Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Involvement by assignment

As a bit of a transition out of my last few posts, a thought about boy (and especially cub) scouting and the Mormon church.

Boy scouts makes a big deal about how its leadership is drawn from parent volunteers, and in fact that cub scouts is a primarily parent-driven program. However, adult positions within Mormon-church-affiliated boy and cub scout organizations are issued as “callings”—which means that even though those positions are technically filled by volunteers, they’re actually filled by assignment.

This leads to the issue of people being involved in boy and cub scouting who might not want to be involved in it, or in some other way aren’t invested in it. I’m not certain that this is optimal.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

It's very bad actually. Scouts is only as good as the leaders and if the leaders' hearts aren't in it the boys suffer.

This month I'm working with the Wolves and youngest Bear on theater stuff. Last week we did some acting games, yesterday we painted scenery and made props, next week we'll do sound effects, and the following week we'll do actual acting. And then the following wee they'll present the skit they've been working on at pack meeting.

Anyway, Joe says to me last night that I'd make a good den leader (we need two currently) and looked like I was having fun with the boys. Of course I was having fun. I love theater and children's theater is super fun. And those 8 and barely 9 year old boys are eager to please and good kids.

However, I could not in good conscience accept a calling in Scouts. I believe that it is completely unfair that the Cubs have so much stuff and the Achievement girls don't and so until that unfair balance is rectified I could not be a den leader. I'd have to say no or demand that Achievement be made more equal to Cub Scouts so the girls stop feeling like second class citizens and like the church doesn't care about them (nice lesson to learn when you're only 8-11, huh?).

David B said...

Our family’s reading through the Old Testament right now (yeah, yeah, i know, not the Book of Mormon, heresy, heterodoxy, liberal liberal outcast unclean, and so on), and one thing we’ve been noticing and discussing is how valued women were or weren’t at various points in time. This started with the Judges—you go from Deborah as a religious and even military leader to setting up women as kidnappable breeding vessels for the Benjamites in a fairly short period of time.

I’m hoping that recognizing that such things ebb and flow historically sets the stage for healthy discussions of that phenomenon in more modern times (not just church-related ones). Like i said on this blog a couple weeks ago, though, sometimes i feel like the only active Mormon guy with all daughters—it amazes me how many guys out there just don’t see these sorts of things as issues, or even as potential issues.