To the Editor-
In 1992, President George H. W. Bush was running for his second term.
He was on a railroad tour of Wisconsin just before the election. The train had a short stop for a speech in Stevens Point. Several boy scouts and others were invited to be there with the president. One of my sons got to be part of that group.
I was proud and happy that he was able to meet a President of the United States. It had nothing to do with politics. This was our president.
The thought never crossed my mind that this would change. We now live in a time where the institution we have long-depended upon to keep the fabric of our nation in tact are under threat. Not just scout leaders, but all adults who work with children, need to talk with them about the importance of respecting our government even — if we don’t always agree with it — and to make sure kids know how it works.
We need to tell them of the value our Constitution puts on the Freedom of the Press, even if we disagree with what they say. It isn’t OK for leaders to label them as right wing or liberal media — or worst of all “fake news”.
No person talking with young people would suggest that poor moral behavior might be OK with a “wink-wink, nod-nod” story.
In scouting tradition there is something called the “Scoutmasters Minute”. It is usually a short talk at the end of a meeting or camp-out by the leader about something they feel the scouts need more clarity about.
I hope all youth leaders would take many opportunities to help those in their charge understand what makes America a wonder-filled place where we expect our leaders to lead by example, and to respect each other along with the citizens they represent.