Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This is the part where...

...the weblog author tells you how "blogging has been light lately," for one reason or another.

Aside from the demands of academic and professional life, I've been doing a lot lately with, believe it or not, Scouting.

I've been an adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America since July 2004, after over thirty years out of uniform. I've been engaged in research for my position as a unit commissioner -- essentially a liaison between the "front office" and the individual units. To that end, I've been in frequent correspondence with my peers in other parts of the country, even the world. Most "Scouters" don't go about it quite this way. It just worked out that way for me. Probably because of a frustration with the role of an adult in Scouting.

The boy scout movement was founded in 1907 by a British war hero named General Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Lord of Gilwell. A handbook he penned called "Aids to Scouting," was developed as a reconnaissance manual duing the Boer War. Upon learning of its popularity with young boys seeking outdoor adventure, he re-worked it to his newfound audience, and re-titled it "Scouting for Boys." In August of that year, on an island off the English coast known as Brownsea, he led an experimental training camp for twenty boys of various walks of life. Dividing them into patrols, developing team-building exercises, and teaching various "scoutcraft" skills, the experiment was a success. You know the rest.

In the course of promoting the Scouting movement throughout the world in the early twentieth century, Lord Baden-Powell was fond of saying, "Once a Scout, always a Scout." Those of us who serve as adults believe that in our hearts; the practical application of it is another matter. Now, don't get me wrong; I enjoy my work, and the adults in Scouting are some of the most reasonable I've ever encountered in volunteer work. It's just that there is very little opportunity for the adults to "do Scouting" themselves, when the bulk of our training, our time and talent, not to mention how we are honored, is mostly dependent upon guiding the boys so that they can "do Scouting."

And so, I've been in touch with like-minded folks throughout the Scouting movement, who share my restlessness over this matter. We seek an answer in the writings of the Lord of Gilwell himself, and the pages of Scouting history. A few of us believe we have found it.

Ah, but that is a subject for another day. As they say in show business: "Always leave them wanting more."


Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Thank you for your work with Boy Scouts. It is adults like you who set a good example for MY Boy Scout who recently achieved his "Star Scout" rank and is working hard to continue as a Scout.

Mr. Nixter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr. Nixter said...

Interesting you noted the expression, "once a scout, always a scout." I believe that same attestation is made by those who have served as U.S. Marines.

I was neither, but recognize the services both have performed for our country.

N. Trandem said...

Hey, any chance you could turn on the feed for your site? I keep forgetting to check over here, and I definitely don't want to miss the sequel to this post!