By now most of you have read the most recent issue of Scouting Magazine. Bob Mazzuca started off the theme of fitness in his “From The CSE” article on page 8. Then on page 45 there is an article called “Fat Chance”. In the intro of the article it says, ” People who recite the Boy Scout Oath promise to keep themselves ‘physically strong’. That goes for adult leaders, too. It’s time for you and your Scout to get fitter and faster- and avoid missing out on Scouting’s greatest adventures.”
I have talked about height and weight before in this blog and stand behind the BSA’s change in focus to rethink the height and weight requirements and standards of those that participate in Scouting. Does this mean that I am a “Fat basher” NOOOOOO! All I am saying is that I have concerns for some folks that choose to push their bodies beyond it’s capabilities. The BSA is not saying that those that are over weight can not participate either.. the BSA is saying if you do not fit within the guidelines you can not participate “FULLY”. You can not participate in High adventure activities such as Philmont, National Jamboree, or other High Adventure bases.
But here is the bottom line. The BSA cares about its Scouts and its Volunteers. That simple. It cares enough to say.. we want you to be healthy.. after all, we do make that promise.. Right?
What is wrong with that? I have heard arguments stating that “Everyone is different”, “Just because I am heavy does not mean I can’t do something.” And you are absolutely right, but any doctor will tell you that you are putting yourself at a higher risk when you are “Heavier than your body should be.” It is not an issue of weeding out fat people or pushing people away. It is an issue of safety and health.
I love that this issue of Scouting Magazine added suggestions to “Fighting the Flab” and on page 66 even gives you some examples of staying fit, particularly for the trail.
As stated in Bob Mazzuca’s column, “…the U.S. Surgeon Generals office reports that today, 12.3 million children are overweight in the United States- more than 17 percent.” Some one has to step up and say this is not ok.. and so I applaud the Boy Scouts of America for say so. As a mentor of young men, it is my duty to look and act the part. Along with the 12 points of the Scout Law that I try my best to live daily, keeping myself physically strong, mental awake, and morally straight are my responsibility.
Not every Scout unit packs up and hits the trail, but it is through the Boy Scout program that take these young men into our care, get them away from TV and video games, and provide them with the opportunities to be fit, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Mazzuca continues; “Scouting can help reverse unhealthy trends by making sure ‘no child is left inside’. On a weekend outing, a Scout may spend 36 to 48 hours in nature, more than balancing any time spent in front of a screen. the same outing will help keep a Scout active and physically fit, thereby addressing obesity rates.”
Again, I applaud the BSA for taking this stance. We all could use to be more fit and healthy.
Have a Great Scouting Day!