I have been indoctrinated

This morning I spent four hours (yes, four hours) at "basic" training for Cub Scouts. I actually don't do that much with the scouts, but as president of the Primary I supervise programs so I must be properly trained and registered. This morning's experience mainly helped to solidify why I don't really like Scouting all that much. If I have a boy who wants to be a Scout, I will support him in his wishes and help him with it. I think that it's a great program in its concept and its ideals. I really do. But, the bureaucratic stuff drives me nuts.

Let's compare it with Activity Days, which the Church started doing for girls that are the same age as the Cub Scouts. You can explain that program in about 2 minutes. The girls start when they are 8, they end when they turn 12 and move on to Young Women. They have leaders and meet twice a week to do fun things together. They have a little guide book and get to set meaninfgul goals that they work on. They even get a little certificate at the end of all of it (yay). That's it. The end.

On the other hand, we spent half an hour today just talking about uniforms: what colors, what patches, how to wear them, whether you need official socks, etc, etc. That's the way most Scouting meetings I have been to have been--layer on layer of signs, and rules, and rituals, etc. Every other meeting I go to that involves talks about how we need to simplify programs and streamline things. We need to keep stuff easy and flexible and cut down on meetings. Apparently Scouting doesn't count for any of that.

Also, Activity Days doesn't require that many leaders to run it--for most groups just 2, maybe 4 if you have a lot of girls. For scouts I need at least 10 leaders: 2 for each den, a pack committee chair, and committee members. That's a lot of positions to keep filled, and it's hard to find people with the kind of time and enthusiasm to commit to Scouting. Plus, all the different people have different meetings that we have to go to.


And, of course, as much as I am trumpeting Activity Days I do have to say that I chafe a little at the inherent unfairness between the boy's program and the girl's one. Our ward's leaders are great at making the program cool for the girls, but those girls still know they don't get little patches and beads and cool uniforms. I think that's sad. If we're going to simplify everyone, let's make it fair across the board. Eight year old girls aren't stupid--they know they're getting the shaft.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I agree about making things equal. Have you read the primary scouting handbook that says the Church already provides everything that girls of similar age need. I can't tell you how much I hated being told in young women's that I "needed" to learn to quilt every week while my brother "needed" to hike the black box every month.

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