Re: Debate & Summer Long Cruise Plans
MICHAEL WALTERS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sat May 16 02:06:43 1998
I have been following your debate with some interest for some days, and if
a Canadian, well a Brit whose home is now Canada, can comment, it appears
to me that you all have valid and well thought out points to make.
Sometimes things get a little steamy but then that is the Nautical way.
Your subject of how do you protect youth both at their level, and at even
the adult level is valid, and is one in which Canadian Scouting at all
levels is trying to grapple with at the moment. The debate, repercussions
fallout, are without doubt dangerous and divisive, but I believe these have
faced and dealt with. Your remarks on Central Authorities and the ways of
politicians are as true for all organisations around the world as they are
for you. The people at the center are charged with maintaining an
organisation with publicly acceptable moral and goal standards that all can
identify with, and as well tradition plays a vital part. Politcians are
elected by the
majority to act on their behalf.
Now the rub, to use an old English expression, is this. Politicians react
to minority Groups because they are by nature very vocal, and because of
their small size politic in a somewhat 'violent' manner. No politician
to be seen as a persecutor, all want to be seen as progressive, so laws get
passed which while they have good intent, are by their nature 'catchall',
and do not allow for specifics.
Now for the people in the center, the easy way is to just accept everything
and be compliant, progressive and go with the flow.
For the silent majority its a question of 'Well as long as it does not
affect me, I do not care'.
The real question perhaps that one should ask oneself is how many
Politicians actually seek, and more importantly, get elected by using these
topics as their main plank. I suspect as elsewhere very few.
The hidden danger, which perhaps is more closely seen at the Center is what
happens when something goes wrong. What happens when someone does something
terribly wrong and the youth get hurt, badly. Usually the silent majority
take on the semblance of a lynch mob, and together with the press, go
for victims, and these are usually the people who should have been
'protecting' their children. The politicians dive for cover, change their
stance and act indignant. You have all seen it on the TV.
It is not wrong for Organisations to seek to protect Youth and Adults from
and perhaps the way of dealing with the local politicians is to provoke the
debate by asking the question 'What happens if something goes wrong'. To
say that seeking to protect our youth and adults from any form of predatory
behaviour is discrimination is wrong and merely glosses over the problem.
Politicians are elected to govern and act for ALL the people and they
should be willing to debate these genuine concerns in a responsible manner.
So if they wish to use public funds to swing the big stick, then they
should be prepared to take some responsibility for their actions.
Unfortuneatly they can just walk away from the debris.
Scouts have, over the last 90 years proved themselves to be brave and
caring individuals, and perhaps the best example is to remind ourselves
that for many Scouting organisations the highest award is the Jack Cornwell
medal. For those of you who don't know, he was a boy seaman during the
Battle of Jutland (Royal Navy WW1) who although his gin crew had been
decimated, and although mortally wounded stayed at his post. Jack was also
a Scout. He was awarded the Victoria Cross (postumously). Also Scouts and
Scouters around the world have proved their bravery and resourcefullness on
many ocassions. This is the type of organisation to which we ALL belong. In
American terms I guess the equivalent message would be 'Don't give up the
Ship', Scouting is a great vision, whether Land, Sea or Air, and that is
why parents entrust
their children to us. Our duty is to nurture and protect them, and hand
them back safe.
To turn to a more pleasant subject (there is too much politicking in
Scouts) perhaps you would like to know about our summer program. We are a
Scout Group in Southern Ontario with both Sea Scout and Sea Venturer
Sections. No Sea Scouts are not dead in Canada! This summer our youth will
conduct a cruise together we hope with BSA Sea Scouts, from Buffalo, New
York State, across Lake Erie, through the Welland Canal, and then on to
Toronto and return. For our Youth this is a major undertaking as all the
conception, planning and execution must come from them. They are cometing
in an award competition. Their dream, their reward. and this I guess sums
up the message, YOUTH. In your hands you literally hold their future, it is
to them and their families that you are accountable. Discrimination is a
concept in the heart of those who practice it and those who WANT to find
1st Southern Niagara
(These sentiments are the expression only of the writer not of any