It is amazing how themes run together and I think I have said it before on the blog about how a subject seems to maintain a solid thread in life for a time. This week it seems that the subject of what we expect of our youth in so far as work ethic, values, and skills has taken up much of the conversation I have had electronically and with some friends.
Yesterday I received an email from a reader that challenged the idea that Scouts are not allowed to use liquid fuel, like white gas etc. He made mention of my recent videos and said that I was irresponsible for encouraging our Scouts to use equipment that is “proven to be dangerous”.
So let me get that out-of-the-way first. “Proven to be dangerous”… By who?
Reader, do you honestly think that REI and other fine outfitters would have the MSR Whisperlite, the Dragon Fly, the Soto Muka, and the Trangia stoves on their shelves if they were “Proven to be dangerous”? Do you think for a minute that the Tooth of Time traders at Philmont SCOUT Ranch would sell the Whisperlite and Simmer light stoves as well as make available at the commissary Coleman White Gas. And finally Reader… Do you own a Guide to Safe Scouting and have looked up the policy found in the Chemical Fuels and Equipment Document published by the Boy Scouts of America?
It seems that our Reader, based on his email, does not feel that Scouts are “Responsible” enough to handle liquid fuels. He also feels that I act irresponsibly by taking the Scouts camping in the winter. “I find it hard to believe you would risk injury of your Scouts in camping in temperatures below freezing.” he wrote.
Now, I really don’t want to offend any good Den Leaders out there, but this guy obviously has not moved on the Boy Scouts yet even though he signed his email “Scoutmaster”.
I am not going to address all of the “issues” he has with me and as he called it “My brand of Scouting”, but I do want to discuss this as a matter of course in the conversation of week regarding our youth.
I know exactly where this “Reader” is coming from. He is of the class that believes that our young men (boys) are not capable of doing anything other than sitting in front of a TV watching Barney.
He is so afraid to let boys be boys that he is killing our young mens ability to function as men. I am sure that knives are not allowed in his Troop and that the Mom’s do all the cooking. He is of the mind-set that does not allow Scouts to build a signal tower and climb it. Him and his fellow non believers in youngsters are the ones that keep a good and sturdy rope bring 18 inches off the ground and find the need to “spot” someone who is literally inches from doom.
He is the reason that Scouts are not supposed to camp with their patrols.. ohhhh… hear that sound.. that’s Green Bar Bill rolling in his grave. This reader is why we have Eagle Scouts that can’t tie Clove hitches and max the minimum when it comes to everything in Scouting.
They don’t believe that a Scout is able to do anything that he and his buddies set their minds to. He has no sense of adventure and won’t let a young man push himself. He is the reason that we expect less from our youth and as a result get less.
As you may be able to tell… this really chaps my butt.
Our young men can do anything. They can use an ax, they can climb mountains, they can swim in open water, they can hike miles and miles and still have energy to sing and joke. They can ride horses and slide down a zip line. They can build fires and sleep under the stars. They can ride their bike for a 100 miles and camp along the way. They can scuba dive in the Florida Keys and canoe the Boundry waters.
But this guy won’t let them. Why? Because he does not believe in the power of a boy!
He Expects less and he gets less because he does not believe in them.
Expect more… get more!
Train ‘em, Trust ‘em, and Let ‘em lead!
Have a Great Scouting Day!