Monday, March 19, 2012

Scouts v. Sports

Let me begin by saying I don't necessarily have anything against sports. But as an LDS Venturing advisor, I'm beginning to dislike them. At least the high school version.

Over the next month and a half, there is exactly one of our regular Wednesday nights that will not be interrupted by a track meet. This takes all but one of our young men (and he is working most nights). Weekends are just as bad. There seems to be a track meet nearly every weekend until the end of school. The weekends that don't have a track meet have a dance.

This translates into essentially zero Venturing activities until school ends.

I don't understand it. I did sports in High School. I ran track and cross country and I don't remember having to miss that many Scouting activities. I seem to remember having plenty of time to finish practice, tutor a fellow student, feed cows, and still make it to Scouts. I don't remember having to miss so much because of my involvement in sports.

Of course, I don't remember very many Scouting activities during that time, so maybe I did. I had always attributed that to the fact that we didn't "do" Varsity or Exploring like we should have. Then again, maybe I was too involved in sports to notice.

Either way, I'm beginning to really dislike High School sports.


  1. High School (or other more competitive) sports goes right to the Good vs. Best debate. Are sports worthwhile in the right circumstances? Absolutely. Do they help build fitness, teamwork and character? They can and often do. Do they get in the way of someone spending time with their church unit (at any level)? Yip.

    It doesn't seem like a big deal to some, but regularly missing meetings sets a precedence for the future (if I don't have to attend my scout or other church meetings, why should I have to go on a mission?). Limiting attendance at activities limits the ability to bond with others, as well as having a chance for spiritual experiences.

    Choosing sports over scouts/church nights doesn't automatically mean they can't be spiritually connected, but they are missing opportunities to do so. Why run the risk?

    I've heard the following in the past and my wife and I regularly apply it to our lives as parents.

    We aren't raising soccer players (insert any other sports/overly time consuming activity here). We're raising missionaries. We're raising committed, faithful members of the church - and society.

  2. We face the same "sports problems" in our pack, and our boys are only 8-10 years old. Brian Reyman has a great perspective.

    What are you raising?