Scouters, Social Workers, Counsellors ...
Ian N Ford FRSH (addvent@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 8 Aug 1998 19:53:38 +0100
> -- Tim Hewitt wrote: ...
> I'm not a social worker, I'm a Scoutmaster. I'm willing to bet that
> not many of you are trained in social work and counceling either. We
> get by the best we can, but it's not our job.
> I'm not here to babysit, provide social or counceling
> services, or to act as a distraction to someone who has to be
> medicated in order to "fit in" to our society. ...
I got a lot out of Scouting as a kid. Fortunately I had leaders who were
prepared to give some time to a hyperactive kid. I developed social skills
and began to recognise that there were things that I was good at, and
that helped my self-esteem when I was having problems at school. Next to
the support of my family, Scouting was a major influence in my life.
Now I am repaying that debt. For the past twentysix years I have worked
with a variety of kids, including many with a variety of special needs.
Recently I have taken on roles of Special Needs Adviser and ADC (Adult
Training) for my local district, as well as working as a trainer for BSA
here in Europe.
I am not a trained counsellor, but I learnt basic listening skills as
part of my Scout Leader training, and then went on to do several courses
in stress management, dealing with aggression etc. through my work as a
health service manager. Skills I developed through Scouting have influenced my
professional life, and vice versa.
A few months ago I attended a stress management course for health
professionals, and more than half of the participants, included chartered
psychologists, counsellors amd therapists said that they found giving
presentations stressful. Talking over lunch I said that I had started teaching
small groups when I was ten, and had been able to develop these skills
through Scouting which I then took into the work situation.
In September I will be starting a two year postgraduate course to retrain
as a Social Worker. The university accepted my Scouting experience as
" relevant social and community work experience " for acceptance onto the
course. I am hoping to work as an Educational Social Worker with
youngsters with emotional and behavioural problems.
I find it sad that anyone working with young people can write phrases such as
" I am not here ... to act as a distraction to individuals who have to be
medicated to " fit in " with society. " The biggest problem that kids
with special needs face is not the nature of their " disability " but the
ignorance and prejudice of adults who try to force them to conform to
their own view of the world.
Ian N Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City