Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Swimming
Ian N. Ford FRSH
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 23:30:41 -0000
> I think Ron's advice was right on target. Jay, hate to disagree with you
> buddy but I gotta say that unless there is a REAL physical disability
> involved, I think that there are some things that EVERY scout ought to
> accomplish. And swimming is one of them.
>Along with what Jim said - the trail to eagle may be strewn with
>challenges and obstacles. Should it not be so?
>"...A Scout is Brave..."
I think I can see a common thread between this and the thread on behavior.
In other words, " real " disabilities are physical, or " medical ". Kids
with psychological problems just need to " pull themselves together " and
none of this namby-pamby
What if a psychiatrist ( a medical doctor) says that a Scout has a fear of
water that would make it unsafe for him to learn to swim? This is not, by
your definition a " REAL physical disability " ... so would you :
(a) deny him the opportunity for advancement ?
(b) tell him to " All it takes is be brave ... just be a MAN ... you need
to overcome the challenges and obstacles on the trail to Eagle, so just
get in the water and stop making excuses ? "
(c) rethink your prejudices ?
Another poster said that Leaders should not have to deal with " behavior
problems " and kids who did not meet the Scoutmaster's definition of "
acceptability " would have to be collected by their parents. ( It is well
known that all behavior problems are caused by bad parenting, so serves them
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services an estimated 14%
to 20% of of all [US] children have some type of mental health problem.
Whilst few Scouters are trained to deal with youngsters with severe
problems, most units will have Scouts with some sort of mental health
problem. Of course this is not to say that waivers should be granted just
because a kid doesn't like swimming, or that we have to tolerate any
behavior that kids come up with. But to claim that the only " real "
disabilities are physical is to do an injustice to many of our youth.
Ian N Ford
District Committee Member, Channel District, Transatlantic Council BSA