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WisconsinMomma

Fitness Goals for Scouters

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How physically fit should a Scouter be?   How fit should a middle age or old Scouter be? 

I tend to care more about mentally awake than physically strong, but how do you define physically strong? 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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I don't think it requires anything more specific than being physically capable of providing the required adult supervision for the scout activities. Also, you can be a scouter with limited physical abilities as long as there are other scouters who can do what is necessary.

There are different ways to contribute as a scouter.

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I think it depends on the activities your troop does.  If y'all do more longer hikes/backpacking trips then you probably need to be more "physically fit".  You can make it work with any level of fitness but you might not be able to hike as far or do as much as your group intended to.  I agree that your value your mental strength because I have noticed throughout scouting that it starts with how you are mentally.  Do you believe you can hike another mile?  While there is a level of strength required for that, you also have to have the right mindset. 

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I think it matters more what the position the Scouter holds than what are the activities of the troop.   If a Scouter is the advancement chair and really only interfaces with the boys at BORs and COHs - the level of physical activity is not high.  Keep in mind "personal fitness" is what is the priority in Scouts.  Physical fitness is just one component of personal fitness.

Edited by acco40

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Well, I should have reported this after taking the mile hike to my morning coffee shop, but I slept in, and it was more a twenty yard dash to the bus instead.:o

From the school of hard knocks:

  • You don't want to find out on a 14 mile trek that you are only good for 8.
  • You don't want some young aquatics director busting your chops because your rescue sprint is a half-second too slow.

Physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight ... none of them get any easier as you age. But our youth need us to put forth your best effort.

And not just the kids, I've seen a fella turn his health around (ditch the cigarettes start cycling) when he realized he couldn't make the the mile hike into back-country with his kids. He has a disease that required multiple surgeries and time in the hospital, but I think the change in habits gave him the stamina to fight it. His wife is now trying to keep up!

On the other hand I lost one friend and had another nearly drop dead from running. So, yes, there's a balance. And figuring that balance is not trivial.

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Perhaps physically strong in an older scout is more about recognizing one's growing short-comings while still delivering a quality program.  Sometimes you damn the pain and press on, other times you recruit a  more able-bodied scouter.  

My $0.02

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The main problem is too many scouters are overweight.

In the last few months I dropped 40 pounds of weight, I went from 239 to 199 pounds,  I did so just so I can run up the hills with the boys and make back packing a piece of cake. I feel amazing. 

 

"Body-mass index (BMI) data collected from applicants for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree show that 41 percent of the youth were overweight or obese; among the adults, a staggering 77.5 percent were overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. But Scouting is determined to raise the bar by encouraging responsibility."

                                         Scouter Magazine

https://scoutingmagazine.org/2009/09/fat-chance/

 

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I wish I could be more helpful in this thread! But I can say that I am still pretty much in my "prime" (if I ever had one), and I often find myself wondering how I will maintain my energy and vigor working with kids 20 - 30 years from now. It's only by virtue of age and genetics that I am trim and healthy now, but I have to remind myself that as I get older, those aren't guaranteed to last. And even now as a spry 34 year-old, I sometimes get worn out after a particularly rowdy den meeting or a long day outdoors. So for sure, if I am to keep up with the kids over the decades, I will need to be active in my personal health and fitness, and not passive. 

Edited by The Latin Scot

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15 hours ago, acco40 said:

I think it matters more what the position the Scouter holds than what are the activities of the troop.   If a Scouter is the advancement chair and really only interfaces with the boys at BORs and COHs - the level of physical activity is not high.  Keep in mind "personal fitness" is what is the priority in Scouts.  Physical fitness is just one component of personal fitness.

I disagree. As a Scouter, I should take the Oath as seriously now as I did as a Scout (if not more so). If I don’t try to stay physically strong, how can I expect it of the Scouts I’m associating with?

I emphasize try because not all of us are at our preferred level of fitness, myself included. 

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9 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

I wish I could be more helpful in this thread! But I can say that I am still pretty much in my "prime" (if I ever had one), and I often find myself wondering how I will maintain my energy and vigor working with kids 20 - 30 years from now. It's only by virtue of age and genetics that I am trim and healthy now, but I have to remind myself that as I get older, those aren't guaranteed to last. And even now as a spry 34 year-old, I sometimes get worn out after a particularly rowdy den meeting or a long day outdoors. So for sure, if I am to keep up with the kids over the decades, I will need to be active in my personal health and fitness, and not passive. 

Age is definitely is a factor.  Past the half century mark, I have to make a concerted effort to stay in shape.  It ain't easy, but it's worth it.

When I retired from the Air Force, I found that my weekly work out regimen was even more important.  Not only for the physical strength needed to counteract the effects of aging, but also for my own mental well being.  I didn't want to be the washed-up old guy who couldn't participate in the outdoors any more.  That day may come, but I don't want it to be self inflicted through neglect and poor choices.

That's the kicker--the BSA is supposed to be an outdoor organization, but we have many scouters that don't stray far from the flag pole.  Or the mess hall.  Even if their duties don't require a 50 miler or a long portage or the mile swim, the scouts notice our fitness level, or at least the image thereof. 

In a nutshell, I'm trying hard to not become the scouter I used to make fun when I was a kid....

Edited by desertrat77

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One thing we scouters can do is do some of the personal fitness MB stuff as the scouts do it.  Why not give it a shot, doing what you can within your limit.  I think it is important to be fit as telling the scouts "wait for me" is not a good way to be a "LEADer".

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I try to model good behaviour for the scouts.  I am 50+ so it takes more work, but I see it as important to be active and able to do the things the kids want to do.

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