Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

​Is today's scouting too prissy?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ​Is today's scouting too prissy?

    I'm not referring to any "orientation". That's not significant to this discussion


    Merriam-Webster - overly prim and precise
    Google - Fussily and excessively respectable; (of clothes) Overadorned with details such as ruffles and bows.
    The Free Dictionary - Excessively or affectedly prim and proper; fussy and prim, esp in a prudish way; affectedly correct

    I ask because I think back to my sons, especially the oldest. I can predict which adult scouters he would look up to and which would drive him away.

    John Wayne Scouters ... Locally, I know three scouters that are the bigger than life type of person. Eagle scouts. But, they don't mince words and sometimes you almost need to teach your son that you can't always talk like they do in normal society. Or at least until you've achieved what they have achieved. . My son worked for one and the man would warn his staff to not mess up or ... some colorful statement that is probably against the laws of physics or basic anatomy. My son met another scouter while out-of-scouting and the guy had a big wide brim stetson and a stoogie in his mouth. More chewing it than smoking. Not a scouting event, so fine. The last is a scouter that my son shared military discussions with. I'll call these guys the John Wayne scouters.

    Peter Fonda scouters ... My son also had an absolutely great scoutmaster who was very very laid back. Let the scouts explore as long as they stayed in certain boundaries and got the job done. He taught them skills and tried to let the scouts be boys. I remembered one afternoon at summer camp, the scoutmaster let them borrow the five gallon rope bucket (as long as they agreed to put the ropes back in). The scouts put some water in it and collected 20+ snakes. Sort of cool in a creepy way. Another time the scouts wanted to wrestle as several were on wrestling teams. He watched over that one fairly tight so no one got hurt, but he let them do it. I'll call this type of scout the Peter Fonda Easy Rider scouter.

    But I could almost predict to the instant the scouters that would turn my son off.

    Felix Unger scouters ... Usually it was the ones that commented about his uniform before getting to know him. Or pointed out the rank advancements he could earn or similar. Or found one of many nit picky ways to communicate. Or would pull rules out of their hats that did not really exist.

    Donald Trump scouters ... Another type of socuter would be the ones focused on process and procedure. The ones that would establish the ISO 9001, form, procedure driven scouting.

    Anyway, my son has made some interesting life choices recently that make me very proud. And I've been reflecting on what type of scouting we have today.

    Perhaps it is also because I've been reflecting on our local elementary schools. Seems like the majority (95% plus) of the students with issues or in reading recovery or with IEPs are boys. It really seems like the real issue with these boys at elementary is that they are not girls.

    Anyway, just been thinking about what happened to that old school man's man. He's getting rarer and rarer all the time.

    Personally, I wish that's something scouting offered more often.

    Just thinking.

  • #2
    Agreed. Scouting has gone from being an outdoorsman's adventuring program for boys and men with a "law" that guides behavior to being a church program with some token outdooring in it. The focus is no longer on being a capable Kudu-worthy first class scout who can make his own hiking stick, camp under a home-made tent, and shoot squirrels and shishkabob them. Now it is about having family interventions, scoutmaster conferences, citizenship badges, meetings, elections, "boy led" and getting that eagle badge on your resume.

    Scouting was originally mainly focused on the outdoors. All of the original literature is about plants, animals, lighting fires, putting together a sleeping area, shelter, orienteering, and riding a horse. Today, it is all about church, family, faith, etc.

    We've gone from learning to be pioneers to learning to be priests. Blech.


    • jblake47
      jblake47 commented
      Editing a comment
      Religion has always been a part of the Scouting Movement, but I have never observed what you are describing in my 50 years of scouting. Your local situation might be an anomaly that way, but it's not indicative of the BSA program.

    • ThomasJefferson
      ThomasJefferson commented
      Editing a comment
      Religion has not always been forefront like it is now. It was just part of normal culture of the 19th century Victorians to mention it considerable. During the 1910's - 1950's, the handbook tells you how big of a component it was: It merited a mention that the scout law and duty to god were blah blah blah and that's it. The whole thing today with Scouts being a Sunday school class with right wingers everywhere screaming about Jesus and the oppression of the left - that's all new.

  • #3
    ThomasJefferson ... You've got too much agenda. Don't hijack this into some atheist rank. Scouting's always had a strong faith element, right from the start. Plus every man's man that I've know has had a strong faith. They might not shove it down your throat, but it's there.

    You don't need to deny God to be a man's man. And you don't need to hijack this thread with some atheist junk.


    • ThomasJefferson
      ThomasJefferson commented
      Editing a comment
      You don't need to deny my denial of God to be a Man's man, or piss and moan about thread hijacking expressing your fear. That's pretty much the opposite of being a man's man.

      Today's scouting is wussified because of two things: lawsuits and the Mormons.

      Lawsuits have driven BSA into a corner over faith and morality, because they took too hard of a stand in the 90's, executed a PR disaster, and lost the left wing of their membership. Now they are stuck, and Mormons have crept in quietly, and scouting has become more about "wholesome American old-fashioned virgin until marriage fun."

      But that's not what it was when I was a kid, and I live in the deep, deep South. When I was a kid, scouting was an outdoor program. We never prayed at any of our events. We never had a chaplain. We never discussed if anyone believed in God. There were no faith requirements. We talked about "duty to god" as a passing thing, and viewed the law and oath as our rules of good behavior.

      I never remember any of the BS that goes on today being around then. Today, you even bring up faith and you get a teary eyed protest of how Christians are oppressed, and people pray with almost vengeful hate as if their praying is intended more to outrage people who won't like it more than it is to commune with the Almighty.

    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      BSA "lost" its left wing because the ACLU went on the offensive and removed scouting units from schools, military bases, housing projects, and any other public institution. Whine to them about the pigeonholed BSA.

      When you were a kid, BSA's national campaign was "Onward . . . For God and Country!" And, just as is true today, the depth to which that effected your personal experience depended upon how much attention your troop paid to that. You don't remember any of the adult politics because you were a kid.

    • ThomasJefferson
      ThomasJefferson commented
      Editing a comment
      In a troop in the 1950's there was only one adult usually. That's why no adult politics. Patrols camped without adults. They hiked without adults. They built clubhouses and held meetings without adults. The troop met together every couple of weeks. The patrols met as buddies on a regular basis.

      The ACLU didn't go on an offensive. That's political doubletalk. BSA got involved in that Dale mess and never should have. They should have let the local unit decide his fate, and they should have let it go. Instead of making a case about their rights, they tried to argue the right to exclude sections of society based on labels. That attracted the ACLU like bees to flowers. It was a stupid move. Really stupid.

  • #4
    Early BSA literature (i.e. books for boys) always referred to scouts that weren't out in the out-of-doors doing scouting kinds of things on a regular basis, Parlor Scouts. I'm thinking the vast majority of scouts today fit this category, especially the Eagle Scouts I have known that can't even start a campfire. I have also heard people refer to today's scouts as being Paper Scouts. One this is for sure, the scout of today is not like the early boys of scouting. I would doubt whether any of them could successfully fulfill the requirements up to First Class. After all that's all they had at that point. And if anyone were to check out those requirements they would find that BSA policy forbids many of the requirements. The requirements would need to be fulfilled outside the BSA program.


    • #5
      Scouting, along with everything else related to kids, has gotten bogged down in procedure, rules and political correctness (not referring to the sex orientation or religious issue here). B-P and Hillcourt emphasized that Scouting is a program intended to build character, citizenship and enable boys to grow into men who could care for themselves. The best way then and now is through a robust outdoor program and strong male leadership. Uniforms, badges and other things are merely methods of helping them to attain those goals. They are unimportant in themselves. So, is it prissy? Definitely. Is it overly bureaucratic? Absolutely. It will still succeed only where there are troops that understand those principles. Scouting is not for every boy and every parent. We'll never be able to make it so.


      • #6
        you forgot the metrosexual scouter

        Metrosexual is a neologism, derived from metropolitan and heterosexual, coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this.

        These gentlemen.....have the $200 campaign hat that is perfect....The uniform that is absolutely perfect. they have the latest LL Bean or REI gear...They show up driving a Suburban that looks like it is equipt for the outback........Yet their scouts lack the basic advertised skills.....They like the idea of camping and hiking but cannot stand the physical discomfort to actually do it.

        My favorite metrosexual scouter is SM of the parlor troop I make reference too in some of my posts......They score JTE Gold...They camp Three times a year including a summer resident camp....their boys make first class in a year......How is that possible??? Every boy who is eligble to join the OA is a member but they never show to the chapter meetings, OA meets at the same location as RT.

        To be fair........the BSA isn't any more or less prissy than it was 50 years ago.....It depends on the Adults who manage the program........Regardless of what Kudu says......The adults control the program.....Old Metro guy who doesn't like to camp, isn't going to take the guys backpacking for a week or two in the Daniel Boone national forest. he is more comfortable with renting an air conditioned cabin at mammoth cave.

        Is either right or wrong??? No. But with that said, Every Eagle scout should have the advertised skills.


        • #7
          Did I ever tell you about the 19 year old Eagle scout that couldn't tie a square knot at IOLS when I was on staff?????? His dad was his SM imagine that


          • King Ding Dong
            King Ding Dong commented
            Editing a comment
            Check out my post over in advancement on accepting a partial from camp. Cooking MB counselor who thought he needed a big kitchen can opener and couldn't get a fire started. The kid was trying to go from tinder and some twigs straight to damp logs.

            The problem I saw with fires last week was these boys focus on getting the tinder going and THEN go scrounge for kindling and THEN go looking for fuel. They are also so used to fire building competitions to burn the twine stretched between two sticks that they try to rush everything.

          • Sentinel947
            Sentinel947 commented
            Editing a comment
            I think alot of the skills weakness comes from the adult leaders to be honest. If the adults never use the skill, say firebuilding, and instead always use lighter fluid to start fires (theres a problem as well, adults starting fires) then the Scouts never get the opportunity to make a fire, with matches and wood. Many of the Scouting skills like knots and firebuilding require practice and repracticing to keep them fresh. I think many troops struggle with that.

          • jblake47
            jblake47 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, but if the boys ever have twine on the menu, they'll have it made!

        • #8
          The BSA is a just a reflection of the culture and it's own progressive changes. The program dynamics changed dramatically when it allowed women leaders into the troops. This is not a female bashing rant, women are certainly capable and have proven themselves in the program. But women lack the youth Boy Scout scouting experience and camping experience. With 50 percent of the adult BSA member being female and another 25 percent of it males who also lack a youth scouting and camping experience, you start to realize how few of experience adults there are in the program to carry on the tradtions of a more male influenced experience. The program dynamics changed so much that the 21st Century Wood Badge course was a result of a more gentler kinder outdoor training course. Strangely Wood Badge is the first real outdoor camping experience for many of our adult leaders. Is there hope, well there are scouters even now on this forum motivated by political correctness pontificating for girls in the troops. The BSA is stuck between the ignorance of it's adult membership and media driven pop culture.


          • #9
            Heh, heh, I've been known to show up at an Eagle COH and pull a hank of rope out of my pocket. I just love to see the eyes roll and boys looking away nervously, thinking to themselves, "Oh sh**!"

            Edit: OK...Prissy huh? I guess I am closer to the Peter Fonda model. I'll let them wade right into the creek and yes, go ahead and see how fast that snapping turtle can move its jaws. Sure go find out if there's another entrance to that yellow jacket nest. Just don't whine about the consequences.
            Go ahead and bring your smart phone, we'll see how water/dirt/food/grease-proof it is.
            I'll let them push the limits, up to a limit of safety that I know for whatever activity there is. Let them get dirty, wet, hungry, tired, sweaty. Let them get some blisters and some small scrapes or cuts. Let them get a little sunburn or find out what it's like to be cold and wet.
            Chances are, they'll prepare better next time out. And they'll still get wet, dirty, etc. but be a little happier doing it. We're all just a bunch of monkeys, after all.
            Last edited by packsaddle; 06-20-2013, 07:41 AM.


            • #10
              Don't know about "prissy". But it has morphed into something that placates the helicopter parents, the lawyers, and those boys who would rather sit in front of a video game than rappel down a tower. LIke any other organism, it has adapted to the environment in which it finds itself, rather than go extinct.


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Isn't that exactly what they did to him????

                Your going down the wall son....Cause nobody walks down the stairs.

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                No it isn't the same. The tower is a very controlled environment and not very tall. He climbed up, now he has to get down. A cliff like the water is real and much scarier.

                I have had to deal with to many terrified kids who have had instructors dunk them or let them sink and swallow water when they were not ready.

              • Scouter99
                Scouter99 commented
                Editing a comment
                My first rappeling trip was a real cliff. My knee buckled 5 feet down, I hit the rock hard, scrambled back up and I've never tried again. If I'm a priss, so be it, hahahaha. I remember the experience fondly, but it's not one I'm interested in having twice.

            • #11
              I am currently reading a book I found in the bargain bin of a local store. "HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE WOODS." I find it very interesting that much of the scoutcraft skills I have are all in there, but then, because it is not published by BSA, it goes on to say in many of the topics. "This is illegal in all states, but if you really want to survive this is what you do." He says all birds in North America are edible. I'm assuming that includes the spotted owl. Scouting should be for the practicalist, not the current politically correct. I love his suggestion for stealing a bear's recent kill. Make sure you have sufficient firewood for 24 hours to insure he/she doesn't come back to discuss it further.


              • #12
                Per usual, it depends on the unit -and units change. There is certainly a lot more paperwork, fear, concern, control, "we won't sue you" documents to be signed, etc.

                Lets also not forget the change in attitudes on environmental issues. I was taught to dig fire pits, chop wood, etc. That is not allowed in national forests. Heck, here in Southern California we can't even have fires in rings for half of the year or more

                But some units still do the fun stuff. We grab our packs and head into the Sierras. I took our Venture Crew to the backcountry of Yosemite for 7 days. We have an annual "make your own shelter" campout to practice the knots, and we often do mountain biking in the local mountain trails (and use up a lot of bactine and bandages doing so). We go shooting with shotguns and rifles as well.

                With all of the rules and regulations, the easier path is to be prissy. GreenBarBill knows I have fallen into that trap a couple of times myself. But then I remember that the fun times are often those where we followed the spirit of Scouting, not the Tour Permit.

                I knew I was doing my job when an Eagle in his speech at his COH said, "I just know that if the Jeep is flying down the hill out of control - I want my patrol with me, and we won't be able to keep Mr. Horizon from joining us - and he will probably insist on getting a turn at the wheel."


                • #13
                  There still are places where one can "get away with it." Since my reprieve from Scouting, my wife and I get to do all those things that we can't do with scouts. It's a heck of a lot more fun. One doesn't have to worry about fire pits when the sandbar camp, it costs nothing and no one else in the area. My wife is a former forester for the US Forestry Service and I asked her once, what would happen if we're out there and a serious situation occurs that endangers us. She looked me square in the eyes and said, "When then, we're going to die doing what we enjoy." End of discussion.

                  While I won't endanger someone else's child, the prissy part of BSA surely has restricted the options out there for adventure. I guess I'm a firm believer that with all the PC, legal and BSA policies out there, there really isn't any real adventures out there for the boys. Of course if someone were to bend the rules a bit, maybe the boys could get a glimpse of what a real adventure was all about.

                  It kind of reminds me of last summer's trip to Yellowstone. We were in a public campground, but when we woke up in the morning we couldn't get to the car to make breakfast. A buffalo decided to check out the campsite. It was the same trip where a group of people had gathered to look at a yearling black bear and when my wife said, "Your looking in the wrong direction, the bear is over there." I answered, "Yeah, but the grizzly over to the left is a lot more interesting to watch." Once I said that, the crowd looked over to the left and within 15 seconds were were the only ones standing there looking at the bears. Prissy tourists!


                  • #14
                    Prissy by design since 1965, the year that William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt retired, leaving the BSA's top office managers in control of the program.
                    They switched Scouting's icon from outdoorsmen to themselves.


                    • sherminator505
                      sherminator505 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You see a continuum from that event to the present day. First we got the program experiment of 1972 that, despite official utterances, never really ended. Then we got this Mission Statement that talks about "moral and ethical choices" and ignores the whole point of the exercise, namely citizenship. As B-P so eloquently stated of Scouting in Scouting For Boys, "it is, in a word, a school of citizenship through woodcraft." Unfortunately, we have "progressed" from having Scouting be active in the community to removing Scouting from view in the community and sequestering it in church basements, and we have "progressed" from raising up strong citizens to carefully molding sheeple! In effect, we have forgotten the point of the exercise.

                  • #15
                    Look, in this day and age, you can't be the mythical "Man's Man" anymore who shoots from the hip, and wrestles bears for fun. Let's just think about the post trip briefing:

                    SM Wayne: "Well pardners, we're back. We completed another trip with acceptable losses."
                    Concerned Mother: "Jimmy? Jimmy? Where's my Jimmy?"
                    SM Wayne: "Sorry ma'am." Removes Stetson and holds over heart, "Jimmy was one of the acceptable losses."

                    I'm an Engineer and programmer by day, and a confessed proceduralist. I shoot for JTE gold annually. If ISO-9001 or six-sigma certification was available for Scout units, I'd have that too. There is a reason successful businesses, the military, pilots, and doctors all use standard procedures: Acceptable losses these days are 0. By making the mundane automatic, you can focus on the exceptional situations.

                    (I do take offense to comparing my type to The Donald. He's a bigger cowboy than John Wayne ever was. Let's call us the Edison type.)

                    I see my checklists, spreadsheets and briefing documents justified by those two simple words: "Be Prepared." I don't see that as prissy at all.

                    As for the prissy part, there does seem to be a problem with prissiness in Scout units these days. I'm a CM right now, and I have that problem with my CO's Troop. Our pack camps more often than they do, and has more autonomous boy leadership than they do. I know that I can spend my time on a trip distracting the helicopter parents while they boys be boys. I have the confidence to bring up the rear on hikes, because the boys in the lead know to bring the whole group to a stop when there is a question about which fork in the trail to take -- and my like-minded DLs (two engineers and an accountant) aren't far behind them to jog their memories if needed.

                    As a youth, I had a John Wayne-type SM. He was memorable, but a control freak. When he retired, it took a few years to rebuild a truly autonomous PLC and committee again. It would have been really easy for the unit to turn prissy in the vacuum after his personality left. I'm glad it didn't.

                    BasementDweller is right. It's the adults who make the program prissy. You want an un-prissy program: Give the PLC a JTE scorecard and a blank calendar and tell them to earn the Troop a gold ranking. Tell them the leaders are there to help them, but this is their Troop and their job. You and the rest of the leadership have to be willing to let them make mistakes that get them into trouble, while secretly having that 24-hour store of firewood in your back pocket for when they need to steal the bear's kill (or maybe a backpack full of Power Bars and a water filter instead).

                    In the end, they may not remember you as much as they would if you were John Wayne, but they'll learn more, be less prissy and better prepared.


                    • jblake47
                      jblake47 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @jblake47: I feel really sorry for you. Apparently, you've never had a good mentor in your life. Have I had bosses who showed me something, and then threw me to the wolves? Sure, and most of the time the company paid dearly for my hard-won experience. The good ones I've had took the time to explain why each step was important, and let me prove I knew things on a smaller project before going full scale.

                      Don't need pity, and I've had plenty of good mentors in my life. I have a boss right now who considers what I have to say because I have had 40 years of business management from Peter F. Drucker to Lean Mfg. Just recently I let him borrow my Greenleaf book on Servant Leadership which he totally appreciated. Once one is in on the Value Stream Analysis team of a billion dollar industry, one really doesn't worry too much about small projects unless one is a RIE leader.

                      As for some of your other comments, you don't seem to understand that Scouting is about functioning as a group. If a team of Scouts has the responsibility to load the trailer, and they fail, then they should be accountable to the boy they failed.

                      I can't imagine how one could conclude I am not understanding group dynamics. I promote the patrol method more than most. I know it's potential and teach to it with the BOYS leading the process. This is why we have trained PL's so this kind of thing doesn't happen, but each scout is responsible for his own actions within the team.

                      If the leadership team failed because they gave that assignment without properly supervising or training the individual, then they should be held accountable too.

                      Leadership team (? I am assuming you mean the adults here) that supervises is just that THE leadership team. That means the scouts are nothing more than followers. The "assignments" here are patrol method training. The boys pick their best leader in each patrol and they work from there to work out their problems. If all one wishes to identify in these situations is blame, then one is not even following proper modern managerial practices. Identify the problems and correct them. That always gains better traction than finding the culprit and punishing them. There comes a time in the program where the boys are expected to lead and that means the adult leadership team shuts up and moves aside.
                      Assuming of course they were properly trained, which is the student's responsibility to learn. If they didn't learn, they need to take to initiative to make sure they get their questions answered.

                      If the Scout incorrectly assumed someone else would take care of their stuff for them, then yes, that's his own problem, and he needs to deal with it.

                      Yes, Scouting is a boy-led program. However, Scouts are minors, so as the adults on the trip, we are morally and legally responsible for their well-being. That doesn't mean we have to take over for them, nor do we have to keep them from having fun, but an occasional prod to make sure they are making the right choices is warranted and welcome.

                      If one trains the boys correctly and completely, then they have fulfilled any and all moral and legal responsibilities. If every time something goes awry, and the legal people get involved, the question will always be asked, "Would a prudent adult make the same decision and do the same thing?" If the answer is always yes, it makes no difference the age of the respondent. If one is going to expect these boys to always be boys, then they will stay that way. However, if one expects them to act and function as adults, you'd be surprised on how many will step up and surprise you.

                      And if someone gets hurt, as the adult in charge, I'm going to be held accountable, so yes, I'd better know about it as soon as it happens.

                      And herein lies the problem, "adult in charge", means the program is adult-led.

                      I inadvertently deleted part of my original comment that after a scout gets hurt, the others shouldn't be allowed to run off and play. They need to attend to their friend's injuries -- if appropriate -- or stay with him until the professionals arrive.

                      If a boy gets hurt and his buddies raise the alarm, get's the EMS involved, stabilize the boy, and attend to him until help arrives, the SM could be notified well after the boy is on the way to the hospital and still be within his legal responsibilities because he trained his boys correctly! Seriously, in an emergency situation, does one really want their resources going for EMS support or off looking for the SM?
                      I have had many years experience with both the adult-led, troop-method programs as well as the boy-led, patrol-method programs. Hands down, boy-led, patrol-method is by far the most effective in developing excellent Eagle scouts. I have seen way too many paper/Parlor scouts coming through the adult-led, troop-method program.

                    • TSS_Chris
                      TSS_Chris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @jblake: You're assuming too much. The "Leadership team" is the boys in my view. The adults are the advisers.

                      I only see one disagreement, and that's what happens when a Scout gets hurt.

                      If the boys call EMS, or even think about calling EMS, they damn well better call me next. Period. Doing that doesn't make them "prissy parlor scouts," that proves they are responsible leaders who are bringing every resource at their disposal to bear. If they've got the situation under control, great. If not, the injured boy's health is a lot more important than boy leadership.

                      To twist your words a little: Would a production manager be happy to learn you didn't call him to let him know about a looming shut down because you were devoting all your resources to mitigate the issue that caused it? Would your colleagues accuse you of being prissy because you called him? Seriously?

                    • jblake47
                      jblake47 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      We build huge units on our production line $.5M - $1.5M. All our managers are fully aware that if the line goes down, the best people to fix things are the workers themselves. They know the most about what is happening. If they can't fix it, the team leads are right there to provide added resources, then if more resources are needed the shop supervisors get involved, and eventually the managers might get involved. But in actuality, they may get notified well after the fact once the situation has been evaluated and the managers then deploy resources to make sure the problem doesn't happen again. We are all aware in our setting the production line worker is the one actually making the product for the customer, the rest of us only assist them in doing so. Everyone is extensively trained in their standard work AND the standard work in the work cell on the line in each direction. They are also 100% trained in basic problem solving skills. They are given the authority and encouraged to make changes to their standard work if it will improve the workflow.

                      Putting it into scouting terms, the boys are the front-line production workers. They are extensively trained in all aspects of Scoutcraft. They know what is needed for the situation. For first aid, they call EMS, the PL is there to assist and provide added resources, send someone to meet EMS and direct them back to the spot needed. All hands on deck doesn't mean 2 boys run off to find the SM. They might be needed to assist in transporting a boy on a stretcher who has twisted his ankle. After all, what is the SM going to do once he/she gets there? If the boys were trained properly, probably nothing. Maybe he can help with a corner of the stretcher.

                      Am I assuming too much that the boys are actually prepared and can handle emergency situations? Not if one has done more than just pencil whip T-FC. I used to work with the old Exploring program and I know that the scouts in the Medical Post that were called to man the first aid tents at large crowd gathering knew what they needed to know. If someone went down, call in on the radio and all hands on deck to help the person. The unit advisor might come, but usually the EMS ranked him and so he couldn't do much more than what the scouts were already doing.