This is a note I prepared for the Scouts. As a parent or grandparent you may find it noteworthy and pass it on as you see fit. You may also get an inkling of why many people set so much store by Scouting:
Emergency Preparedness: The Most Important Merit Badge in 2022?
Open Letter to the Flint River Council in particular and the BSA in general:
If Be Prepared is our motto, the question is this: Are you and every boy and girl in your unit prepared for emergencies? If not, why not?
This is not about boys and girls getting badges — this is about our being prepared as individuals, families, troops, communities, and councils for disasters— even big disasters.
Every one of us knows that civil disorder, nuclear or biological terrorism, and short or long periods of food scarcity and medical shortages are all distinct possibilities — maybe all at once. It is irresponsible for us to think It couldn’t happen here!
As Scout leaders, we need to have very serious discussions with one another, with parents, and with the Cubs and Scouts. We must emphasize at all times the deadly seriousness of what we want them to learn and be prepared to do.
There is a list of 17 different emergencies one needs to discuss. I am sure you can add others. Ask yourselves: Are we doing what ought to be done with respect to emergency preparedness? Ought we not do more at every meeting? Look at requirement 8:
Do the following:
a. Prepare a written plan for mobilizing your troop when needed to do emergency service. If there is already a plan, explain it. Tell your part in making it work.
b. Take part in at least one troop mobilization. Before the exercise, describe your part to your counselor. Afterward, conduct an “after-action” lesson, discussing what you learned during the exercise that required changes or adjustments to the plan.
c. Prepare a personal emergency service pack for a mobilization call. Prepare a family kit (suitcase or waterproof box) for use by your family in case an emergency evacuation is needed. Explain the needs and uses of the contents.
If your troop doesn’t have a mobilization plan, make one, and make sure it includes using your Boy Scout uniforms to identify your training and authority. Coordinate with local emergency services!
When First Aid is taught, make sure even little Scouts and Cubs pay attention by emphasizing how it might be their own parents, sisters, or brothers whose life-threatening wounds they may have to treat.
Point out that they might be the only one at a wreck scene who knows what to do and how the Scout must therefore step up and take responsibility for traffic safety and first aid regardless of how young he or she might be.
By openly discussing possible gloom-and-doom scenarios with your Cubs and Scouts and their parents, your Scouts will see their own self-interest in many subjects and will take pride in the skills they are learning. Gardening, for a very good example, is an art that should be learned and practiced before it becomes a necessity. So are lifesaving, shotgun and rifle shooting, wilderness survival, firemanship, and many other skills we have both a framework and a duty to pass on.
The time is now. The responsibility is ours. Scouting provides us the tools and organization we need. Let’s get busy.
Yours for responsible Scouting,
Walker Chandler , a/k/a B-P