Where are the men?
That’s the question several people asked after seeing the number of female scouters attending yesterday’s Founders’ Day Service at the Wildey Gymnasium.
But that should not cause any alarm said Chief Commissioner Dr, Nigel Taylor in response to what he sees as an age old story.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, he said he and the hierarchy of the Barbados Boy Scouts’ Association had done everything short of paying men to join.
“The men are simply not coming forward. We have tried. The only thing we have not done is pay them,” he said.
With that being said, Taylor noted that Barbados was one of the few associations which did not have girls.
“The world policy is that there must be a mix but I’m not going to relax that policy. We are seeing an evolution of traits and characteristics that are societal based. Men seems not to coming forward to lead their families hence we have a lot of matrilineal men are not coming forward to take leadership roles in civic and civil organisations like the churches and NGOs.
“Men seem to prefer to sit on the periphery, on the fence, and look in as opposed to stepping in and saying I will make the difference. We have done virtually everything possible the only thing we cannot and will not do is pay them,” he emphasised.
The Scout Commissioner noted there was a “good proportion” of men entering their recent training programmes. He said there were some women who stepped down when qualified male leaders joined the group.
“This is commendable. There are some men who are happy to bring the boys make them available to the Barbados Boy Scout Association for the purpose of training and discipline but they themselves are unable,” he added.
Taylor also said that in some instances employers did not give the men who were interested the time required for training.
At yesterday’s service, which was attended by Chief Scout Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, Lady Belgrave, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, the Chief Commissioner in his remarks first thanked his dedicated leaders for the superb work they perform with the various sections entrusted to them.
In these times of economic recession, he marveled at the astonishing and creative ways which were found to share the Scouting programme.
He also singled out the parents and thanked them for their trust and support in this national organisation where the boy is “king.” (DS)