Mastermason.com Forums Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Forum Lounge (off-topic & lighter discussions) > General Discussions
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - A National Youth Camp, to teach civic education
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

A National Youth Camp, to teach civic education

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
cemab4y View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2007
Location: Fairfax VA
Status: Offline
Points: 1265
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A National Youth Camp, to teach civic education
    Posted: October/13/2016 at 11:48am
" A primary object ... should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? and what duty more pressing...than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"
-George Washington (Freemason)
(The Writings of George Washington, by John C. Fitzpatrick, GPO 1931-44, Vol 35-316


“Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
―Vladimir Mayakovsky

One idea that I have been kicking around for some years, is one that I picked up from a movie. In "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" (1939), the plot involves the idea of setting up a "National Boys Camp" , where boys from all over America would go for a summer, to learn about American history and government.

I would like to pick up and modernize this idea, and maybe make it a reality. First, it would have to be co-ed, young ladies and young men.

Freemason Richard Dreyfuss has started the "Dreyfuss Initiative" . See http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org Its goals are simple:

“To teach our kids how to run our country, before they are called upon to run our country…if we don’t, someone else will run our country.” - Richard Dreyfuss

I believe that the Masonic community in the USA, could come together, and provide the financing and direction to make a national youth camp for civics instruction a reality.

We could establish a camp in a rural area, maybe in the Rocky Mountain area. We could invite kids from all over America, to spend the summer there. The camp would provide civics and history instruction. We could get some guest instructors from major colleges and from the US government and military. The kids would get instruction in the mornings. In the afternoons, they could participate in wholesome recreational activities like horseback riding, backpacking etc.

Tuition could be charged on a sliding scale, enabling kids from modest backgrounds to afford the experience. Individual lodges could sponsor a scholarship program, and locate a deserving student in their community, and then send the young person to the camp.

An effort like this would be a continuation of our splendid tradition of universal education. The Wolcott Foundation (affiliated with High-Twelve International) provides scholarships for graduate studies in government at George Washington University.

What do you think about this? Could we make this happen?

I believe that an effort like this would be an opportunity to influence many young people in government, and perhaps lead them towards a career in public service.

Edited by cemab4y - October/13/2016 at 8:30pm
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
Back to Top
windrider View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: May/02/2011
Location: NChelmsford, MA
Status: Offline
Points: 363
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2016 at 1:49pm
I think it's a good idea. There are a few Everest-sized hurdles to jump over before this could become a reality but the idea is a good one. 

Part of the issue I see is a fundamental lack of quality education in this country. In another thread, we discussed this on this forum. Young people seem to be pushed through the grades without achieving the minimum standards of literacy we would expect. There are High school students that can't put together a basic sentence. As a result, this kind of camp would need to ensure the attendees would be able to read, write and understand mathematics at some level before they could enter this kind of experience. I'm afraid this would exclude many of the very children who could benefit most. I also don't think you were planning to have a remedial system to bring the applicants up to a minimum standard of performance in these fundamental skills. Unfortunately, this necessarily makes it almost impossible to avoid an elitist impression for this program as the majority of those who would possess the minimum qualifications of preparedness to receive the benefits would be the product of private education. 

I believe we must address the fundamentals first. Our children are being cheated out of their educations by the system we have in place. I don't know the solution. If I did, I would implementing it. 

Master, Webmaster, Lodge Ambassador
Ancient York Lodge AF&AM

Lowell, MA

God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
Back to Top
cemab4y View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2007
Location: Fairfax VA
Status: Offline
Points: 1265
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2016 at 12:42pm
You are one of the very few Masons who has looked favorably on the idea. I am in agreement, that the quality of government-run schools in this nation is very poor. And the schools in the inner-cities are especially horrendous.

Putting this undeniable fact aside, I think a project of this type would work. I disagree with your contention that the students would need a mathematical background. The central thrust of the camp academic program would focus on American history, constitution, and government. What used to be called "civics" in past years. I believe that youth could receive instruction in this sphere, without knowing the formula for the area of a circle.

I am concerned that today's youth have so little knowledge of US history and government. The government schools just don't teach these topics adequately.
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
Back to Top
scout View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: July/11/2013
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2016 at 10:16am
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:



I am concerned that today's youth have so little knowledge of US history and government. The government schools just don't teach these topics adequately.


There are around 13,500 public school districts in the United States.  I would respectfully submit that they vary in quality and their effectiveness can be expressed on a continuum which ranges from abysmal to excellent. Of course, this is true of all of man's institutions.
Back to Top
windrider View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: May/02/2011
Location: NChelmsford, MA
Status: Offline
Points: 363
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2016 at 10:24am
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

You are one of the very few Masons who has looked favorably on the idea. I am in agreement, that the quality of government-run schools in this nation is very poor. And the schools in the inner-cities are especially horrendous.

Putting this undeniable fact aside, I think a project of this type would work. I disagree with your contention that the students would need a mathematical background. The central thrust of the camp academic program would focus on American history, constitution, and government. What used to be called "civics" in past years. I believe that youth could receive instruction in this sphere, without knowing the formula for the area of a circle.

I am concerned that today's youth have so little knowledge of US history and government. The government schools just don't teach these topics adequately.

Many years ago one of the schools in the area I worked was loosing its accreditation. There was a need for basic educational support for the children in the area so I volunteered at an after school center. My specialty was math and science. The main fallacy that we exposed and that motivated the young people to learn math was that they would never use it. We cannot make decisions on populations, budgets, the environment, etc. without at least a basic understanding of math. Putting that aside, If a person cannot read "See spot run", they certainly could not understand a complex historical text let alone write one.

I'm not trying to say this is a bad idea, I'm simply pointing out that, like many Masonic activities, it may be looked upon as an elitist program. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it does not fit with the PC crap of "no child left behind". In my humble opinion, children should be left behind until they learn the skills required to advance. This program would require reading and, I assume, writing. 


Master, Webmaster, Lodge Ambassador
Ancient York Lodge AF&AM

Lowell, MA

God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
Back to Top
cemab4y View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2007
Location: Fairfax VA
Status: Offline
Points: 1265
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2016 at 2:37pm
Constructive comments! I live in Fairfax county VA. The government schools here are excellent, the community demands it. Across the river in Washington DC, the government schools spend about $10,000 per student per year, and the schools are horrendous.

The Dreyfuss Initiative was started by Actor/Freemason Richard Dreyfuss, to elevate the quality of civics instruction in government schools.

A program such as I have envisioned, need not be elitist. Tuition can be charged on a sliding scale, enabling young people of modest means to afford the experience. Individual lodges could also sponsor students.

I do not need to minimize the need for young people to have a basic grounding in mathematics. I just point out, that for an experience such as this, where student would focus on studying history, government, and the constitution, an extensive grounding in mathematics is not necessarily a requirement.
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
Back to Top
windrider View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: May/02/2011
Location: NChelmsford, MA
Status: Offline
Points: 363
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2016 at 2:03pm
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

Constructive comments! [snip]

A program such as I have envisioned, need not be elitist. Tuition can be charged on a sliding scale, enabling young people of modest means to afford the experience. Individual lodges could also sponsor students.

[snip]

 

The elitist comment was not meant to say the tuition plan was faulty. I agree that this should be open to all young people who have the ability and desire to attend and cost should not be an obstacle. What I am saying is, using your Washington DC schools example, that only those who's families have the ability to pay for a quality education would be capable of taking on a set of challenges offered by such a camp. I wonder how many young people would be even interested if their educational experiences to that point consisted of being shuffled from grade to grade without being taught the basics required for communication and managing personal finances. Put more bluntly, if you can't spell "camp" you probably will not think about going to one.

Master, Webmaster, Lodge Ambassador
Ancient York Lodge AF&AM

Lowell, MA

God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
Back to Top
Woolfman View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: April/01/2016
Location: IL
Status: Offline
Points: 5
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woolfman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2016 at 8:53pm
While this is an idea that I support, I'd like to mention that there are already a few other programs that I'm aware of that are worth a look.  Boy's State and Boy's Nation, sponsored by the American Legion, and Boy Scouts who wish to earn the rank of Eagle Scout must earn (among others) 3 merit badges: Citizenship in the Community (which covers local politics), Citizenship in the Nation (American history and the US Constitution) and Citizenship in the World, which covers the United Nations and the like.  I'd like to see more Brothers supporting Scouts, and those who are eligible should consider joining the American Legion.
Back to Top
cemab4y View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2007
Location: Fairfax VA
Status: Offline
Points: 1265
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2016 at 7:57am
q Put more bluntly, if you can't spell "camp" you probably will not think about going to one. end q

--Exactly. A program of this nature will not appeal to young people who have no interest in it. This is why I would also include a number of wholesome extra-curricular activities. Horseback riding, swimming, and other such activities at the camp would be terrific.

The camp experience would include academic instructions, and other activities. Young people from the cities would experience the outdoors, and see part of the country they otherwise never would.

Of course, applicants would be subject to a screening program, and have to pass a basic aptitude test. Recommendations from teachers would be required. We can work out the details, to ensure that the students would be able to cope with the academics.
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
Back to Top
cemab4y View Drop Down
Quarryman
Quarryman
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2007
Location: Fairfax VA
Status: Offline
Points: 1265
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2016 at 1:12pm
The Secretary of Education gave a talk at the national press club on Oct 19. His talk is exactly on point. see:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?416797-1/education-secretary-john-king-discusses-civic-engagement-us-schools

and

Former supreme court judge Sandra Day O'Connor also spoke to this.

see:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?307242-1/civics-education-schools

Edited by cemab4y - October/19/2016 at 1:13pm
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.03
Copyright ©2001-2011 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.047 seconds.
Biver no longer has a day-to-day role in Hublot, but rather manages Hublot replica watches along with other LVMH watch brands from the top. For instance, it was recently announced that he replica watches would be filling in as the interim CEO of TAG Heuer - another LVMH brand. That isn't a job Jean-Claude probably rolex replica wants right now, as he has been toying with retirement for a while - but he steps up when he is rolex replica sale needed. Hublot has been doing a good job of keeping the fire alive without Jean-Claude, but with Ricardo always out and about, I can't help but wonder who rolex replica keeps the peace back at HQ. I mention the above as a semi-explanation of the fact that Hublot doesn't always have all the replica watches details settled when they announce a new replica watches uk partnership or product. The major question on the table is whether or not there will be a limited replica watches uk production "Mr. Brainwatch Edition" watch.