Re: to medal or not to medal
Ian N Ford FRSH (addvent@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:04:43 +0100
Berk Moss makes a good point about our role being to develop citizenship,
promote fitness etc. Remember what they taught you on SMF ... advancement
is a <method> to achieve the Aims of Scouting ... not an aim in itself.
If a young man is doing his best to live by the Oath and Law and is
registered with a unit, then he is a Scout. We should be proud that one
of our members can use his courage and skill to help another human being,
and recognise him appropriately and publicly, subject only to his wishes
in the matter.
It might help to realise that Scouting is just part of what we in UK
refer to as the " Youth Service " ... a range of informal social education
provision working to provide opportunities for young people to make
constructive use of their leisure time and to learn skills and attitudes
that will equip them to be adults in a democratic society. In that
context we in Scouting ought to see ourselves as working alongside sports
clubs, cultural groups, open youth clubs and professional youth workers and
schools and public agencies to help young people. Perhaps some folks are
too precious about BSA and need to think about a wider picture too ...
The Scout troop or Explorer post is part of the total life experience of
our Scouts, but only a part. These youmg men do have other interests, and
we would do better to recognise that. We should not consider ourselves as
competing against sports teams etc., with the implication that if a member
chooses to do another activity on a troop night then he is some kind of
Our job is to be Youth Workers in Scouit uniform ... we are here to
provide the opportunities ... youngsters need to learn to make choices.
If a Scout chooses to stay in touch with Scouting, but concentrate some
of his efforts in some other worthwhile youth activity, that should be OK
by us. If the youth was pushing drugs, running with a gang etc. then
that would be different. Personally I am opposed to troops setting minimum
attendance requirements etc. in the rules, because we need to recognise
that all our members have different priorities. Hopefully we would not
criticise a leader with family and job commitments because he was not
devoting as much time to Scouting as a young, single ASM who was still at
college. How many Leaders would we have if we said " You must have a
95% attendance at troop metings to stay registered. I don't care if your
boss does want to in Bangkok on Tuesday ... I don't want to hear your
excuses. " It is to do with making choices, treating young people with
respect as individuals, and not as cyphers.
Hypothetical question ... when Jimmy Snooks becomes Olympic champion will
we claim that as a success story for Scouting, or will we say " Well,
Jimmy Snooks only attended 73% of troop meetings and never made Eagle, so
I don't think we had any part in his success. Let the all the credit go to
his track coach. "?
ADC (Adult Training) Greenwich District, London UK
District Committee Member, Mayflower District, transatlantic Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City