Re: Attitudes (Final Diatribe of the Evening)
Anthony J. Mako (ajmako@APK.NET)
Thu, 5 Feb 1998 21:50:11 -0500
I was compelled to reply to this thread this evening while contemplating
whether or not I did the right thing for my Scouts at our meeting on
Wednesday. My normal attitude is that boys will be boys and all I can do is
keep pushing the ideals of Scouting. How to deal with attitudes is something
I wrestle with on a weekly basis. I will never get a nickle for every time
I've heard "why do _I_ always have to do this?" or "how come no one else has
to do that?"
On top of that, I have to deal with Scouts who never seem to have to do
_anything_ at home and resent having to do _everything_ in camp. At one time
I may have blamed the parents, but I no longer do. The reason is simple. I
have been with Scouts in camp who have complained about every task they were
asked to do, expected the adults to cook and clean for them, and never
seemed to be satisfied with doing the planned activities. I have also been
with those same Scouts in camp with their parents. Yes, they may complain
once or even twice, but one look from a parent and they're as quiet and
obedient as can be. I have personally seen that look from my own father.
I have also been to many a committee/parents meeting and been told that I
ask too much from my Scouts. To those parents I simply explain that Scouting
is all about challenge. Our purpose is to build character in their sons by
setting up challenges and helping them to meet them. No Scouter can build
character in a Scout if he does all the work. In a like manner, no boy will
ever grow into the kind of man everyone wants him to be if he never has to
work for anything. When I was a boy, and a Scout, I did most of the things a
Scout does. I did my share of complaining. I did my share of skating (US
Navy term for do nothing while looking like you're doing something). I also
learned very quickly that no one was going to do everything for me.
What concerns me more about the Scouts I see today, or at least the one's I
deal with weekly, is a lack of respect for authority. I have Scouts who
recite the Pledge of Allegience with one hand in their pocket and the other
flicking pennies at the other Scouts. I have Scouts who, when asked to do
something (by myself or even a parent) their first response is not "why do I
always have to..." but "NO!" When I said that to my father at their age I
couldn't sit for three weeks. This seems to me to be more a reflection of a
society that is more indulgent of our youth's rebellious tendencies than of
a lack of parenting. Unfortunately, I asked for this particular challenge!
Anthony J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scoutmaster, Troop 381
"Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop Theme!"
Great Trail Council - Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City