Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Should This Scout Go to Philmont?
Should This Scout Go to Philmont?
Sat, 3 Oct 1998 11:44:02 -0400
July 2000 is 21 months away. IMO, for the next 15-18 months or so, I'd
presume he's going if he wants to go AND is keeping up with his
participation in fundraising activities/contributions AND is keeping up
with his participation in training and conditioning activities like this
weekend's backbacking trip. By the time you see this, the trip will be
over. How'd the boy do? (How long has he been with you? Is this your
first trip with him?)
Sometime in the vicinity of February of 2000, ask yourself that question
again. In the past 8 months, how'd the boy do? Either:
(a) He'll do fantastic (pulling at least his fair share of the load,
maybe even more) and, if the thought even occurs to you, you'll wonder
why you even asked your question on Scouts-L in the first place.
(b) He'll do adequately (pulling his fair share or reasonably close to
it, and doing his best in any case); and the others planning to go are
thrilled to see him stretching his capabilities, welcome his
participation as a friend, and don't even notice that the "fair share"
may not be exactly an "equal share". Again, you'll wonder why you even
asked the question, if you remember you did.
(c) Unfortunately, you may have one or more people who do notice that
the shares are not exactly equal, and may complain about it. IMO, I'd
explain to them that they are welcome to drop out and make their own
places available to other Scouts who are more helpful, friendly, kind,
and cheerful than themselves.
(d) The boy will decide for himself that he isn't able to keep up and it
would be unfair for him to go ... his place should be made available for
someone on the wait list.
(e) His parents or his doctor will decide for him that he shouldn't go.
(f) Sadly, you may find the group dwindling to the point where the trip
would need to be cancelled if this young man goes. In that case, my
personal style of leadership is that I *think* I would discuss the
situation with the boy and his parents, and see if (d) or (e) are viable
choices "for the good of the group"; then again, maybe I wouldn't even
bring it up. If either case, I would allow the *group* to decide to
cancel the trip rather than *dictating* that this young man can't go.
(g) Untimately, if it comes down to a question of the health and safety
of the other members of the group, you may very well need to dictate
that this young man can't go. But I wouldn't do it for any reason less
than that, even for his own health and safety if his parents sign the
release I'd have my lawyer or the council's lawyer prepare. (But I
wouldn't even have a rough draft of such a release done for 15 or 18
months yet, unless his parents ask for it earlier.)
Having gone to high school and college and having had half a dozen or so
friends and aquaintences with cerebral palsey; having worked on the high
school newspaper and yearbook staff with a reporter, writer, and editor
with cerebral palsey; and having had two or three two co-workers over
the years since then with cerebral palsey - I suspect the odds of (a)
through (e) are MUCH higher than the odds of (f) or (g). Be confident
and optimistic yourself. Be cheerful. You'll all go, you'll all have a
great time, and you'll be glad you gave him and yourselves the chance.
At least, that would be my attitude, until circumstances prove
That's my $2 worth.
Mark Ritter - RitterME@stny.lrun.com - Committee Member
Sea Scout Ship 90 - The S.S.S. North Star - New Milford PA