The Sports/Scouts balance

Tis the season, Football season, Basketball season, wrestling season, baseball…. you get the point…  Our Scouts are busier than ever it seems these days and involved in many activities.  We need to help parents and Scouts strike a good and fair balance between Scouts and Sports, Scouts and Homework, Scouts and other things that seem to pop up in life.
Last night we reviewed all the paper work required to recharter.  Those of you that are familiar with this process understand.  We reviewed our current roster and looked at Scouts that we are now forced to drop from the roles.  I say forced because the Scout and his parents are not willing to go any further, now that can be for many reasons, but in the phone calls that we made to find out what the families intent was we found that Sports seemed to be the number one excuse.
So we need to find a good balance.  I am glad to see these young men participate in sports, after all a Scout is physically fit.. right?  I love sports and believe that sports offers young men great opportunities.  But I love Scouts too and know that Scouts opens up the world to our young men.  So strike a balance.
I talked to a Scoutmaster at Round table recently about this issue.  His attitude was that its either Sports of Scouts and that if a Scout wants to do both its on them.  I asked about a Scout doing both and coming to meetings in their sports uniform, many of my Scouts do this.  “Absolutely NOT!” was his reply.  I say Hogwash… I allow our Scouts to show up in their practice gear, uniforms, or plain clothes if that it what it takes to keep them coming.  I know who plays sports and who doesn’t, and it really is not that big a deal.  Do I want them in full Scout uniform, yes, but I also know that if they are coming straight from practice to Scouts they may not have time to change.  My own two sons play Sports.  Football, Track, and Wrestling.  And they have on occasion wore their sports uniforms or practice gear to Scout meetings, its better than not being there.
Camp outs pose another issue.  To go and miss a sporting event, or to miss the camp out and attend the event.  That too is a balance issue.  The way I see it, we camp 11 times a year, about 32 nights a year.  There are plenty of opportunities to go camping with the Troop.  Football season is about 10 Friday nights, typically effects  two or three camp outs.
The bottom line.  There can be both as long as the unit and the parents communicate that there can be both.  Does this add “just one more thing” to the already busy schedule.. sure it does, but its worth it to stay in Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. I agree with your outlook on a happy balance. I only wish that the coaches shared that outlook. Unfortunately its more often the case – be at every practice/match or expect to sit the bench during the whole season… Trying to use this as a life lesson for my son about the consequences of choices. Scouts will always be there for him when sports is over but it's tough when coaches force the 1 or the other issue.


  2. Ok. They take their sporting duds to school or leave them in the car during school and put them on after school to go to practice. Why can't they drop their uniform into a bag on meeting days and bring it with them and change at the meeting? My guys do that. Everyone is uniformed all the time. It's usually not a problem.I find that most guys having a problem with the uniform are right on the edge of moving on anyway. Usually.Our adult leaders are always fully uniformed and the Troop leaders are always fully uniformed. I give them and their parents the suggestion from above the first time they show up without a uniform, and there's usually no problem after that.


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