scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: disciplinary dilemma
Bob Lazell (rlazell@QED.NET
Sat Jun 17 2000 - 06:09:40 CDT
> Well said. However, we do not know that this Scout is sexually active.
> All we know is that he is verbally active :)
Neil, Your point is certainly well taken, but, I made the assumption that
the original poster at least got that clear before proceeding. Good lord, if
every teenager had to be disciplined for telling a tall tale or two....
heck, that even goes for most Scouters I know!
Seriously, your comment does speak to the underlying issue. As a society we
have long sent incredibly mixed messages to youth about sexuality. The
sexual boasting you speak of has indeed a been part of the culture at large
in which we lived since, well maybe always. Without getting into a
pointless discussion of "the decline of American society,...bla bla bla...."
we do have to face the fact that our boys do live in a real world, with real
pressures, that from time to time will trip them up. I dare say that there
is not one of us who hasn't been faced with a "problem" caused by normal
adolescent male sexual development. Thankfully, most are not the extreme
example of a truly sexually active scout, but, they are important issues,
and at times the *only* issue to an adolescent boy. There is no way short
of bugging every tent and placing shock collars on them, that I can keep
"sex talk" out of my troop. But, I can do much to make sure that boys who
step over the line into public boasting and blatant sexual banter are
counseled in a way that makes it clear that there is nothing "wrong" or
"dirty" about their sexuality, but, rather there are boundaries to its open
expression. We must remember that every "nod, nod, wink, wink" we use to
dismiss a scouts off-color remark sends a powerful message. Colorful
conversation laden with sexual innuendo will occur from time to time, it's
our place to keep that in context. More often than not, the biggest potty
mouth in the troop is the one crying out for some help in understanding
these complex issues.
There is nothing in Scouting that directly addresses sexuality (pending
Supreme Court rulings aside), but, much in Scouting should give our boys the
tools to deal with questions surrounding their inevitably emerging
sexuality. We cannot sweep such large questions under the carpet with
blanket condemnations or refusals to discuss the issues. Nor are punishment
or expulsion the answers, but, as always, supportive understanding and above
all loving concern for our boys and their emerging selves.
(I will step down out of the pulpit now)
SM Troop 127
Valley Cottage, NY