scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Passionate about Scouting
Bob Lazell (rlazell@QED.NET
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 16:52:17 CST
Someone replied to me off-list as follows:
> Great ideology but I've run into a huge obstacle - the program itself
> off the mountain and left us to die on the rocks below. Now Me and my
> have gone looking for a bigger, better mountain to climb.
I was genuinely sorry to hear that. That is a problem with being
passionate, if pushed over the edge, the fall is long and the landing hard.
I admit there have been times when I've been pushed pretty hard in real-life
scouting situations. Someone (usually a rigid by-the-book, which is written
in stone, type) will do something that negatively impacts my boys and I
teeter on the edge. But, try looking at it this way: Even if I find myself
powerless in one situation to fight something I feel is wrong, there are
countless other times when I can effect change or, at the very least be a
minority voice. By taking a long view, I know that perhaps someday I will
see whatever issue it is cease to be a problem, and maybe, by being a part
of the process I helped. And, during all that time waiting for change, there
are countless opportunities for me to at least expose the boys to another
point of view.
A small example. At our district camporees the campsite inspections included
a safety issue that I knew had been ruled incorrect by national (I will not
be specific because I don't want to start a Scouts-L "discussion") I can
tell you that my blood boiled every time we were inspected and my boys were
given a lower mark because of it. You can imagine my trying to explain to
the boys how we were being punished for being right.. Anyone knows that this
is a recipe for disillusioned boys. Two things happened: First, I was able
to use this as a teaching tool for real life by teaching the boys about
drawing satisfaction in being in the right, from within ourselves, rather
than from the group (a variation on "if everyone jumps off a bridge do we
have to also?") Second, with persistence and conversations like the ones we
have here, the national rules made it to the right people and inspection
criteria was changed (it took 2 years).
Yes, this was a small thing, but I know wars are started over less. I don't
know if I really had anything to do with the change, but, I do know that the
chances are good that I at least helped the process along. However, I am
sure that my boys learned a lot of positive things from the experience, and,
isn't that what it's all about?
Finally, keep this in mind:
"If something is not right, change it.
If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."
I'm gonna keep climbing
SM Troop 127
Valley Cottage, NY