Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Ed's Web Site
Re: Ed's Web Site
Jim Miller Sr.
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:24:49 -0500
I've taken the time to read Ed's entire site, and find it encouraging
that the tone of his commentary has been tempered significantly from
that which was used in most of his posts to this forum. His "facts" are
interesting, and I agree with some if not all of his observations
regarding the non-traditional programs.
The major thing missing from Ed's analysis is "context." That is, all
the numbers must be compared to demographic data in order to be
understood. I cannot off the top of my head cite census data, however,
I am familiar enough with school enrollment figures from my time with
the New Jersey State Department of Education back in the dark ages to
know that the ups and downs on Ed's chart look an awful lot like the ups
and downs in the youth population numbers caused by the "baby boom" and
the various "mini-booms" that followed as the baby boomers reached child
I too think we have to focus our attention on delivery of the
traditional programs to all youth, especially minorities and inner city
youth. I believe that the LFL program is a paternalistic attempt to
feed "values" to this population while denying them the really valuable
aspects of the scouting program in the form of leadership development
and character building. LFL is "too easy" a way of claiming to be
delivering the promise by spoon feeding values to inner city youth. We
need to get back to the hard work of organizing real scout units in our
cities so that urban youth can develop the valuable leadership skills
that scouting teaches.
I hope that Ed's efforts will provoke additional thought, but I also
hope that people will take some of what he says with a grain of salt and
not use it as yet another excuse to blame our failures on "them."
Jim Miller, Sr.