Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: help with laser tag
Re: help with laser tag
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 14:04:36 -0600
Kirk wrote and explained:
>I'm not embarrassed that I let my boys play laser tag at a laser tag
>facility. They had fun last week. If BSA say no in the future, I'll
I don't have a problem with it personally, either, Kirk.
>But, if BSA outlaws laser tag and military-oriented wide games, it will
>drive more of the fun out of Scouting than they realize. We are taking
>the Indian out of OA, can not climb any of our pioneering towers, could
>not fly for a decade or more, what is next? No backpacking because
>overweight boys might mis-align their spines?
I'm keeping the soapbox under the desk, Kirk, but it goes back to my
previous words here about "bringing the program back to the volunteers."
Much of these restrictions are caused by risk management reasons and NOT
because the BSA wants to "take the fun out of the program." To *me*, the
BSA "took the fun out of the program" when it insisted that we have to do
local tour permits to do simple things like camp on private land or around
>I have to compete with my Church's MYF now, and they do not have these
>rules. The Young Marines is blossoming near every base I've lived
>near. They are certainly not restricted in what they do.
And they don't have much to lose if, Heavens forbid, a child (or several
children) gets seriously injured or dies as a result of their activity with
those organizations. While the Young Marines is growing, the Marine Corps
itself has been trying hard to distance themselves at the same time
embracing the program (wow, what a straddle THAT must be!!) for future
And if you approach those two (and other organizations), you'll see that
they DO have some kind of restrictions...it's perhaps that the local leaders
and organizers are not familiar with them (or have chosen to ignore them in
favor of the more "fun" aspects of those programs).
>Scouting gives a great deal more than these programs and sports, but this
>choice and all of the rules that do not apply to the population in
>general is making it hard to market the program.
True. It is making it harder to attract kids to Scouting when "all you do
is sit around in a building somewhere." But when other kids SEE Scouts out
doing "Scouting things" -- things which are NOT "associated with Scouting"
like putt-putt, or basketball, or working with other community
agencies....they will want to become part of our program. And as they grow
older, the amount of "older youth experiences" available to them -- Philmont
or the other Outdoor Adventure bases; Jamboree participation and leadership;
cross-country trips as part of Venturing units -- will also increase.
>The kids want fun, their favorite activity is man-hunt or
>capture-the-flag. These activities are what keep them coming event
>after event. Many of our older Scouts and boys stalled or bored with a
>stale program will stay in the Troop just to play these games on camp
>outs. They love doing these "military type" activities in the dark.
>There is a chance of injury from these events, but they are what keep
>the boys coming back.
True. It also gives those few families (and all it takes is ONE or TWO such
families) the opportunity to sue the unit, the adult supervisors of that
activity, and all up the chain....there are many parents whom don't
understand that kids get hurt, that kids will get injured and that this too
is a part of "growing up." To them, NOTHING which causes injury or harm to
their child is a part of "growing up" and we in Scouting have to live with
those decisions....because they ARE THE PARENTS of that child (or children).
This is why Scouting, on a national as well as locally, has had to readjust
and respot themselves to deal with those families....which later became a
large voice....and to change and modify the policies the way they were done so.
>Is Scouting so risk and media adverse that it is becoming irrelevant to
>the average boy and his parents?
In some cases, Kirk, Scouting's doing in a small part what our schools and
churches have been doing: taking the more cautious center road. Many
parents want what Scouting has to offer their child; but they don't want to
risk injury or harm to their child in the process of "doing Scouting."
(Man, I would love to get that box from under the desk and stand on it!!)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
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