Re: Disturbing News
G. John Marmet (GMarmet@AOL.COM)
Sat, 19 Sep 1998 13:14:44 EDT
<< I agree we need to target these kids, but most come from households with
parent, or parents who don't care. In Cub Scouts, we need the parents to be
involved, and in these types of homes that won't happen. At the Boy Scout
level, these types of children bring bad ideals to the other boys, and
the meetings. Going to their parents isn't the answer. Yall are correct in
need to target these kids, but how under our own rules do we do this?
In Chicago, within the past 5 years a young boy named "Yummy" Sandifer (sic.?)
was murdered, presumably because he had mistakenly murdered someone else.
Yummy was one of those boys referred to above. But he responded to exactly
the same things that the "good boys" responded to. At 8 he wanted to belong,
so he joined a gang and acquired there signs and colors (instead of Cub
Scouting). At 9 he moved up in rank by performing duties assigned by the gang
(instead of achievements). At 10 he was selling drugs on the streets (instead
of popcorn). At 11 he had graduated to taking lives (instead of graduating to
Boy Scouts and saving them).
You ask how we can reach these boys from "broken homes". We reach them the
same way that we reach the "good boys", but with our "gang" and our "colors".
It is not for no reason that Baden Powell called boys in Scouting members of
gang. The essential truth of what he discovered works for all young boys,
especially if we get them soon enough.
What is needed is not method, we have that. What is needed is the men and
women of courage and love to bring the program to the young boys. I met and
greatly profited from one of them, an American Indian I had the privilege of
knowing and sharing a patrol with in Wood Badge. He was, I believe, a great
man. He was very quiet, in that native American way that implies great wisdom
and strength, and when he spoke, he whispered, but you listened. He came from
gangs (of the bad sort- not our BSA), and had many of the problems as a young
person that Yummy might have had, though thankfully he never traveled so far
down that path. Today he is a Scoutmaster, and he loves his young men, the
boys in his "gang", his troop. He knows whereof he speaks and he speaks
powerfully of those essences of our program: self reliance, character,
Many of you on these boards are those men and women also. We do have the
program. Let us all have the courage to use it.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City