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SeattlePioneer

Obese Scouters

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ScoutNerd, I really don't want to bare with you. I will, however, bear with you. :)

 

I really hope no one is advocating that an obese scouter is a person that cannot be a good positive influence for the scouts. I certainly wouldn't want to condone that.

 

What bothers me though, and I see it a lot, as I'm sure many of you do too, is people that are obese (or whatever) through their own vices. I think this is a really big problem with our society and as such is in scouting in the US too. There are a lot of fat families out there. Mother, Father, and children. I imagine that nine times out of ten (or more) that it is a diet/lifestyle issue with the family, not a physical one. It is also a cultural thing. We like large helpings and the restaurants are happy to give them to us. Order a meatloaf sandwich at Claimjumper, it will have a slab of meatloaf two to three inches thick! That combined with the general weakness of people to avoid temptation and a fat society is bound to follow.

 

I've gone to a lot of different Scout training that involved cooking food. So many of the Scouters leading the food preparation part can barely move due to their weight and they cook up these ultra greasy and fat ridden dutch oven recipes. There's always some comment about how "normal" rules for diet don't come into play when a dutch oven is involved. This is a travesty and I think it is really sad. Personally I would love to learn how to better use a dutch oven but I'm not going to cook up recipes that call for a slab of bacon to be cooked and everything else thrown in and no grease drained. I know there are lots of other tasty and healthy recipes out there. I sure wish they would be part of the training sessions. :)

 

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Very good points.

 

I have a certain bias towards believing that you CAN get awway with poor dietary habits when you are young, that the real weight gain problems don't tend to arise for additional decades. But that's not really true, and the habits we establish as young people tend to benefit or plague us in later years.

 

Another problem is that one of the attractions of Scouting is for boys to learn to cook and to cook the foods they want to eat. I suppose adult leaders have a measure of influence on such things, but probably not a lot.

 

With that likely limitation in mind, how DO you exert that influence and how much influence should adult leaders try to use?

 

Adults do have control over meals for our own "Grump" or "Old Goat" patrols. What menue reforms would you suggest for breakfast, luch and dinner, and would you aim to sell those as explicitly "healthy" options?

 

I just sat in on a Cub Pack Committee meeting planning a pack overnight. The talk there was for foil dinners for the Scouts to make, and lasagna and the usual American diet for adults on pretty much all you can eat buffet style.

 

Breakfast is pancakes, ham, syrup, hot cocoa and coffee.

 

Not too much reform there! Is it worth it to try reforming diet at such an event aimed at families?

 

The menue we have planned for the adult patrol at Camporee next weekend is traditional, high calorie food.

 

One problem I see is that my experience in Weight Watchers is that diet choices need to be very carefully made by individuals to find things that will satisfy the appetite and still be low in calories. That tends to be a long struggle of experimentation, not something that is easily imposed on a one shot basis.

 

And I'm not especially interested in trying to impose such things on either Scouts or Scouters. It has to be a long term lifestyle choice if it's to do any good. Is it worthwhile to offer breakfast of a serving of oatmeal, banana and Sweet'n Low for breakfast? Having had that for breakfast, would you risk following that up with a salad with tuna for lunch and soup, baked chicken breast and salad for dinner?

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

 

 

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To add just a bit on my previous point, in thinking about eating healty on campouts.

There are two ways you can think about this...

1. we (the adults) must lead by example in our eating habits infront of the scouts

or

2. the campout is just a weekend get away with the purpose of getting out of the ruts of the real world. (after all, 2.5 days worth of meals every once in a while doesn't really effect the habits instilled by parents in their kids does it? I don't think it ever did for me, and we had some REALLY strange and no doubt unhealthy concoctions :-D, My eating habits today are in the realm of what most would call healthy, inspite of the weekend-long dietary adventures as a boy.)

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I have been doing these for over two years now.

 

A slab of turkey bacon/meat instead of pig bacon and/or cow meat. The meat is good but with spices, it is even better.

 

Cutting out carbonated sugar drinks by drinking Tonic water.

 

Cutting down on chocolate and candy by eating more nuts and fruits. I usually have an apple and an orange. (*They are different from each other:)

 

Eating more oatmeal instead of eggs. Dried oatmeal, raisins and walnuts is a good backpacking breakfast.

 

Drinking 8 ounces of cold water 4 times per day. The recommended amount is twice that but just start.

 

I have quit drinking real coffee and now drink instant decaf. This one took me about two years to quit. I drink one cup a day so on campouts it is lighter to carry.

 

I moved my office to the far end of the hallway and I walk back and forth to my assistant's office and the file cabinet.

 

I park across the street and walk over to my work.

 

I have a power mower that I only push.

 

I purchased four acres of almost unusable land and I have been building check dams and cleaning it up over the past year. I spend about four to eight hours per week working it.

 

I have heard from reliable sources that diets don't work as well as changing your lifestyle. I enjoy these "new" things but I know that efficiency has caused me some problems in the past.

 

I am doing some other things and I am open to other suggestions.

 

FB

 

 

FB

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Fuzzy Bear, I had to stop and think about your list. I used to kid parents that their boys should join our cub scout pack because we let them do illicit things like eating bacon.

But seriously, I agree with a lot of those things (aside from that bacon restriction, Rooster is probably right, I'm agoin' to a warmer clime someday).;)

I got back into eating oatmeal (porridge, as they called it) in Russia and still love it.

Never even tasted coffee until a couple of years ago but now I just gobble a tablespoon of instant and wash it down with a gulp of seltzer. Unless, of course, I'm up for an actual enjoyable experience in which case we're talkin' the French press (I suppose that would be 'freedom press' for all the anti-French troglodytes).:)

I also drink seltzer with an orange juice flavoring. Tonic water only works with Tanqueray. Mosquitos don't bother me anyway so malaria isn't much of an issue, I guess I'm too mean (or else it's that awful instant coffee).

Push mower only also (mine doesn't even have an engine, it's one of those old reel types), and my back yard is like a mountainside.

But I just can't shake the bacon thing. I know it's like mainlining cholesterol but that monkey is squarely on my back and I love it...there's a warmer clime a'comin'.

 

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SWScouter,

 

I understand what you are saying about dutch oven recipes. Very often the cooking demos or competitions are just that, demos and competitions and peole are going for flavor rather than healthy fare. That being said, a dutch oven is just that, an oven. Just about anything you can do with your oven at home, you can do in a dutch oven. Contrary to popular belief, all dutch oven recipes do not require a slab of bacon! :) Stews cook well in a dutch oven. You can use lean beef or chicken. Potatoes and corn for starchy veggies and things like onion, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, celery, tomatoes, etc. for the healthy stuff. You get a complete balanced meal in one pot. Bran muffins can be cooked just as easily as that calorie laden cobbler. If you want to use your dutch oven more, just adapt any healthy recipes you have at home and leave the lard can at home. BUT, cook a little bacon as a reward from time to time to keep it seasoned properly.

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Please God do not make me so narrow minded that I judge a persons ability to be a good leader by his or hers appearance. I am 58, have worked as an adult in scouting (both BSA and GSA)for close to 40 years. Never did I consider what a scout or scouter weighed into their ability to be a good scout.

In a society where we put so much pressure on kids to "be thin" that we have kids sticking their fingers down their throats to be "thin" I think we worry about weight to much.

 

I am by all standards overweight. My blood pressure is great, I hike, swim, canoe. I eat healthy. I can keep up with most of the boys in my troop. I also work hard in a very physically demanding job.

Do I set a good examply of a leader for my boys, I hope so. But the quality of my leadership has little to do with the size of the pants I wear. It had much more with the size of my desire to give and the size of my spirt to teach boys to be good leaders.

 

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This is how you "deal with an obese scouter" you walk right up to them and give them a big fluffy hug for being a volunteer. I am 1 of those people and was this way when another scouter approched me to fill a position. Since then I have had and still have several positions... with 2 packs, a troup, OA and the district. Sure I may take up more space in the van or at a table, but the space I fill is a lot bigger than me!!! As far as my scouts they like my big fluffy hugs. And besides, I thought we are suppose to stop hazing

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moreningduv, welcome to the forums. Could you explain just what a fluffy hug is? I have this image of 'Big Bird' giving a hug and I'm fairly sure that's wrong.

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I continue to think that a Scouter who is overweight and/or out of shape (like me) fails to set the best possible example for Scouts IN THAT LIMITED RESPECT. After all, I too am a wonderful person in almost every way, and I don't want to be judged just on my appearance, and Scouting should be grateful to have me as a volunteer, etc., etc., etc. Still IN THE LIMITED RESPECT of fitness, I know that I can set a better example than I am doing.

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Twenty-odd years ago, when I was a Scoutmaster, the district had a DE who must have weighed in at more than 400 pounds. He had a huge wasteline, although I never recall him huffing and puffing to get around. I heard comments and stories that the council ragged on him big time to lose weight in order to improve his image to boys.

 

Was the council wrong to do that, supposing it was true?

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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Seattlepioneer,first,you have offended me greatly!

The only perfect person I heard of was Jesus Christ. He was a hippie.? Are you going to judge him next?

I am 5'11" & 300 pounds of pure scout. I have 6 kids. All who I have raised not to judge a person on the outside,but what they give from the inside!!

I am a Tiger cub leader, ASM & Unit Commissioner. No,I'm not in front of the buffet. I also work 12-16 hours a day.

I am also an alcoholic(sober 4 years now) Are you going after that,next. When people judge me for my weight,& not of my character,

I just feel sorry for them.

I AM JUST AS GOOD AS YOU!! But I understand people & kids a bit better,I think,because my blood is just as red as yours.

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Seattlepioneer,first,you have offended me greatly!

The only perfect person I heard of was Jesus Christ. He was a hippie.? Are you going to judge him next?

I am 5'11" & 300 pounds of pure scout. I have 6 kids. All who I have raised not to judge a person on the outside,but what they give from the inside!!

I am a Tiger cub leader, ASM & Unit Commissioner. No,I'm not in front of the buffet. I also work 12-16 hours a day.

I am also an alcoholic(sober 4 years now) Are you going after that,next. When people judge me for my weight,& not of my character,

I just feel sorry for them.

I AM JUST AS GOOD AS YOU!! But I understand people & kids a bit better,I think,because my blood is just as red as yours.

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Kudos to you, Seattle, for bringing this up, it's not an easy topic. Seems to me many volunteers tend to suffer from "self neglect". My wife gained 20 lbs and ran up a huge cell phone bill when she served as Committee chair, too busy to eat well, exercise etc. Years later she still hauls around the 20 lbs. People who serve others need to look after themselves.

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I have to agree with Hunt." continue to think that a Scouter who is overweight and/or out of shape (like me) fails to set the best possible example for Scouts IN THAT LIMITED RESPECT. After all, I too am a wonderful person in almost every way, and I don't want to be judged just on my appearance, and Scouting should be grateful to have me as a volunteer, etc., etc., etc. Still IN THE LIMITED RESPECT of fitness, I know that I can set a better example than I am doing."

 

I don't think that Seattle Pioneer's question is an invalid one, not do I think that he means to offend.

 

One of the things we need to know as Scouts or Scouters is what it is to have a true friend. Somewhere along the line, Nutz, you came to realize that you needed to sober up. (By the way congratualtions.) I'm also going to guess that you didn't do it alone. Whether it was the support of your wife, a friend, your pastor, a sponsor and a program, or the work of God, you didn't do it alone. (By the way congratulations on four years.)

 

Seattle Pioneer you asked two questions. #2 was What are the responsibilities of obese Scouters?

 

A Scouter's responsiblity is to do their best. There best for God and country, their best for others, and their best for themselves. I will tell you that for most of the overweight scouters, they probably feel like they are doing their best to keep themselves fit. Even if you don't think they are, how can you know?

 

The first was What are suitable ways of dealing with Scouters who are obese and a poor example for Scouts because of that?

 

So here is the suitable way to deal with a Scouter who is overweight.

 

1. Become their friend, really their friend. Not becasue you want to change, them but because they are someone of worth and value even if they never lose another pound.

THEN...

2. Give them access into your weaknesses and failings, and ask them to help.

THEN...

3. Be brave enough to tell them your concern for their health and their example to the boys in that area, and when they are ready to change, be there for them. That may mean going out of your wayto exercise on their schedule. It may mean eating at the restaurant you don't like, but it has a healthy fare. It may mean waiting longer for them to decide to change.

 

If it sounds like work, it is.

If it sounds like it will tke a long time, it will.

If it sounds more like a lifetime commitment, it is.

 

But we didn't become Scouters because we believe in the quick fix. We invest in boys lives over years.

 

By the way, in my years of being overweight hundreds of people have been so kind as to tell me about the diet their cousin went on and lost 20 pounds. Trust me, we all know why we are overweight and how to change. Move more, eat less. It's the challenge of doing it.

 

I have directly asked people who were "worried about my weight" to make time to regularly exercise with me. Noone has ever said "yes" and followed through. They've never even invited me to their regular exercise time.

 

So let me come back to what Hunt said. I know that I'm not the best example of fitness. I need to change that and I'll say to all the rest of you who like me know you're unhealthy, It's time to change, for the Scouts, for our families, for ourselves.

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