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Re: [at-l] Not exactly a testimonial of Scouting

At 01:20 PM 8/2/99 EDT, HikingHope@aol.com wrote:
>This is a day of great confusion for me.  I do not know which path to
>and I feel that I need to direct my energy (still having some left) where it 
>can serve best.  
>..snip...  I just wonder if those of you who have had Scouting experiences
>them of that great value in your life today.
I think that the scouting experience is *entirely* dependent on the
leaders. My oldest brother was a Life Scout and his scouting experience had
a tremendous influence on him. I joined a different troop in a different
place and never got further than Tenderfoot. It seemed like my troop was
only interested in raising money. I got bored with hawking goods and quit.
When my son was old enough to be a Cub Scout he wanted to join so I
volunteered to be a Cub Master. 

I was very disappointed in the career scout staff. They were only
interested in 'sales' and not in 'customer service'. What I mean by that is
that they focused entirely on starting troops and packs, getting people to
volunteer as leaders and selling them supplies. If you asked for some
leadership training or technical assistance they were too busy. Once I had
volunteered I never saw any of the pro staff again. As far as I know the
next time they were concerned about our pack was when I quit after 3 years
and they needed to find someone else. Perhaps it's different in other
areas. I hope so.

I believe scouting can be a good experience but I'd recommend investigating
the troop first. Find out what support they get from their Council. Talk to
the leaders, ask what kinds of activities the troop is involved in, talk to
some of the boys who have been there a couple of years, be prepared to
'join' the troop yourself as an assistant. Scouting is only as good as the
people in it.

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