Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Gear Lending Library
Gear Lending Library
Mon, 5 Oct 1998 12:49:04 -0400
Jim Miller Sr. said:
>...I saw an interesting piece on cable about a public library in some
>town in California that had a tool lending program. They lend out ...
>tools to individuals who ... might want to try something without
>investing heavy duty dead presidents.
>We've talked about uniform banks here, but has anyone tried a personal
>camping equipment lending library?
Sure. While not nearly as extensive as the Berkley, CA library's tool
program, our troop has a supply of gear that we lend to new Scouts.
Backpacks and ground pads are the most commonly borrowed items. We have
a few mess items and sleeping bags to lend out, too.
None of the gear is adequate for a major expidetion, but several of the
packs were carried by some of our Eagle Scouts throughout their entire
By lending new Scouts the expensive camping items for a few months we
feel that we accomplish two things. First it lets a boy get a feel for
what kind of gear he may want to invest in, rather than rush out and
buy the first item that catches his eye. Second it gives him a few months
to earn money to buy his own gear. That way Mom & Dad are not asked to
fork over a bunch of cash to support a kid's Scouting habit.
My own personal opinion here: I feel we need to make it possible for
boys with limited family cash reserves to be involved in Scouting.
Expecting a family with limited means to pony up the ammount of money
that has been discussed in this thread is not realistic.
Scouting can make a difference in any boy's life, but it seems to me
that it has a more likely chance to really help the kids from tougher
economic backgrounds. The boys in my troop from more prosperous
families seem to have a lot of other positive experiences in their
lives. For some of the guys from less priveledged environments the
trips and activites we do seem to be a much bigger deal.
I think we should do our best to make sure that money (particularly
how much money the parents have) is not the factor that determines
if a boy can participate in Scouting.
Setting up your program so a boy can get started for a dollar a week
better serves the purposes of Scouting.
At least that's my opinion.
Yours in the spirit of Scouting,
Dan O'Canna Lexington, Kentucky