Substance Abuse Training for Scout Leaders

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A lack of support from some parents is proving to be detrimental to the growth and development of our boys, therefore making the job of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association more challenging when it comes to dealing with today’s young males.

Training Commissioner of the Barbados Boys Scouts Association, Tony Archer, expressed this sentiment as he lamented a decrease in morals, behaviour and attitudes of today’s boys, while adding "that if we had the boys without [some] parents we would probably be more successful, as we are not getting the support from the parents.?? They are not supplementing what we are doing.?? They are working against us. We think the boys are trainable and the boys will do what they are supposed to do if we get the requisite support from the parents," he added.

Mr. Archer was speaking over the weekend at the Lester Vaughan Secondary School where approximately 70 Boy Scout leaders were participating in a drug awareness training session facilitated by the National Council on Substance Abuse, as part of their Drug Awareness Month activities.

He said that the Boy Scouts position towards the training sessions was two-fold as the exercise would teach the leaders to be better able to cater to the boys, and secondly to develop themselves (leaders) to be more rounded persons.

"We do basic scouts training, we have about four courses which are done progressively which all of the leaders are supposed to do and then there are special courses like this [substance abuse training].?? We do substance abuse awareness, we do AIDS awareness and we are also starting a course this year on Commissioner’s training, which will cater to the senior leaders in the movement," Mr. Archer pointed out.

While noting that the organisation was not as visible as days past, the Training Commissioner said they had more competition from other bodies such as the cadets. He added that technology and other technical-related activities were also now capturing the boys’ attention.

"What we are trying to do is to utilise modern technology to assist us to attract and retain the boys – the computer, the games and what not.?? The scout programme has not changed since the inception of scouting and it will not change because our founder Robert Baden- Powell was really far sighted when he founded the movement.??

What we are aiming to do is change the provision of the programme, and how we deliver the programme to the boys so it would maintain their interest," he stated.

Mr. Arches further emphasised that the issues affecting the boys were not only related to these shores but were of a global scale such as drugs, gangs and other negative influences.??

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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