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SeattlePioneer

Obese Scouters

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We should be acutely aware of the vitamin needs of our body, especially with vitamins A-N and fish oil. If you haven't purchased at least $50.00 per month of the correct vitamins, then you might not live to be old enough to age into a prune and wilt in the corner of a rest home that smells of urine. Also be aware of getting eight hours of sleep per night and a balanced diet. It's these kinds of tips that one day could allow you to be wheeled into the sun while someone quips, "He is having a good day." It will also allow one to look "natural" during an open casket service.

 

Just in case someone thinks, "he is against good health", think again. It is the other benefits that I am concerned about.

 

 

FB

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Sheesh FuzzyBear, your graphic description sure destroyed all my fantasies about old age. I was certain that what I saw on "Coccoon" was real and I was really looking forward to it. ;)

 

SeattlePioneer, what can I say, you're right.

 

And Hunt, about that nagging spouse thing. I've noticed something along those lines as well. A couple of years ago, I called my wife from the emergency room after an emergency EKG. Her first words were, "So are you going to die or what?" Now I wake up in the middle of the night and tell her with a muffled voice, 'really, I don't need another pillow..'

I get similar interactions from most women, come to think of it. My secretary frequently tells me to kiss her xxx...and then she won't let me.

 

So that image, Sturgen, of an angry cub mom coming after me, is almost a natural state. And my thought is, why run? :)

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Sturgeon posts that if obese Scouters were kicked out, half the volunteers would be gone.

 

Firstly, I hope that is an exageration of the facts.

 

Secondly, I don't see that anyone has proposed to kick anyone out.

 

My basic idea would be to use the methods of Scouting to encourage and help motivate and support Scouters to keep themselves "physically strong" and "morally straight" (avoiding sloth and gluttony, perhaps).

 

Personally, I wouldn't be any more eager to kick Scouters out than I would Scouts. But there are things we can do to encourage Scouters to obey the Scout law, and to avoid rationalizations with which we are prone to letting ourselves off the hook.

 

My own experience is that the methods of Scouting work with Scouters just as they do with Scouts. How can the methods be used to address these kinds of problems?

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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Seattle Pioneer,

While no one directly stated that obese Scout Leaders ought to be removed from Scouts, you do ask for suitable ways of dealing with obese leaders. From this it may be inferred that you feel that they must be dealt with in some way, shape or form. An abbreviated list would include reprimand, letting it go, and removing them from program. Personally I believe that telling a volunteer that they are to fat and setting a poor example for youth is not only in poor taste, but just down right idiocy, and is only going to result in these leaders walking away from the program, and taking their sons with them.

 

Having lived on both sides of the great state of Washington, and having been active in councils in both Spokane and Seattle I am well aware that many individuals are far thinner on the west side of the state, you guys dont have to bulk up for winter. While I can not speak to the fitness of every adult leader out there, I can state that based on my observations of leaders over 15+ years of scouting a sizable majority (please forgive the pun) of leaders in the Inland Northwest would be considered over weight or obese.

 

The conflict lies in the definition of obese. Many people falsely directly link weight and fitness, presuming that because someone is skinny, that they are fit. (Hunt, my comment early is based off of an ABC newscast about a month ago.) The current western view of a healthy weight is incredibly skewed from reality. As far as I am concerned, if an adult can keep up with the boys, or at least stay close enough as to not slow the boys down, who the heck cares about their weight, or how they look. My troop never does any car camping, so for the most part those dads who go camping are, by my definition, of a reasonable level of fitness, although some would consider them unfit due to their weight/measurements.

 

Furthermore you seem to be completely dismissing the usefulness of a leader if they are obese. While scouting does offer an excellent outdoor program, there are several other important facets that a leader can contribute to regardless of their weight or fitness level.

 

<

 

P.S. While I am well aware of the correct spelling of the fish that is my namesake, the name is Sturgen, preferably written in all caps, with the R, G, and N written backwards/mirrored.

 

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This thread reminds me of brief visits to Sam Houston council events in Houston, Americas fattest city. The Council and unit people were massive, some to an unhealthy extent.

I think scouting can make you fat. Serious scouters do not allow time for exercise or proper meals, they spend too much time in the Chevy Suburban at the fast food window, on the way to some scout event! You need balance, folks. Be selfish sometimes, take care of yourself, avoid junk food, don't over commit.

Stay home and make a salad. Go for a jog. Give up soft drinks. Don't let scouting and other volunteer stuff ruin your health.

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JohnD, I hope that brief visit to Houston was really important, traveling from Doha. Talk about dedication! That has to be some kind of record! I AM impressed. ;)

 

I don't have the statistics in hand but I think I read that SC is the fattest state (or at least near the top, along with illiteracy, domestic violence, STDs, and a few other similar things). I doubt that SC can blame BSA for all that adipose tissue. Probably need to study the other items though. ;)

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I'd like to throw in a quick two cents...

My first (and by far the best of the 3 I've been under) scoutmaster was... shall we say well rounded and pretty round himself. In spite of, and sometimes because of his extra mass, (not too much but certainly noticeable) he could still keep up with (and sometiems out do) a bunch of the retired military folks, (backpacking is the example that comes to mind). He was certainly a man I could respect, and want to be like (and by this I mean, his character)

In my experience of 6-7 summers working at a scout camp, i've actually noticed a bit of a trend. A large number of the REALLY good scoutmasters (the boys love him, and he is the definition of patience, leadership and a lot of other scoutly qualities) have been what you might call overweight (often with the extra feature of a big long grey beard :-D). Whenever we (the staff) see one of those scoutmasters comming, the (positive) stereotype makes up lean toward enjoying that troop's stay at camp more. I love big fat, grey bearded scoutmasters (though my first one had infact a red curly mustache) ;-D

-Curtis

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the question becomes at what point do we as Adult leaders stop leading by example and it is exceptable? We are supposed to live by the scout law and oath if we expect our scouts to do so. Of course, physically strong does not have to mean olympic athlete.

 

What becomes acceptable violations of leading by example? Obesity? Smoking? Drinking? irresponsibility? Disorderly?

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Obesity is a complex disease consisting of endocrine (hormonal), metabolic, mental (stress), and genetic factors. Those components are all intertwined and interdependent. Unlike smokers and alcoholics, we cannot choose to quit buying food. If it were that easy, more of us would be successful. If we quit food "cold turkey", we will die. Exercise and dieting to lose weight is usually a temporary fix...the body resists the efforts and when we let up just a little, the weight comes back, and the body adds more, just in case I decide to try again. This is still one of the least understood disease processes.

 

So my question is this...what other "weaknesses" will we decide set a "bad example" for our youth? Diabetes? Asthma? Cancer? Just tell me where the line is. If I'm on the wrong side, I'll resign and let someone stronger take over. Let me know when you find them.

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Well I am Mr. 3X (formerly Mr. 4X). The reason for my change was because I became a role model in the troop.

 

There is no good way to approach this topic. You can't tell the adult to so eat away from the boys, like you can tell a smoker. You can't ban food fom outings. like you can alcohol.

 

You can help us and set an example for the boys by having good healthy, reasonably portioned meals on outings.

 

This is a very difficult topic, the character of our adult volunteers. National sets the baseline by eliminating homosexuals and atheists because they don't show the characteristics that Scouting upholds. Maybe there's a committe on obesity already hard at work.

 

I'm sure that we won't get the ACLU to defend us if we get kicked out. :-)

 

But most importantly, I think we need to remember that of the three, morally straight, mentally awake and physically strong. the physically strong, particularly obesity, is the hardest to hide. The boys know who's fat and who's fit. They can tell the difference between a mule (AKA Sturgen) and a whale. They won't look to the latter as role models in fitness. But if you give us up, you will probalby be giving up excellent models in other areas of life.

 

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flashback to the late 60's or early 70's when Boy's Life's PeeWee Harris was asked to do the publicity for his local district or dinner....

 

 

PeeWee's caption for a group photo of routund adult scouters....

 

 

"Scouting rounds a guy out!"

 

g'night!

 

Bob

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My WB CC's name was Jack. He was overweight. He had his stomach stapled and lost 100 pounds. Somehow the staples pulled or his stomach stretched or both and he gained it all back. His habits of Scouting and eating defeated his efforts at losing weight. I knew that he struggled with his weight but his love for Scouting, his insights and depth of knowledge is what I admired and still do.

 

Jack's character was well developed and that is what showed. I am concerned for him but I have benefited from his time in the program. I would be much the less without Jack. He is and remains an excellent example for Scouts and adults. I raise my glass of sparkling water to him. Thanks, Jack!

 

FB

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To those who equate being overweight with not being physically strong...it does not say physically fit, it says strong.

 

I fit into the technically obese category. If I were an NFL athlete, I would be about right for my height! I am about the same size as a Strong Safety.

 

Rather than getting obsessed with the size of others, how about we all Do Our Best to do what works best for us.

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Here are some suggestions: 1) Counsel all the merit badges that involve exercise, like cycling and swimming. As SM I even joined the Lifesaving MB session as a student because it was interesting and good exercise. 2) Avoid the drive thru lane. If you are too busy with scouts and other stuff to eat a proper meal, let some stuff slide. 3) Look at the parents. If they take time for tennis or golf after work, what are you doing discussing the welfare of their darn kids at some silly meeting? You should be out on the links breathing fresh air.

4) Plan a high adventure trip and train for it. We are going to climb Mt Kenya in Africa ( 5000 meters) next year and have a rule that only people that can run a 9 minute mile can come. At meetings before the trip we run a mile just after opening. Fat kids, adults, everyone. 5) If you have a kid in scouts, do the active MBs with him. 6) Avoid the cluster of chubby parents at camp who poke the fire all day cooking chili or fried potatoes or such.

Just some ideas from a 50 yr old who struggles with a bit of extra weight.

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Hi all,

Do you remember that song/skit "I love to be a Boy scout" there's one (of many) verse that goes...

 

I love to be a Boy Scout, there's nothing I'd rather be, but if I weren't a Boy Scout... A scoutmaster I would be... "Do this, Do that, boy I hope I'm not to fat..."

 

I don't mean to be rude, or cruel here, but I do think that it's a sign that boys don't think about these kind of things as deeply as we old folks do (being 21, I'm gonna try comming at this from both sides- youth and adult - so bare with me) :-D.

My fat scoutmaster didn't claim to be the best example of physical fitness, nor did ANYONE expect him to be. None of us got an unspoken message from him saying 'it's okay to be fat, it's ok to not be physically fit'. He was (and is still) an awesome man that I admire greatly and he was the best example in the entire troop of MANY other virtues.

None of us is perfect. Some adults may accidently let certain 4 letter words slip in front of the scouts, is that so much different than an obese adult? it's still unintentionally brocasting a message countrary to the sought after virtues...

but I think my point is, the boys do understand what's right, wrong, heathly and harmful. If they're in the boy scouts chances are they know what falls in those categories. I might not have heard "stay fit" from my obese scoutmaster, but believe me, I heard it plenty of other places. If an adult isn't the best example in one area, but he's still as caring, scoutly, and upright as all the other adults, then I'm sure the boys can understand the idea of someone not having all of their act together.

I think we're forgetting to give the boys credit in thinking thru these things themselves (dare I say, maybe they actually could have a bit of grace and understanding in such matters) :-D

The guys from my troop all turned out more than alright, physically and in most every other aspect of life, I'm sure my scoutmaster had a huge hand in it (all of it!!!), and I wouldn't have had it any other way :-D

My point here is, perhaps we're majoring on the minors... perhaps we're putting too much stock in things that don't matter in the long run... I mean I don't want bad examples around any of the youth I work with, but if they are there (and not intending harm by their example) and the boys know how things should be (perhaps even if they're the rebels, they still know... :-D), then the boys still get the point. Isn't that a lesson we learn really early in life? A bad example (espeically a well meaning one) can be much more intructive than a good.

 

have a wonderful day of rest folks,g'night ;-D

Curtis :-D

Rmns 12:1-2

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