Ed Thompson (thompson@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU)
Sun, 20 Sep 1998 20:13:32 -0600
This string started when Bob Morehead described disturbing news of
scouting-age youth (4 boys, 1 girl, aged 8-14) involved in serial rape, with
the observation that"this is our target age bracket" and "these are our
youth." I commented that this issue is not tangential to scouting: we need
to target our efforts toward reaching these kids.
In response, Sam & Lynn Klein observed (correctly) that "most come from
households with one 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 disrupt the meetings. Going to their parents isn't the
answer. Y'all are correct in we need to target these kids, but how under
our own rules do we do this?"
I agree that our packs depend on parental involvement, and this won't happen
with these kids. None-the-less, if I could get even one such kid into
Scouting (I have been a den leader, Webelo's leader twice, and Cubmaster) I
would consider it a success even if the parents never showed up (we have
seen many such "drop-em-off" parents as it is.) Similarly, at the Boy Scout
level (I have 3 sons there, ages 11, 13, 15, and serve as an Assistant
Scoutmaster as do most members of our committee), dealing with disrupted
meetings would be a small price to pay for opportunity to help turn such a
life in a better direction. The boys in my Troop (I sincerely hope) have
strong enough values to deal with bad ideals brought in by others, and Scout
meetings would be a pretty safe opportunity for them to practice this skill.
We might not be successful, but I think we owe it to Scouting ideals to try.
Ed W. Thompson Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Director of Cytotechnology
Winona State University
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City