Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Out of shape scout
Out of shape scout
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 19:39:58 EDT
Sam has a problem I've often wondered about. I haven't seen too many really
out of shape boys in scouts. I would be very interested in how the others on
the list have dealt with this problem.
My advice.... take on the challenge!
Since the troop is very much about hiking and strenuous activities I would
think about a way to get the young man into better shape. Design an excercise
program that the boy should follow religiously. I would explain to him (and
the parents if you think they would understand and be supportive) all the
benefits and reasons why it is in his best interest to work on getting in
better shape. Perhaps ask a qualified phys ed type to design the program.
Get him educated on diet! This could be more beneficial than excercising. My
experience has been that people that overweight have terrible eating habits.
Maybe one of the older boys could take this guy under his wing. It must be
applicable towards something. That would make the work more palatable. And
the mentor-protege relationship that could develop could be of untold benefit
to the boys. Especially the overweight boy. Because there is a good
possibility that he won't loose all of the xtra weight or even enough fast
enough to allow him to do the things he wants to do with the scouts. This
growing frustration could very well push him towards quitting. If that
happens at least he'll have a better outlook because of his mentor.
And my advice would be to keep this Program Climb That Hill (or whatever) a
secret between as few people as possible, don't allow any name calling/hazing
by the other boys and actually encourage all the boys to take turns staying
back with him. You could relate the latter to how military units operate -
Leave Nobody Behind. Or maybe it could be a great troop excercise. You know
everybody chips in and does what he can. Yeah, I like that one! You know,
taking turns excercising with him (it gets pretty boring doing it all alone
when you're dying), watching his diet @ school ("Hey Johnny, you only need
one of those meatballs."), taking pride in another's achievements, etc. But,
again I think it should stay within the troop only, a troop project. Kids can
be awful mean to overweight kids.
All of this is just from my years of being in athletics (team, individual,
program director, instuctor and student) and from seeing this exact situation
in person. I was in the army for awhile and learned even more about how
important it is to support the entire unit or team. And isn't that a big part
of what Boy Scouts is all about?
Good luck. And please let the list know how you make out with this boy. Just
think of the possible good that can come out of it.
Yours in Scouting,
Cubmaster Pack 639
Twin Rivers Council