What are we teaching?-TOO LONG
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:55:14 -0400
In a message dated 4/29/98 10:52:16 AM, chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU wrote:
>The Situation: A Fifth Grader happens to witness the theft of a test answer
>sheet by some others. If he tells then, he will be targeted and probably
hurt. >Naturally scared, he goes home, and talks to his folks about it. The
next >morning, he does report the incident to the school authorities.
>The Result: _He_ is placed on 5 day no-recess, 5 day community service, and 5
>day lunch detention. (No word about the others.)
>His crime? Not telling _fast_ enough.
>The Lesson: According to him "Never tell the truth. Ever."
>Knowing this columnist, he has more than likely distorted some of the facts.
>However, knowing the school system where this occurred, he may _not_ have.
>So, again, I ask: "What are _we_ teaching our kids?"
I say this applies here, especially in the last few days with the
drinking/smoking Troop leaders and the "fresh" chicken dinners and the sage
offered as MJ to fellow Scouts, one of whom calls home.
What are we teaching them through school AND is Scouting in the US getting to
be the same way?
We come down hard on drinking in the BSA. Perhaps because of the abuse of the
substance. Perhaps because it is thought to be not setting a good example. I
question whether or not showing Scouts leaders drinking sensibly wouldn't
sometimes be as strong (and good) a message as some get at home or from TV
when a parent or sports star drinks too much.
But the relatively recent crackdown on smoking? Sets a bad example we're told,
yet sensibly smoking and showing careful concern for the outdoors and even
more careful disposal of the remains can't be bad, on the other hand. And some
of the adults now leaders got started on the habit so long ago they were told
it was healthy for them. So now we ostracize them and even worry about a Scout
whose gear says MARLBORO on it, as we recently discussed?
At one time conservation programs meant allowing Scouters or donors to hunt
Scout camps. Need I point out that such things are rapidly being removed from
the program? How many camps are getting over populated with game and are
posted with signs telling everyone that no one can hunt there? How many
councils ran a notice saying the same in their newsletters? I know of one camp
in Illinois (not my council) where the deer herd needs to be reduced by about
half, but it won't happen. Is it any wonder someone over-reacted to the
And while we are assuming that camo is a no-no (tell me that when I bought my
Gore-Tex rain gear years before and convince me not to use it anyway) because
of the possible military ties, could it also be to keep Scouting from being
seen as a bunch of camouflaged hunters?
Is it a lot of over reaction or is it actually something we need to follow to
do our best at growing good Scouts? How long before I am REQUIRED to check my
personal meds in and leave them with the camp office, even for overnights?
At my son's high school they have a simple rule. No drinking. Anywhere.
Anytime. Even with your parents at home or a wedding with champaign. Who
follows this rule? The better students, some of them Scouts I'm sure. The
bottom of the class? They could care less and don't see how the school can
catch them off property (and I don't know how either, unless one has an auto
accident while drunk).
They have the same rule about drugs - which are as prevalent in the school
district as they were when I was a student there in the late 1970's.
So how do all these "no tolerance" rules actually work out in the communities?
And how does it change our units, if at all?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City