Seascout-Net Mail Archive for February of 1999: age limits.
CDR John R. Erickson USCG
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 10:07:31 -0600
Great discussion! Let me inject a comment. I had a young man in my
ship who remained a member throughout his 4 years at the Coast Guard
Academy. He would return each leave period and during his 2nd and 1st
class years took sea scouts out for sailing lessons. No 2 or 3 in his
class and cadet officer in charge of an Academy yawl, which he was
allowed to take (with Federal Government blessing) as "The" officer in
charge for weekend trips. He supervised underclassmen for the weekend.
I found it hard to find him an irresponsible youth regardless of
policy. I also found that the younger scouts, especially 13/14, looked
up to him as some god who had already reached some pinnacle of
educational success. With a little luck they too might attain this
level, if they ever live to be that old. The use of older youth to teach
the younger ones the fundamentals has turned out, for me, to be a
fantastic way to keep up interest throughout the entire age range of 13
to 21. Nothing new here, right? To cover as they say, I would insist
that he take a parent as the "Safety Watch" but usually this person,
like most of the parents of my youth , have NO sailing/boating
experience. That's why their kids are in the program to begin with.
They are learning too, which is another facet to this confusing jewel.
So is this an age/maturity/leadership/acceptance problem?
With preliminary apologies to all Sea Scout herding insurance salesmen,
the real problem is we are caught between insurance requirements, common
sense and protecting our backsides. As leaders with some credibility I
assume we all have some common sense but then (ass-u-me) correct?
Insurance companies are in business to make money not spend it. They
make up the rules and everyone, including National, must follow them or
risk the wrath of penniless judicial criticism. One who blindly follows
the rules is usually quite safe, the rest of us must continually consult
the latest books on "Risk Management" to sleep at night. Some, depending
on experience, sleep better than others.
Protecting BSA is a major concern to me and that's why some rules cannot
be broken and I respect that necessity of life. The "bending" of rules
to fit a specific situation, is an act of, hopefully, "Intelligent
discretion" but does BSA buy "Intelligent Discretion" in its leaders?
Perhaps I think not.
J.R.Erickson, Skipper Ship1, Slidell LA
PS.... Jennifer, where is Blake?? Blake consider yourself "GIGED" as I
don't believe I have read any comments from your melodious keyboard.
Chris, you just made the deadline. Thanks.
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