scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: merit badges
Tom Bingaman (tbing19@IDT.NET
Fri Nov 12 1999 - 14:59:00 CST
Cheryl Singhal wrote:
> On Fri, 5 Nov 1999, Ed Thompson wrote:
> > Bob Taylor wrote:
> > > some boys may "be too shy" to go make
> > > contact with an adult they do not already know.
> > Len Christiansen wrote
> > >For this particular obstacle you might offer to go with the Scout to
> > >introduce him to the merit badge counselor and get their relationship
> > Fortunately or not, this may be one aspect of the merit badge program which
> > needs to change. Many parents, and I am one of them, do not want our kids in
> > ANY program which requires them to make cold contacts with adults they do
> > not know. Perhaps I was paranoid, but like many other parents I spent many
> Well, I can certainly understand teaching the kids not to respond to
> cold-contact from a stranger, but approaching a stranger is a different
> kettle of fish.
> "DON'T ask a stranger" can sometimes translate to: "you don't know that
> cop, you can't ask for help" Kids *are* literal little beings. Now, you
> and I and the rest of the adults know what you meant was "don't ask a
> stranger for a quarter for ice cream, or for a ride home, or for a
> coat." But Randy Rug-Rat thinks getting out of trouble is a favor and
> doesn't ask for help from the stranger paid to give help.
I can speak to the question about not talking to the Cop.
A lost boy was found by strangers and I was called to the scene,
a uniformed patrol officer in a marked police vehicle, I asked the
boy his name and his reply was, "My daddy didn't tell me I could
talk to you" end of conversation. Yes we found his dad he came to
my location after he called 911 to report his boy missing and was told
where I was located with his son.
Or I've ben painted as the bad boy when parents tell their children
you better eat you food or that policeman will take you away with him
when I've been eating a meal in a restaurant in uniform.
When I would overhear this I would walk up to the table and inform
the child and parents "No I have three chidden at home now to raise
you need to go home with your mommy and daddy" and walk away.
Yes you can be so paranoid in this world about talking with strangers
you will not call on people to help you.
> > They learned their lessons well (which is good) and it will take many years
> > for them to "unlearn" them as they make the transition through the teenage
> Some of them NEVER unlearn it. I know people in their 80s and 90s who
> won't call a doctor they don't know.
> > approach may have worked thirty-five years ago when I was a scout and
> > parents did not teach their kids to avoid strangers but, sadly, times have
> > changed.
> Trust me on this one: something was *wrong* if you weren't taught not to
> take candy from strangers 35 yrs ago! My 70+ yr old mother was taught
> that in her youth in a small, in-grown, rural community where strangers
> *were* from out of town.
> But, there is a worse lesson being learned than is being taught, I'm
> afraid, and we're just beginning to see the results of it.
> My mother was taught, I was taught, I taught my son: DON'T accept
> anything from a stranger without checking with an authority figure (mom,
> dad, a teacher, the pundit, someone you've always known).
> My younger sister's sons learned the same thing at home, but they're
> being taught by the schools, by Scouting, TV, newspapers, and every youth
> organization around: it may be safer to accept a ride with a stranger
> than with the Nice Old Man Next Door who may have impure motives.
> So -- bottom line: my nephews are *learning* not to trust anyone but
> themselves. I'm not at all convinced a 14-yr-old should be that
> untrusting, that suspicious, that paranoid.
I have added my story and agree with all you have said.
Train our youth to call strangers and go with them when they make the
contact and be there for them.
Remember to teach your children to know your family "Kid Code",
Only go with a person who knows your family "Kid Code".
You may have a need to have your children picked up sometime by a friend
your child may not know well. If you give that friend your "Kid Code"
your child may go with them only after they have furnished your phrase
to the child. If a stranger tried to pick up the child teach the child
to run for help, you know those people (mom, dad, a teacher, the pundit,
someone you've always known). And don't forget to add the Policeman.
Oh yes I retired after 35 yrs of service and that little boy still
stands out as a vivid memory of a very astute little boy who would
not let me help him.
Tom Bingaman email@example.com
I used to be a Beaver...328 (1968)
Chief Seattle Council |>>>---|>--->|
Green River District (Renton WA)
Scout Leader Training Chair