Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: A fat person cannot be a Scout.
Re: A fat person cannot be a Scout.
Sun, 11 Oct 1998 10:28:46 EDT
In a message dated 98-10-11, Chuck Bramlet wrote:
<< The material that I referred to tended to be more to the "physical
fitness" rather than the physically strong" aspect. I daresay that
one could maintain an amount of physical fitness and also be fat.
But I think that the point was missed; the merit badge is "personal
fitness", not "Physical fitness". >>
Chuck made two important points here that weigh heavily in this debate.
Strength is a relative term. I'm thin and fit, but I'm no bastion of physical
strength. There is a difference, and physical strength is no where near as
beneficial as fitness.
Personal fitness is even more relative. To take Chuck's example of the
quadrapalegic Scout, his personal fitness will be very different from mine.
Is he less fit? Probably not. Personal fitness tailors one's level of
activity to one's capabilities or potential. I would dare say those who are
physically challenged are probably more personally fit than most of us in that
they are using a greater portion of their potential.
At the same time, I am a great proponent of fitness and weight control. I do
agree with Jim's thought that we are doing overweight Scouts no favors by
allowing them to just keep growing. That path is self destructive and we
should encourage them to eat better, exercise more and seek help if needed.
The factors behind obesity are not usually easy to deal with and most Scouters
are not trained to do so. But we can help and provide encouragement for these
Scouts and Scouters to live a healthier - and longer - life.
While I think Jim's quest to fully live the Scout Law is a noble one, and I
deeply encourage him and all of us to pursue that, I would also remind you
(us?) that the Scout Law starts with: "...I will do my best to..."
Cubmaster & Webelos ADL, BSA Pack 83
Co-Leader, GSUSA Cadette Troop 2825
Fort Worth, Texas