scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Smoking
J Robert Garrett (rgarrett@METRONET.COM
Sat Apr 15 2000 - 09:55:34 CDT
I'm of the opinion that a %100 ban on smoking within the scouting
program is not only unnecessary, but it would also be completely counter
to one of the main goals of the scouting program.
Ok, now that I have everyone's attention, here's why I say that.
Scouting is about teaching young men to be self sufficient, resourceful,
and equipping them to think for themselves, right? It would seem to me
that the present policy of separating boys from the actual activity,
thereby avoiding second-hand smoke issues, is sufficient. Boys are
growing up in an imperfect world, and attempting to hide that
imperfection from them is a mistake. It's much better for them if they
learn early to recognize that people are not perfect, and more
importantly to understand that it is possible to accept and value a
person as an individual without feeling obligated to emulate any
negative traits that person may have, or to shun them because of same.
I don't smoke and never have, but I know people who do, some of whom are
the most valuable and active adults our troop has. I don't know of any
smoker who advocates that people -should- smoke, do you? What better
way to educate boys on the addictive nature of smoking could there be
than to hear it from adult whom they already know and respect who also
struggles with the problem? Additionally, I'm concerned that the
mindset that would completely isolate youth from any 'negative'
influences at all could create in them the false expectation that the
world should always adapt to them, thereby setting them up for a very
rude awakening later in life.
Just my thoughts...
SM, Troop 57 - Garland, Texas
Keep it ....
.... Shinin' On