Re: Potential Problem Scouts
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 11:01:55 -0400
> From: Kevin Pate <kevinpate@YAHOO.COM>
> Date: Thursday, August 20, 1998 1:48 AM
> A list member wrote, in part:
(snip of my previous comments)
> My thoughts are:
> On this point, I would tend to disagree. If I
> were on the committee, I would not wish to encourage
> a leader to force or compel himself or herself
> to stay where the leader no longer felt productive.
> Yet, I likewise would not be willing to say the
> program can ONLY survive if I vote to make the
> leader comfortable, including any bias or prejudice
> the leader says he or she can not overcome.
> Call it Utopia, call it being naive, but I could not
> accept or settle for promoting that the great program
> of Scouting can exist if and only if Leader X is
> accommodated as to certain bias, prejudice or
> preference. In my mind, to do so would be to
> abandon the goals, principles and methods of Scouting
> in favor of Leader X's personal organization.
> Just my opinion being stated here, but if the program
> will fold without Leader X, then something is already
> very, very wrong.
As the listmember to whose post Kevin is replying, let me try to clarify.
If I were not the discomforted leader, but, rather, the one having to make
the decision, I most probably would agree with him and keep the youth and
say goodbye to the leader. Were I the leader, I would never ASK the unit
not to take the boy. (I would rarely, if ever, feel I was justified in
making it a "him or me" situation.)
However, what I apparently have not been making clear is that my point is
that these situations DO arise. Leaders, committees, etc. DO have to make
these kinds of decisions. There are some here whose posts would indicate
otherwise, that EVERY leader is perfectly comfortable with dealing with
ALL kinds of Scouts or situations. It just isn't so. Every troop will
NOT be capable of dealing with any youth that walks through the door.
Some units may have adequate adult resources with a temperament that they
can deal with a significant number of ADD/ADHD kids. Others may either
not have enough leaders or the leaders might not have the patience to deal
with the situation. This is the real world. That is my point.
> My thoughts are:
> I will presume, based on following the thread, that
> if a new troop is chosen in order to not be in the
> position of dealing with handicapped people, and into
> the new troop a handicap Scout arrives, then it would
> again be time to decide to bail on the youth in
> Troop B for the sake of accommodating the acknowledged
> flaw. And if after joining Troop C, around comes yet
> another handicapped youth, it would be happy trails
> once again.
Well, actually, in my own personal case, the arrival of a handicapped
Scout would probably not really create such a situation. I was
suggesting, for example, that I would not choose to affiliate with a troop
that was organized to deal specifically with severely physically
handicapped Scouts. It would be unlikely that an existing troop would
become such a troop, but I was merely making an example to show that these
decisions probably occur far more often than some would have us believe.
> my thoughts are:
> But at this point, there is indication of great
> discomfort to stay and now, great discomfort in
> requiring others to either bounce the youth to hold
> the leader or bid the leader farewell.
> I have been thinking about this, I hope carefully,
> and to me the choice is not a choice. If it all
> hinged on my final vote, without question I would
> bid farewell to the leader, and if necessary, acquire
> any training I did not already have, increase my
> question level to Scouts-L and earnestly seek out
> more experienced leaders than myself to assist in
> adhering to the program's intent and promise.
In theory, I agree. You opt for the youth over the leader. But again,
like it or not, this decision could have at least a short term impact on
the quality of the experience for the rest of the Scouts in the unit. It
is that impact that I feel has been lost in the discussion. The fact that
when we consider these situations we need to consider this as well.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City