Scoutmaster Musings - Police Explorers and Terrorists

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Scoutmaster Musings

Police Explorers and Terrorists
The BSA has quite a broad scope of programming, from Scouts and Soccer to Law Enforcement Exploring with ages ranging from 6 to 21 years old. I'm just doing my best to keep up with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts programs with which I am active, but there's a whole lot more than that available.

Exploring is part of Learning for Life's career education program. Law enforcement is one of those careers, along with fire service, aviation, science, skilled trades, and others. Exploring helps youth gain practical knowledge of and experience in a career.

Did you know explorers can learn to fight terrorists? WHOA! What's that, you say? Yep, and that's probably the typical and hoped for reaction the NY Times was looking for with their recent article. There are some great pictures of explorers with guns, explosions, storming buses, and attacking terrorists. There are a couple sensational quotes. There are a couple statements about sexual abuse by leaders. Everything needed to make a great, informational piece of news. :-(

Weapons use, hostages, negotiations, first aid, self-defense, crisis intervention, and ethics are just some of the skills law enforcement officers need. These explorers participate in a complete program, which I expect includes a whole lot of training before participation in the mock scenarios as presented in the article. Too bad the article didn't mention how many hours were spent learning and demonstrating all the skills in teamwork and safety before the drill. But, that would have been boring.

The part most interesting to me was scanning through the 475 comments left since yesterday and that a large number of them had to be censored. People can read one article about a certain facet of a program and extrapolate it into paramilitary, nazi-like, world-destroying, right-wing bigotry.

This specific explorer post has sure pushed the envelope and made an exciting program. From what I can see, they've followed the BSA Explorer guidelines. I wouldn't be interested in participating in such a drill, but it looks like a real learning experience for youth interested in a law enforcement career.

I'll stick to my backpacking and square knots and try to help a few scouts grow in citizenship, character, and fitness. But if participation in a mock hostage situation is the 'high adventure' reward built on a strong base of skills that gets some other youth to grow in those same dimensions, then good for them.

Scout On
Posted: 18:08 05-14-2009 416
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