Karl Ward (krward@EARTHLINK.NET)
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 22:21:55 -0500
Did anyone catch the article on National Public Radio this AM? Essentially,
it was one of those articles/short stories that, I'm sure, are submitted to
them by the thousands. They will select some of these and invite authors to
read them on the air. This particular one concerned Scouting and Scout
It was supposedly written by a Scout Leader who agreed to be a DL for his
son even though he "was raised in the '60s and taught to hate anyone in a
uniform, especially Boy Scouts".
He went on to relate his most recent experience on a camping trip with his
"Troop" where he got his "Den" aside and began to play poker with them. He
disparaged the other leaders for the camping gear and equipment that they
brought and smugly stated that all he brought was a deck of cards and a bag
of M&Ms (poker chips). The list of equipment the author painfully detailed
would have outfitted any High Adventure activity but then he stated that
they were camping in a cabin. ?
Apparently the "Scoutmaster" was peeved as more of the "Cubs" joined the
game and ignored the knot-tying and other Scout activities that he and the
other leaders were attempting to oversee. This "remarkable" leader then
explained to the "Scoutmaster" that poker had gotten him and his friends
through marriage break-ups, a cancer scare and other of life's tragedies
whereas he'd never known a bunch of guys to sit around tying knots. The
"Scoutmaster" then (tearfully, I'm sure) broke out a bag of Spanish peanuts
and asked to join the game. The author emotionally proclaimed that he was
never prouder to be a Scout Leader.
This article was, of course, pure fiction masquerading as social commentary
since the author seemed to know a few terms and phrases but, quite clearly,
did not even know the difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. This
article trivialized Scouting as irrelevant and inflexible and portrayed
Scout leaders as so out of touch with reality that they couldn't understand
the superiority of poker as a learning tool for young boys over the archaic
methods of Scouting.
OK, I got it off my chest and thanks for listening. Been bothering me since
I heard it this AM (couldn't tell, could you?). Am I completely off base on
this? Any other takes on the article? BTW, if this guy is a Den Leader I'm
sure glad he's not in my pack!
Cubmaster, Pack 307
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City