scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Needy Scouts
Michael A. Poretsky (MPoretsky@AOL.COM
Thu Feb 03 2000 - 08:58:13 CST
One of the (few) things I have learned is that you can never tell how much available money anyone has. that should not, however, be a reason for a boy to have to declare publically that he has only one pair of shoes.
We have several families in my units who are financially challenged. We on the committee believe that part of our job is to make the program available to any boy who wishes to participate.
One of the ways we do this is by telling boys and their parents - when they join the Pack or Troop - is that if they have any financial problems to discuss it _privately_ with one of four people: myself (founding Scoutmaster and COR), the Committee Chair and the Scoutmaster or Cubmaster. We have so far (14 years) been able to cover dues, provide uniforms and get boys to summer camp while maintaining the dignity of their families. the confidentiality has never been broken.
Another thing we do is maintain an active uniform exchange. We encourage ALL boys to get their uniforms, packs, camping gear and boots from the exchange. After all, a Scout is Thrifty!
Some of the boys from well-off families proudly wear "veteran uniforms;" and some of the boys we have quietly helped get the benefits of Scouting proudly wear the Eagle on their "veteran uniforms."
As a program for Orthodox Jewish youth, we follow the teaching of the Rabbis, that in giving charity, one must, above all, maintain the dignity of the recipient. It makes things a little more challenging but a lot more interesting and satisfying.
Yours in Scouting