The Editor of the UK Scouting magazine (David Easton) has a column called "Chips With Everything..!". In the April '95 issue he poses this question (somewhat rhetorically, since he provides the answer, too...) -
"Why do they join..?"
"A youngster joins us because he wants to sleep in a tent... because that's what Scouts do!"
"He doesn't care how he puts it up and, should it fall down in the night, or he gets wet, he'll find out why and do it differently next time - that's the education - a result of the fun! That's the magic of Scouting!"...
..."Scouting is not part ofthe formal education system and never should be. It is part of a non-formal educational process. In effect, a learning from life, from new experiences, from challenges, from adventures, from firendship, from disappointments, from triumphs and, above all, from that all-important desire to learn for oneself... because we WANT to... not because we hate to!"
"That's the fun which is, I believe, the essence and magic of Scouting!"
This was all in support of the basic question set he was posing for the adult Leaders - "Does a youngster join to be educated? Did you join to be an educator?"
David tends to come up with a lot of food for thought each month. There are several of us here who read his words frequently, but I think he has some hing to offer to all of those who have yet to meet him. In this case, he is reinforcing a concept that I hold near and dear - that boys and girls join Scouting to have fun - and that those of us in the adult positions should also hve joined out of a sense of obth providing and having a bit of that fun for ourselves. I know I did - and that I do enjoy being part of the Scouting programme.
However, it would seem that there are a few of us here who have forgotten this most crucial aspect of B-P's Great Game. Maybe we need an occasional reminder that this is supposed to be FUN - for everyone involved.
We have threads on whether or not allowing Cubs to go on camp is harmful to the Scout section's memebrship numbers. We have threads on whether or not alcohol should be allowed on camp under any circumstances whatsoever. We have threads on whether or not pinewood cars should be judges in respect of whether or not it appears that a parent "helped" a bit too much (our Thijs is a Cub, and can build a MUCH nicer-looking car than I ever could, by the way...)
Where are the threads about the FUN our Beavers, Joeys, Cubs, Scouts, Venture Scouts, Rovers, Rainbows, Sparks, Brownies, Guides, and Rangers and so forth are having in their programmes?
Yes, there is very definitely a place for bringing up the problems we are having in building good programmes for our kids, for discussing policies, and for providing advice as to how to "cure" or "remove" Leaders who are not playing the game in a healthy manner. But, don't we feel we have some room for passing along our successes and what fun they were? Of course we do. so why don't we?
Why not indeed?
So, let's get off the stick and do something about it. Most of us are doing very well in at least some aspect of our programmes. Let's share how we manage to do that - especially if we are able to have a good time in the midst of the whirl of providing a fun time for the youngsters! How about it, eh?
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