5/27/09

Role Models, Not Roll Models

Call me crazy, but I do like volunteering with my Scout group.

And most people think I’m crazy because they realize these are Scouts, not Girl Guides, and are mostly boys, aged 11-14. Yeah, the crazy age where hormones are raging and they want to knock your head off one minute and ask you on a date the next.

But honestly, this is the age where you get to teach them just about the COOLEST stuff and can be the most influential person in their life. I wouldn’t pass this opportunity up for the world.

Plus, it gives me the opportunity to spend some of the best quality time with one of the most influential people in my life, my daddy-o.

But the Boy Scouts of America (Uh…why do they still have the boy, by the way?) are looking to limit the type of people who can apply to be in those roles once again.

By the number of rolls they have.

Seems as though they’re recommending that all volunteers AND scouts have annual medical evaluations by a certified and licensed health-care provider prior to engaging to specific events such as day camps, day hikes, or an overnight camp.

That’s not what I take issue with, though. Scouts Canada asks something similar in that medical information be provided on all registration forms. That’s just good practice as many activities can give way to a potential medical situation and having the right kind of information on hand in an emergency is key. Knowing if there are underlying conditions such as asthma, heart disease or seizures can be critical in getting the right kind of care.

But providing a chart on your form with heights that shows recommended, allowable and maximum weights that you’ll allow in your organization - What gives there?

I mean, looking at MY height of 66 inches. I couldn’t be over 201lbs. Well, I couldn’t have been a leader a few years ago then. Hell, they would be reluctant to let me be a leader right now even. Well, they wouldn’t like me south of the boarder anyway because I’m a female, but whatever. But they certainly wouldn’t appreciate my father in this case. He would be on the cusp of their no-no list as he is just above their maximum allowable for his height. This is a man who has over 20 years of dedicated service to the scouting movement who would be asked to not participate in activities because of a few pounds. When did we start putting an emphasis on insurance over expertise?

Are we protecting the children or robbing them of valuable experiences?

I thought the whole point of Scouts was to get kids active and interested in something other than televisions,video games and sedentary lifestyles. Outdoor adventure, scout craft and fun is what it’s all about. I understand and appreciate the liability implications of it all, I do, but when you exclude a group who are already left out, belittled, and harassed based on weight, I don’t get what good can truly come from this.

Can you?

7 comments:

Lainey said...

No, but then again, I don't understand a lot of the things about what that particular organization allows and doesn't allow.

Merry said...

Don't they give out badges or whatever when the scout achieves a certain goal? Can fitness be included as one of these goals?
Do I know anything about scouts? Clearly not.

marie said...

Physical fitness activities are a large component of badge work. But to preclude a volunteer based on weight...is that a violation of human rights?

Anyone?

foodiegettingfit said...

This is totally crazy.
Weight is not directly proportional to health. I'm soo frustrated by guidelines like these. Just feeds into the mentality that overweight kids and obese kids have to suffer: "you're not good enough. you shouldn't even try to be fit. And there are no role models who can mirror your own experiences".

Vanessa said...

I guess kids don't need to see overweight people as role models or in a positive light. Clearly you can't be overweight and healthy/active.

=| Friggin ridiculous.

Lucas said...

I'd say that's pretty much outragous Mouse! I wonder if the Girl Scouts are implementing the same policy? Because really if they are, they should give up pushing cookies at everyone and maybe start selling apples instead. :)

Fat Grl Slim said...

It goes right along with their no gays and hardly ever girls policy. I stopped supporting the US version a loooooooooooooooooong time ago. Any organization for children should be inclusive and supportive.

Just my .02 cents.........

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