Answer the next question and your advice could appear in an upcoming issue.
Scouter P.H. is looking for resources to better teach Second Class requirement 9a, which deals with the dangers of substance use, abuse and addiction. Here’s what readers suggested.
The BSA and Boys’ Life magazine offer the “Drugs: A Deadly Game!” program kit, which may be used to satisfy the Second Class requirement, Webelos fitness requirements and more. Find details and order kits at boyslife.org/links/scoutstuff.
USE THE SCHOOLS
We are blessed in the Fishers, Ind., area in that our school system has a program called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) put on by our local police department. All fifth-grade students take the course, thus satisfying the requirement for Second Class. [Editor’s note: Visit dare.org for more information.]
Coordinate with your local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter or local police. You can even invite local teens who have been affected, and have a real and honest conversation about it. [Editor’s note: Visit madd.org and sadd.org for resources in your area.]
KICKING THE HABIT
As an addictionologist, I have done this requirement for my present and past units. Many members of the American Society of Addiction Medicine would be pleased to do this as prevention outreach. You can locate a doctor in your area by going to asam.org. Also, your community mental health organization will likely have clinicians who would be available for this purpose.
TROOP COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
F.L. WINDSOR, VT.
LOCATE A LAB
Our troop had a state police forensic scientist who does drug testing on evidence come talk to the boys, complete with photos of what happens to the body with drug use.
LEAVE IT TO THE TEENS
Our former senior patrol leader helped organize a group to come to the troop to teach this requirement. They brought “beer goggles” and some other teaching aids to allow Scouts to experience the bad effects of drugs and alcohol without actually taking anything.
A LODGE-ICAL SOLUTION
Every Elks lodge in the U.S. has a drug awareness chairperson. The Elks partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration to distribute DEA literature and to provide positive role models for the youth in their communities. Elks lodges have access to additional resources to support their drug awareness programs. [Editor’s note: Details on the Elks National Drug Awareness Program are at elks.org/dap; the Elks website also features a lodge locator.]
DISTRICT COMMISSIONER G.Y.
DES MOINES, IOWA
A MATTER OF FAITH
If your religious faith has a code of health, this can be a good time to talk about it and how these substances are not in harmony with God’s laws for His children. Any resources for faith-based groups can be used. Personal and family stories of the abuse of these substances and their effects on others are effective, too.