scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Venture Crew Experience
Wed Aug 16 2000 - 09:32:06 CDT
>If you had an 11 year old son and his favorite playmate was a 17 year old
>boy who lived up the street, wouldn't you consider that somewhat odd?
>That is what we expecting of our older scouts who "don't wanna to be
>around younger scouts
I terribly sorry to have to say this, but, the above is indicative of the
kind of popular culture thinking that is so detrimental to the BSA and
programs like it. It is one of the primary features of Scouting that an 11
year old does get to be friends with a 17 year old and yes, perhaps that 11
year old does think of that 17 year old, whom he looks up to and admires
terribly, as his best "playmate."
I don't think it's odd, anymore than I think it's odd that all us adults
favorite "playmates" seem to be the 17 and under crowd of boys we spend so
much of our time with. Scouting is one of those rare places in a boys life
where he is free of the tremendous social pressures to associate with only
his own "crowd" It is a safe place where they learn that it's okay to be a
caring and nurturing individual and nobody thinks you're odd because you
care to give of yourself to those younger than you. It's a safe place where
an 11 year old can find a 17 year old who is not afraid to reach out to him
and befriend him. It's a safe place where a 17 year old can guide a younger
boy down a path he so recently was on himself.It's a safe place to find
adults who are not "the enemy."
It's the backbone of the whole program that boys learn to value the
friendship of other boys and men; to respect them and wish to emulate them;
to confide in them; to share their joys and sorrows; to strive to achive
lofty goals with each other's help.
I guess the only odd thing is that the 11 year olds playmates are
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient cheerful
thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent and I guess today it's even odder that
he want's to be just like them.
Bob Lazell, Playmate
Valley Cottage, NY