Re: Remember Scouting is a Safe Haven...
R.F. Locke (rfl@OFFPRO.NET)
Sat, 8 Aug 1998 15:44:47 -0400
I'd like to snip some of the original post for the sake of brevity
and "Netiquette", but I can't. So.....
Tim Hewitt wrote:
> One thing to keep in mind whenever you are dealing with violent or abusive
> youth involved in Scouting, is that by design, Scouting is a Safe Haven for
> our kids. This means not only providing safe activities, and safe emotional
> and physical enviroments (eg, why hazing is illegal), but also removing unsafe
> boys from the activities and then from the troop if necessary - regardless of
> the reason they are unsafe.
> I will do this without regret or undue personal emotional stress. If the boy
> is not right for Scouting, I'll not be the one to convert him.
> Flame away if you must, but I will not put 10 boys in danger for one who "if I
> had only spent a little more quality time with him..." might continue in
> Scouting. The extra effort required to make the attempt will deny the majority
> of the boys a good Scouting program. I want to keep the majority, not one who
> doesn't want to be here in the first place.
> In order for me to keep sane and provide an environment and program that will
> help the majority of the boys in the troop to become better citizens, the
> occasional problem child has to be kicked out.
> 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'll work with anyone who will work hard to uphold
> the ideals of Scouting. 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'll deliver the Promise of Scouting to boys who are willing to work within
> the Scout Oath and Law. I won't try to convert those who are not interested.
> Nationally there is a 63% annual retention rate. In my District, the number is
> something like 75%. We are proud of that. If I can keep 10 boys involved by
> asking one to leave, that's worth it, if by keeping the one, 4 others would
> eventually quit because the program and their experience suffers.
> It's a game of numbers. How do we help the most number of kids get the most
> out of Scouting. I'll not reduce the quality of the program down to the lowest
> common denominator to try to keep one problem kid interested.
> I read with mock horror the statements that many of you make like, "I know
> this kids needs Scouting more than anyone else in the Troop..." When you make
> this statement, you are missing the point. We are not gods. We cannot work
> miracles. If a child is not able to cope with the group dynamics of a Troop
> environment, I'll work with him - but only to a point. At some point he needs
> to become an active, contributing member of the Troop or he can go get his
> babysitting services somewhere else.
> Stepping down off soapbox. Flame away.
> Tim Hewitt, Scoutmaster
> Troop 350, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Mostly, I got to agree with Tim. I'm not a doctor, psychologist
or couselor. I'm not paid to do this. I'm a volunteer. I ain't
here to "fix" your kid - certainly not if you won't help.
I'll spare you the horror stories from my Explorer Post and my
companies' expensive communications equipment but on at least two
occasions, the horror stories ended with : "If you want to stay
in the Post, one or both of your parents must attend the meetings
Didn't happen, end of Exploring career for those kids.
Note to parents of ADD, ADHD kids:
Be sure that you don't tell me about your sons medical condition.
We want to make sure that " he won't feel stigmatized". Fine.
That way, instead of being aware of, and dealing with, a medical
condition, I'll just think that your kid's a jerk.
Understand the difference between a kid with a medical condition
and an undisciplined, rude and ill-mannered kid with a medical
/NOMEX union suit on/
Advisor Crew?/Post? 486
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City