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Where Angels Fear To Tread?

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Most of the people who post here are very passionate about Scouting.

They also really care about the youth they serve.

I don't know how much time they get to spend with these youth members?

I have known Scouts who for them Scouts and Scouting is just one of many activities, something they belong to and have fun doing. If questioned Scouts and Scouting might come after sports but maybe before the Chess Club.

I have also known Scouts who don't do much else other than Scouts and Scouting and it seems that every time you look they are there.

Thinking about the thread about kids and divorced parents got my little gray cells moving.

Over the years in the forum we have talked about a lot of things that a kid or a parent might do. Everything from what kids eat, how much time they spend playing video games, what time is bedtime, how much physical activity they need/get, what soda they should or shouldn't drink.

I can and do see that during the times these kids are with us at camp or where ever, we can have some control over some of this kind of stuff. How it is managed? Can be looked at in another thread.

A lot of good ideas are covered in some of the requirements we use for advancement.

But a lot of the things each of us might think is important isn't.

For example, when OJ was a Cub Scout bedtime was at 2030. I couldn't understand why some parents were happy to allow their son to stay up to the early hours of the morning.

I couldn't understand parents who said that their son only ate cereal and hamburgers.

There was and still is a lot of stuff that parents do or don't do with their kids which is just beyond me.

I just don't get it or understand it.

But I do understand that at the end of the day these kids belong to these parents.

So while the Lad is at camp we might eat a wonderful heart healthy diet and not wash it down with glass after glass of Jolt. We might say a prayer of thanks before each meal and do all that kind of nice and good stuff.

The truth is that at the end of the camp or the camp out the Lad will return to the way things are done at his home.

What happens in his home, maybe isn't the way we do things in my home? But no matter how not right I might think these things might seem to me, I know that I can't prevent these things.

I can show and have the Lad make wonderful tofu oat burgers (Yuck!) But when he gets home if the fridge is empty and Dad is calling for a pizza with extra cheese and a couple of bottles of Jolt. Then that's whats on the menu at this Lads home.

I can look down my nose at it and think what I like.

At the end of the day. I'm only going to see this Lad one weekend a month and for maybe a couple of hours a week.

I'm not sure how far we (Scouter's) should go or try to go to change things?


(Got to buy a new key-board this one is playing up!)




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I'm feeling "philosophical" this morning (a good $5 word my mom used to say).


Good thing about Scouting, Scout leaders don't have to make change happen, just lay the logs and show someone how to light the fire.


Sometimes the fire starts right away and burns bright, and sometimes all you get is embers, and just as often as not it can't be made to burn.


I'd say it's reasonable to say many will never know how long that bright fire burns, or if that ember ever caught fire or the unlit fire stayed out.


Best recommendation is to enjoy the warmth of the fires you helped create and keep your matches dry.






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People are different and families are different. I hope I don't look down my nose at what other families do.


Most parents are doing there best. Sometimes that may not be very good. People are often good in some areas of life and have weaknesses in others.


In my view, Scouting isn't just a program for youth --- it's a program for parents and families as well. Through our programs we can show some parents alternative ways of living their lives and managing their family life. Parents who see groups of young people getting through a weekend of activities without hollering, screaming and fighting may start thinking about how that is achieved.


And parents who attend Scout Meetings and outing wind up practicing those skills, since hollering and shouting at Scouts is not the methods encouraged to be used during outings.



Personally, it's rare that I aim to judge parents and families. But I think Scouting often has an impact on parents and families.

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"it's a program for parents and families as well. Through our programs we can show some parents alternative ways of living their lives and managing their family life. "


With all the respect in the world, I don't agree.

I have seen kids change, in part because of Scouts and their involvement in Scouting.

I think we all hope that the kids we serve today will in time take the good stuff that they have received and put it to good use. In time? That might be tomorrow or when they become parents. Most of the time we don't know what bits have stuck.

I have have on very rare occasions (3 times in over 30 years.) Had a unhappy parent come to me and ask for help with something to do with their son. Saying something like "Your the only one he will listen to." When I was faced with that, I tried to work with the Lad to change,I didn't try and change the family.

I of course have had more than my fair share of Scouts who come from homes where things are not good. Where parents have real problems. In these cases the most I have been able to do is be there for the Scout offering my help and support.

I'm not silly enough to think that I'm going to fix what's wrong at home.


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"I'm not sure how far we (Scouter's) should go or try to go to change things?"


Well...maybe it's not so much that we change thing as it is that we lay out several options for them to choose from.

Ever notice a kid that is a total brat with a parent, but shapes up when grandparents show up?


Mom and dad may allow certain behaviors, but the kids know that the grandparents won't stand for it. The result is, the kids alter their attitude and behavior around trhe grandparents.


Of course, it goes both ways: some g-parents spoil kids senseless.


I see kids who will ignore a parent until the parent almost whacks them with a 2X4 to get their attention, but at school, church , or elsewhere..that kid is rapt and closely listening.


So again, we may not change them, but we are laying out many options and teaching them certain expectations for later in life.


Kinda like tha child who can't fix a PB&J sandwhich or find the dirty clothes hamper while living at home, but learns to be a

pretty good chef and great luandry person when he moves out.


We teach and show them options.


After that, it's up to them!

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