Re: To Speak Up .....
Jay Thal (jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG)
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 11:42:19 EST
LClossen has raised the question as to what he should do about two Scouts in
his unit, one who is unsure of his belief in G-d and the other who is unsure of
his sexual orientation. All this because of the two subjects proposed for
Public Speaking Merit Badge.
I would suggest that he do nothing about speaking out, or revealing their
I would also suggest that he expand the options of subjects for the boys to
speak upon, not ones which can paint them into corners.
He, as with most of us, is likely dealing with youth between 12 and 16 years of
age. It is an age of questioning, exploration, and of trying to understand who
you are and what your place in the universe happens to be. Think back. Some
of us never outgrow that exciting and challenging time.
How many of us could have forecast what our spouse(s) would be like at that
age? Who among us would have been able to define our needs and desires then,
or would be willing to contrast the changes over the years. Probably, the only
certainty then is that you wanted a red Camaro (or whatever). To ask youth to
speak to issues which demand experience and maturity, at the same time that we
urge deferral of pleasures or extended education in preparation for the future
is close to ludicrous.
At the same time you are dealing with people with energy and raging hormones
who can hardly conceive (poor choice of word?) of the powers playing within
their bodies, while responsible advisors are silent or simply say don*t (and
other adults are manipulating those urges for commercial purposes).
Suggest subjects (and why not have the boys develop some?) which are relevant
to their experience, desires, and needs:
How education could be made more relevant to me.
What I would do to improve city services.
The environment, whose responsibility is it?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City