Re: Scouting for Life, Continued
Bruce Major (major@GATOR.NET)
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 18:09:29 -0500
Tom Petrik wrote:
> We seem to agree that a program of training to help those leaders most
> to be affected by suicide seems important to add to National's training
> programs. Now let me sound foolish: Where do you add it?
Depends upon who "we" are. I don't agree, for several reasons:
1) Who are "those leaders most likely to be affected by suicide"? There is
absolutely no way to determine in advance how someone or some group would
be affected. If you mean "most likely to experience a suicide", I suppose
you could examine some demographics. Does that mean you *don't* train those
less likely to experience such?
2) This is so far beyond the expertise of most people, it would be
impossible to address. Entire organizations are concerned with mental
health issues, and there is now adequate way for the BSA to address it in
training. Each district could perhaps identify community resources for
identifying at- risk individuals or helping other deal with the aftermath
of a suicide. It would have to be done locally since resources vary.
3) The fatality rate of life is 100%. There are dozens of traumas we must
deal with. A few years ago, we had an SM who was jogging and killed by a
hit and run driver. A local scout and his father were shot (and the father
killed. The scout was permanently blinded) by his stepmother. People die in
auto accidents. There is cancer, AIDS, and emphysema. Leukemia and
encephalitis. Do we have a training program to deal with every untoward
experience life offers?
No. We leave it to the experts in mental health and counseling. The BSA
needs to focus on training for leaders to enable them to run effective
youth programs to promote citizenship and character training.
Remember the leadership skills, especially "knowing and utilizing the
resources of the group". The resources for dealing with events like this
are out there and easily identified. The BSA is not one of them. But Scout
leaders can certainly access community resources for specific events or to
meet special needs.
Remember also what Dirty Harry said: "A man's got to know his
SM, Troop 84
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City