Re: The Challenge of Life
Neil Lupton (NeilLup@AOL.COM)
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 00:03:03 -0500
In a message dated 11/11/97 5:37:41 AM, Morrisonch@AOL.COM wrote:
<<SM's and Advisors *need* to be
able to address and help with, and they need to know where they can turn for
I have followed this thread for several days and today I discussed it with my
Scout Executive to get his thoughts and opinions. He is a very solid guy and
very practical and I listen with great respect to what he has to say. So
here is my opinion and my thoughts about the several posts which say
"something must be done."
1) There is great pressure to include items in training. As it is, we try
to do too much. There is so much we should teach or cover and leaders will
just sit still for so long.
2) Fortunately, thank God, suicide is very rare among Scouts. My SE said
he had never had one in any council he had been connected with and he has 25
years of service and is running a class 55 council.
3) So I believe it is very unlikely that any information on suicide will be
routinely included in training. It is just too rare and, to be frank,
probably too difficult to cover in ordinary Scout training.
4) HOWEVER, there is a series of write-ups on situations which may happen in
Scouting. The most common is child abuse which has a write up in
excruciating detail. This is a private document, but every SE has it and
follows it when the situation occurs.
5) It is probably very realistic that there could be a write-up on member
suicide prepared which would become part of the information which every SE
has. In this case, when the suicide happened, the SE would have guidance and
could provide help and support according to the guidelines in the write-up.
As an example, the BSA will provide counseling in cases of child abuse. It
might well do the same in cases of suicide.
6) One thing my SE suggested was that there should be, in this circumstance,
close coordination between the Scouting movement and the sponsor of the unit.
If, for example, the sponsor were a Catholic church, the moral and religious
situation would be extremely severe and close coordination would be needed to
support the survivors and the unit. Calling for this coordination could be
the first item in the write-up.
7) So for the individuals preparing information on suicide of Scouts, I
would suggest that you contact your SE and have him or her find out from
national who handles this kind of thing and communicate with them Probably a
good place to start is the person at national who handles child abuse cases.
BTW, I have never been connected with a Scout or youth suicide, but as a
District Chairman, I had two adult suicides of leaders in my district in one
year ; both were Silver Beavers; one was a Sponsor Coordinator and the other
a Council Training committee member and 4 bead Wood Badger. It created a
very difficult situation which the boys were simply not prepared to handle.
And, to be honest, neither was I.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City