the
young Venture Scout here in our own Council. It happens and there is
very little training in Scouting for how to deal with it.
And deal with it we must. When it happens the results can be devastating
for those left behind. There seems to be a phenominon where frieds of a
teen suicide also consider and sometimes carryout a follow-on suicide.
The problem doesn't always work itself out without help. What have you
done when confronted with this situation? What has worked? What has been
helpful? Sure it won't work for everyone, but the idea might help now or
later when another of us stares tragedy in the face.
Though I have sorrow that Devin has had to face this situation, I also
see this as an opportunity for all of us to grow together, to share some
ideas that may well stand between a Scout and self-destructive behaviors
and ideas that may help other Scouts from suffering more than they must.
Instead of talking about the meaning of the Scout Law, we have the chance
to live its meaning.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
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