Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: missing school for scouting
missing school for scouting
Fri, 2 Oct 1998 16:17:47 -0400
with a father who taught for 41 years and a father-in-law who taught 37 years,
i came to realize school attendance is good, school learning is better, and
field trips/time away from school sometimes are more important to the kids
than the teachers realize.
i came to all of this when my oldest was booked for philmont. as sm i had
consulted every school's calendar before asking for a date there. surprise! my
son's school had changed the way they wrote the calendar so that the "snow
days" were added if needed from the last day of school whereas the year before
they subtracted them if not needed. the principal stated outright when we
informed him my son would miss x days that "someone who had so much experience
with teachers should know better".
so we sent him postcards. every day. from the train, from base camp, from the
trail. from ptc while we waited for my class to start. from the trail when he
went back out with mountain men. told him about camping, survival, indian
writings, horseback riding, bears, shotguns, buffalo, rattle snakes, water
filters, teamwork, dehydrated food, etc., etc. got back and i stopped by his
office. said "was it worth three days of school?" and the response was "he
learned more about history and life there than some people will ever learn,
let alone what we could teach him here"
since then we've done a lot more - bass fishing in florida in february was a
favorite, since we had to go for either full or new moon and couldn't choose
to work around school schedules and bike hikes in april were loved by all
since 1/2 got the week before easter off and 1/2 got the week after so someone
always missed at least one day so we'd be back for easter Sunday- and no one
at any school has ever counted time off for bsa as absentee days for any
scout. probably because they knew we'd inundate their offices with post cards
that made them wish *they* could pack up and leave. and when i was sm my troop
served 6 schools, 4 public, 2 private, each with their own schedule.
i would suggest you see whether or not the educational event with scouting
would count as an absent day or if you could arrange for scouts to submit
extra credit papers explaining what they learned and experienced and it could
be treated like an extra field trip.