scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Good Citizens
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Thu Nov 18 1999 - 10:07:58 CST
<Cheryl Singhal wrote>
> I, too, teach the citizenship merit badges, and find that 11 or 12
> olds, don't have any concept of citizenship. Maybe we should reserve
> those MB's for 17 and 18 year olds, where they might have a better
> chance of understanding them.
It's possible too that it should be brought up sooner ... back about 1st
grade, maybe earlier. Start with the little things: a good dobie is a
good citizen; a good dobie doesn't drop trash on the streets. And build
from there. Might not work any better than the current system, but it
can't be much worse. Or can it?
WARNING: This is one of those "In my day..." statements. If you can't handle
that sort of thing, stop reading now.
It seems to me, that's the sort of thing they used to do in school when I
was a kid. It's what "they" later called "stifling conformism" claiming it
was something that suppressed creativity, individuality, and led to a
generation of automatons. BS (and I don't mean Boy Scout!). The best way to
teach something to a child is to relate it to something he or she already
knows AND reinforcing it with the proper example.
Teaching good citizenship isn't really that difficult. It really boils down
to following the rules or working to change them when the rules are stupid.
But the subtleties of citizenship are taught to us through example. If our
parents don't vote, we never really learn to appreciate our role during
elections. If our parents (or teachers, or other adults we know) don't
follow the rules, we quickly learn that some rules CAN be broken without
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, SM Troop 381 http://www.Scouts381.org/
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
Home of the Win95 & Win98 Boy Scout Desktop Themes
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"