scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Lack of Scouting influence ??
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Fri Apr 30 1993 - 12:31:10 CDT
Jon Smith wrote:
>My belief is that it all starts with the parents. If you don't
>recruit, or least gain the support of, the parents, the kids, smart
>or not, will not come.
I STRONGLY disagree, Jon. As a former Scoutmaster, I had one kid that would
rather get a beating from his father (one time in front of me and the Troop)
every week than to miss out of what was going on in Scouts. I had a couple
of my Scouts to "hide him" from his father a couple of times when he would
The father, a member of the same Army battalion I was assigned to, didn't
want his son to be associated with "Pansy Boy Scouts"; his mother, a German
citizen, did not understand completely what Scouting was about but knew that
this was great for her son's development...and her son made some friends.
Because the Senior Patrol Leader at that time was the oldest son of my boss
(and the Battalion Commander of the unit I belonged to), he was eventually
arrested and sent off to Mannheim to the "European Fort Leavenworth" for his
actions against his son (and later, against his wife and daughter; we only
knew about his son).
There are kids, Jon, who will literally "run the gauntlet" to avoid kids
whom would "beat his ***" if he's ever caught in a Boy Scout uniform around
them; to leave before Dad or Mom (or both) would get home and would leave
their Scout uniform at the Scout hut; would outright lie to their parents
about where they are going and why; and there are lots of boys out there
that would rather be punished for doing something they love doing than not
to do it at all....there are kids, Jon, that would rather being killed or
maimed, than NOT to have a chance to laugh, cut up, make faces and tease
their friends in their Scout Troop. These are the boys that know a good
thing when they see it, and they will come (and if they have friends, they
will bring them too) IF the program is worth coming to.
If the PROGRAM is lame, is the same old stuff every week, and goes nowhere,
those are the same boys you will see on the streets and in the parks,
smoking, shooting up something or another, huffing something or another, and
accosting girls and women.
I write in "Patches and Pins" about two boys - three if you include me -
that did such things and for two of them, I know what happened to them. I'm
hoping that in one of my future travels back to Germany, that I run into the
As I mentioned in the book, there was a commercial showing a young Black
boy, cautiously running, peering around corners, going through alleys and
jumping fences to avoid being caught up in drugs and "the things around
where he lived". The narrator, also Black, stated "For all of you out there
that are struggling...trying to do the best things, the right things...for
all of you that are really trying. We're trying to do the best we can to
help you. We hear you."
The commercial was sponsered by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
I know that's how Daniel felt. Scouting was there for him. It wasn't me,
it wasn't the other boys. It was what we were doing outside and inside, out
on the streets and in the basement of an apartment building. I truly wish
the BSA would produce a knock-off of that commericial, showing a young man
trying to do his best, trying to hold onto the Scouting ideals....with that
same voice encouraging him and others like him not to give into pressures
from family, "friends" and the streets.
For we know that he and others are really trying. We hear them too.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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