Friday, June 3, 2011

Walking the Walk

At our last campout several of the adults were sitting around enjoying our usual nice evening conversation and the topic turned to the BSA guidelines that have been implemented around weight for high adventure. These rules require that high adventure participants meet certain height/weight requirements if they are to participate. The intent of course is to promote a safe experience and at the same time also promote a healthy lifestyle. After all, a Scout promises to do his best to be “physically strong”.

At bit of contention for many in the discussion was the pushing of the rules from BSA leadership when they themselves appear to be well into the obese category. “Who are they to push these rules when they themselves would not qualify for high adventure” was a typical statement.

I am excited to see that BSA leadership has heard the call and decided be an example through a new program called Walking the Walk. Even our Last Frontier Council Executive Jeff Woosley in participating.

It takes some guts to be so public with your journey to good health and I wish everyone participating the best of luck.

The American obesity epidemic is a genuine problem and as youth mentors we have an opportunity to be examples of change. It seems over the last few weeks I have noticed a real upswing of Scout leaders joining in the fat and fitness battle so they too can live lives that are a positive example for the Scouts to follow.

Yes I know it is hard to change a lifestyle but it can be done. I grew up in a world of chicken fried steak, poor eating and seldom exercise. I am genetically inclined to be overweight and believe me it is an everyday battle. Nonetheless, I am becoming more and more convicted that I need to make the right choices as much to be an example for the Scouts as for myself. That is very inspiring and motivating. Plus, I want to be a leader that can barrel down a trail or climb a mountain with the Scouts and hold my own. I don't want any kid to miss an opportunity for high adventure because their leader could not cut it.

Do you want to be an example yourself?  The great folks over at Scout Nation have a Fit Club in the works for Scout leaders and it looks like it is going to be a fun program. You can learn more here.

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