Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Out of shape scout
Out of shape scout
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 15:49:05 -0400
In a weak moment this spring, I agreed to take over as the new scout ASM.
I thought we were going to have 6-8 bridging Webelos. Instead we got 18
and two older boys joining or re-joining scouting. Needless to say, I've
been quite busy on the last two camp-outs!
Unfortunately, I've found that one scout is taking up too much of my time
because he is grossly out of shape -- he is frankly obese. He has a
tremendous attitude and really wants to participate in everything but is
simply unable to keep up. Not only does this require an adult (or two) to
hang back with him, I am seriously concerned for his health.
On his first campout, the troop took a 4 mile hike that included a climb up
a rather steep hill. At the end of the first mile, which was all level or
downhill, this scout was sweating profusely (it was 70 degrees and we were
in the shade most of the time), sitting down every 10 steps and clutching
his chest. Fortunately a couple of adults weren't feeling up to snuff (one
later found out he had pneumonia!) and several other scouts didn't really
want to climb the hill so they waited for the rest of the troop to climb up
and back. But on the 1 mile hike back to camp, this scout (accompanied by
me) finished 30 minutes after everyone else in the troop! I was really
getting concerned about how I could possibly carry him.
On the second campout, where we did nothing but scout skills with the new
guys, he participated in a game of flashlight tag until he became sick to
his stomach. When his father picked him up the next afternoon, he was
still not able to walk more than 10-15 steps without sitting down.
I've discussed this with his father who keeps assuring me that he's just
out of shape due to inactivity this winter and that he will do much better
now that he can get out and ride his bike. He has the proper physical
(Class II?) and the doctor has OK'd his participation. I've talked with
the adults who took him to Webelos resident camp last summer and they tell
me they had to take turns keeping an eye on him because he couldn't keep up
then. We attend camp at the same reservation but our side of the lake is
much hillier and involves more up and down to get between programs.
I'm really concerned for this boy's health at camp this year, but don't
want to just turn him away if he really wants to participate. Can anyone
offer any suggestions?