Seascout-Net Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Forwarded: Recruiting Proposal
Re: Forwarded: Recruiting Proposal
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 13:19:09 -0500
I think Skipper Austin's point, and, if I am interpreting it correctly, I agree
with his distinction, is that there is a difference between National *allowing*
ships to accept members at the age of 12 or 13, and actually *lowering* the
established age of Sea Scouting.
It seems as though many respondents already accept members younger than 14 on
at least a "trial" basis. Most of them also indicate that they make the choice
based on the maturity of the individual, and do so as an exception to the
established rules. If a 13 year old wishes to join, and the Skipper feels that
he or she is not mature enough for the program, it's not an issue, since the
requirements for membership state that you must be 14 to join.
If, however, National lowers the acceptable membership age across the board to
13 or even 12, then a Skipper (or ship) loses the much of the autonomy required
to determine if a youth is mature enough to join. It becomes the ship's
responsibility to specify age limits on activities such as long cruises or
overnight events, and failure to enforce those limits consistently opens up
serious questions of discrimination.
While we are all now "traditional" ships, our implementation of that tradition
still varies in a valuable and significant way. Whatever policy National
implements on this issue should reflect, at least for a transitional period,
the ability of ships to determine whether the influx of younger members is of
value or detriment to their specific programs.
Skipper, Ship 12, Newport
Hibbitt, Karlsson, & Sorensen, Inc.
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