Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Cubs VS Sports
Re: Cubs VS Sports
Sat, 21 Aug 1999 22:59:21 -0400
At 07:22 PM 8/20/99 , you wrote:
>How do you counteract the push by Parents to have their sons do sports
>to the exclusion to all else?
Unfortunately, sports has become the religion of the late 20th century.
The worship of the physical and of physical possessions has become
our driving motivation placing mental and spiritual development in the
trash bin. Besides, sports is handier. That way the coaches offer
free babysitting 6 days a week so that mom and dad can continue
to work on their careers. It is not always the parents that are forcing
the choice. It is not uncommon to find situations where the coaches
for baseball/football/basketball let the boys know that if they miss
one practice for anything, they won't start. After all, in our culture,
winning is everything!
Heck, have you ever seen an awards banquet for academic achievements?
Is there a daily academic section in the paper? Is there any sort of
section of the evening news that will cover the accomplishments of
youth other than sports?
We need to also look at ourselves in this one. Look at how each one
of us identifies with high school, college, and professional sports teams.
OUr kids look at us and see what we consider to be important. In
their efforts to look good in our eyes, they try to do good in what we like.
Looking at ourselves even more, in the Scout Oath we pledge to
keep ourselves 'physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight'.
We pledge to do our duty to God and Country. Yet, I would contend
that a majority of us scout leaders fail to attend to church on a regular
basis. We fail to really follow through with the spiritual aspect of
the scout oath.
Now that leaves the mind and body portion. Lets look at how we scouters
deal with the mind part. Do we go to or work with the school PTA, PTO?
Do we make all the parent teacher conferences? Do we support school
levies? Do we really get involved in the schools?
This has been a broad brushed answer. There are some leaders out there
who do get heavily involved in the mental and spiritual and mental obligations
of scouting but in my experience they are in the minority. The reality
is that scouting leadership reflects the society in which we live.
Do we as scout leaders compete to win? Look at some of the debates
in this group. Some folks come on like they have the personally
revealed truth and will accept no interpretation of rules and issues
other than their own. To some folks scouting verges on being a
Why do we like sports so much? It is a lot more fun to play a variety of
ball games than to study or deal with moral issues.
Is there an answer?
Some folks will say that if you offer the progam they will come.
I doubt it. Things will only change when the realization sinks in that
there is more to life than playing games. Some day we may come
to the realization that the pursuit of more material possessions is
an dead end path. Again, let us look at ourselves and the example
we set for our youth. Are you satisfied with what you have or do
you chase more; a bigger house, more stuff, more possessions,
status and prestige. In effect we are playing a game to see who
wins. The youth copy us with their games. They merely follow