scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Equal Opportunity
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 19:37:47 CST
Well, by the time I finish this even more of you will be convinced that
I�m some sort of libertarian anarchistic iconoclast (or is it
anarchistic libertarian iconoclast). [After acceptance of GUIs one
can�t be a strict iconoclast.]
It was written:
>�It is evident to me this group runs the whole gamut of
>interpretation of National Policy.�
Yup, and sometimes the better for it! Sometimes National Policy sucks;
is subject to cultural lag and suffers from secular or financial
myopia. Some of us remember when segregated units were okay and and
women leaders were not.
>�Do our scouts need to do exactly what the book says or can we make
>changes that we feel are necessary?�
National policy and professionals need, occasionally, to be kept in
check by volunteers. It�s less than a year since the Personal Fitness
fiasco. Yes, this ain�t rocket science -- it�s a lot harder. Rocket
�science� deals with known, though complex, engineering interactions.
That�s a lot easier than dealing with constant variables like people.
>In a response earlier, somebody said, the Cub Scout motto is "Do
>your best". Cub Scouting is just that, trying to do something new
>and doing it the best you can.
>Boy Scouts, on the other hand, have set requirements that the Scout
>must meet, not come close or really tried hard. (Has the oath been recently change to read: "On my honor I shall do everything prefectly....")
Oh, were it that easy. Yep the boys are young, but they don�t instantly
mature at age 10.5 when they suddenly become full-fledged Scouts. (Nor,
as one of those 10.5ers told me Monday: �Eagles know everything.� - I
don�t and I�ve been one for 46 years.)
BSA�s advancement policies, combined with myopic mentorship, means to
some that it becomes a pass-fail exercise rather than a range of paths
to success. Chronological tracking becomes the defining standard. Some
push for 13 or 14 year old Eagles so that they can go on to Venturing
and Ranger rank advancement rather than fully integrate the craft of
It was written: �When the boys are young, it's ok if you really tried
hard and came up short. As the boys get older and more mature,
sometimes giving it your best is not quite enough. We are trying to
prepare these young men for the real world and the responsibility of
running our nation, communities and their families.�
Is it really that clear? Would we want that standard applied ruthlessly
to our actions? Is �Trustworthy� preeminent because it is spoken first
in a sequence or is the spoken sequence irrelevant if one lives it?
If we are preparing our youth to succeed us (and be successful) it would
be better to consciously adjust some rules rather than to break the
boys. I, certainly, hope that we�re not going define the �real� world
as one of winners and the alsorans. Each of us on this list have taken
divergent paths in life, and that has made a wonderful difference.