Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Letter in the Mail

Not long ago, we received a letter from the local den-mother scolding us for not making cub scouts a priority. If fact, we've decided to not encourage Eli to attend for a number of reasons.
It was a lengthy letter but one sentence that stood out was "we should at least be willing to sacrifice an hour a week for our children". Implied is that since we don't participate in what is perceived as the proper and legitimate "family" activity that we must not posess "family values". While we don't attend church or send our kids to scouts it doesn't mean that we don't do anything for our children or that we have no structure. We just have our own set of priorities. For example, in our home, music is important. What that means is that we spend about $180 a month on lessons plus the drive time 20 miles away and waiting for the lesson. There is practice time that we're around for, plus all the group music events and more. I'm not saying that our priorities are better than church goers or sports families, everyone has their thing. But we do spend time and make sacrifices for Eli, Brynn and Ella, so when a fundamentalist of any stripe tries to claim their family values are superior to mine, it gives me pause. An hour, how about ones life?


Nikki said...

I have to say this is one of the nicest newsletters I've seen. It prompted me to go to your site and blog. I like what you wrote about family and the scouts etc. It brought back memories, my Mom grew up during Nazi Germany and it was for this reason that she did not allow my brother and I to get involved with the scouts here, they reminded her too much of Nazi-youth. Interesting how life's experiences bring various perspectives to light.

rw said...

When I was in scouts, living in Palm Springs, CA the first scoutmaster that I really remember was a wealthy guy that flew us in his private airplane to places like Baja, CA for Marlin fishing and our fishing merit badge and The Grand Canyon for our hiking merit badge. We stayed in the nicest motels and ate at the best restraunts. I don't remember earning my camping badge during his tenure, but I do remember the experience well, good times. The next guy decided it was time to teach us kids what real scouting meant. He was very militant and no fun for a kid. So my scouting days ended soon after he arrived.
I'm sure scouting has it's merits but I agree, it's a little militant and fascist, especially when it's mingled with religion. Thanks for your comments.