scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Demands on our kids' time
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@TCE.COM
Tue Feb 15 2000 - 12:10:49 CST
WARNING - soap box mode on
It's estimated that 100 years ago, children averaged 8 hours a day of face
interaction with their parents and grandparents. This is where children
values and how to grow up and be adults of character. Today that average is
7 minutes! What happened?
Multi-generational households are rare today and the school day is longer.
There are more families with a single parent or two working parents -
when the chores get done.
There are more individual and isolating forms of entertainment - a TV in
electronic games, etc.
Children seem to be involved in more activities. Some try to be in every
after school program available in the belief that to have a full and rich
life you need
to sample as much as possible.
Even if a child is in just one activity, they seem to be more intense than
just a few years
ago. Coaches demand near perfect attendance and practice every day just
on the team.
What does this have to do with Scouts?
1. Invite the parents to join their child in Scouting and spend some
with them. Come on campouts and go to summer camp for the entire week. Get
away from the distractions of work, TV, electronic games and take advantage
the opportunities to bond while sharing a meal prepared over an open fire or
wondering at the beauty of God's creation.
2. Don't become part of the problem. I hope my troop's program will be so
that none of the boys will want to miss a single meeting or activity. But if
do miss, I wont' penalize them or tell them they have to have X% attendance.
Their penalty will be the loss opportunities for fun and advancement. I'm
to present a program for as many boys as might want to participate. I'm not
here to have the most efficient running PLC. Some boys may embrace the
program with devotion and enthusiasm and others will spend little time with
But I believe the memories and experiences and lessons learned will be
beneficial no matter how little or how much time a boy spends in Scouts.
Peter Murphy, Scoutmaster, Troop 125, Crossroads of America Council