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We have met the enemy and he is us.....

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  • We have met the enemy and he is us.....

    So earlier this year there was a thread about asking if Scouting was getting too "prissy." It tied in nicely with the regular bashing we do of the Guide to Safe Scouting (Richard B even commented about incident reports). We all expressed concerns that our scouts could no longer go on a 7 mile hike, kill a wild boar with their bear hands, field dress it with their pen knife, lash together a spit and cook the carcass over a fire they started by rubbing two sticks together while staying 300 feet away from other patrols (did I step on everybody's toes yet?)

    Now, about a month later there is a thread about the Jamboree with lots of comments complaining that the hikes were too long, the terrain was too tough, the lunch wasn't substantial enough for growing boys (BTW, check out for the source of those lunches), we were concerned that of the 25,000 kids on property too many were getting injured on the BMX track, and skateboard park, too long of lines, too hot, no place to shelter in a storm, etc.

    So, which is it? Too Prissy or Too Tough? We gotta pick one, I'm getting a headache.

  • #2
    You are comparing apples to th. High adventure and 25000 kids do not mix. With crowds that large you need crowd control, n boundries etc. etc or you have chaos. I am glad my troop did not attend this Jamboree and instead they went to sea base.

    My son is a seasoned scout of 5 months So far he has done an 8 mile bike ride to a clear a campsite with a machete and then shoot, a spring camp with improvised shelters. and summer camp. Whitewater rafting.

    This doesnt count the stuff he missed


    • #3
      Jambo has slightly older age requirements but is not considered "high adventure" exactly although it is now held at a BSA high adventure base (Summit/Bechtel Reserve). Jambo does not have busses like at A.P Hill. There was a BMI requirement (31.9 or less). Surprise - West Virginia is not flat! For myself, I participated in the Bataan Death March (2005 Jambo where approx. 5 deaths occured and multiple hundreds evacuated due to heat stress). I'm all in favor of the current trend to put slightly more emphasis on physical fitness for both the boys and adults. It got to a point that the "default" Scoutmaster was an obese coffee drinking male in his mid-fifties. That was not me at all. I don't drink coffee.


      • #4
        If when you say:
        " kill a wild boar with their bear hands "
        you're talking about 3rd grade Cub Scouts,
        I like your pack!

        Sorry, double entendres are a special interest of mine...


        • #5
          Bear claws are the best. Picking up a yard bird or pulling pork. Sharp to.


          • #6
            Well I have seen even 2nd Grade Cubs kill a wild bore with their bare hands. They can only sit still for so long.


            • #7
              Well, I know for a fact that bear feet are not allowed in camp.


              • #8
                Yous guys are really god.


                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Wow, Stosh! Lesser deities miht be insulted by your proclamation!

              • #9
                Originally posted by acco40 View Post
                It got to a point that the "default" Scoutmaster was an obese coffee drinking male in his mid-fifties. That was not me at all. I don't drink coffee.

                Ouch. I am not a Scoutmaster, but otherwise, well, ouch. And I do drink coffee. (Actually, the BSA weight chart says I squeak in under the wire by a few pounds, or at least it did the last time I looked at it, but my doctor's chart says I am still "obese" by about 20 pounds or so. Not as much as I used to be, though.)


                • #10
                  acco40. Like you I was at Fort AP Hill back in 2005.
                  Looking back, it's easy to see the things that didn't go as well as they might have or maybe should have.
                  I've only ever been to 3 Jamborees. Two BSA National and one World Nordjamb back in 75.
                  I'm far to lazy to look up how many Scouts were at the Nordjamb event in Norway. -But our Scouts (I was an ASM at the time) got to hike and mix with Scouts from all over the world.
                  I don't think our Scouts would like the very primitive bathrooms -A trench with poles lashed together which offered a place for you feet and your back!
                  Not sure if the menu was designed to ensure that we all at one time or another had to use the facilities?
                  But for lunch one day I remember having prune soup -This was the first and last time I ever ate prune soup.

                  I have at times been called a bit of an old mother hen.
                  The fact is that I really do want the Scouts I serve to have fun.
                  One sure way of someone not having fun, is for them to get harmed or hurt.
                  This doesn't mean that we shy away from doing things. It does mean that when we do them we know what we are doing.
                  I was and am deeply saddened when the BSA said that Patrol Camping was no longer an option.
                  For me seeing a Patrol of Scouts camping and making things work was truly Scouting at its best.

                  I have had chats with youth who either were never Scouts or who quit soon after crossing over from the Pack.
                  They say that the uniform is dumb, the merit badges are silly and the list goes on.
                  Kinda strange that those who know a little bit about Scouts and Scouting do see the OA as being kinda cool?

                  I tend to think that if we the adults try and see things thru the eyes of the Scout we are working with we can and do offer things that are anything but prissy.
                  Some of this really isn't rocket science.
                  Watch a young Scout crack his first egg in a frying pan. The concentration, the anticipation.
                  Listen to a van full of Scouts returning home from an event.
                  A few years back I had a car full of Sea Scouts, who had just covered about sixty miles in a week of sea kayaking.
                  The night before we had a camp fire, lots of silly songs, jokes and the like and I'd presented them with their 50 miler patch.
                  These kids were so proud of what they had done, so full of stories about wet lunches and the only little gator we managed to bump into grew a foot every time someone re-told the story.
                  A truly wonderful time.
                  Made better by the fact that no one had got sun burnt. In part because every morning the old mother hen was making sure that every one was covered in sun screen.

                  I get to work with a lot of gang members and not very nice young men who think that they are "Bad".
                  When I tell them what "My" prissy Scouts do. They have a hard time believing it and think it's cool.
                  What's a real shame is that if only we could get to these guys before they end up in the Big House, we'd all be a lot better off.
                  (I'm 142 pounds, drink a lot of coffee and have been known to enjoy the odd adult beverage. - I also teach a class of defensive tactics and response in the jail where I work.)


                  • #11
                    I don't smoke, don't drink coffee or alcohol, or even cuss (at least not out loud), and I'm not overweight. So I compensate by tormenting incompetent administrators. Yes, I know it's probably going to shorten my professional life but I feel a LOT healthier for the effort.

                    Eamonn, you just caused a terrible flashback from my early youth. I was 4 or 5 years old. My grandmother would make me eat stewed prunes (I have no idea why but I assumed I was being punished). It scared the heck out of me because at that time I was convinced that eating that stuff was how she became all wrinkled and I just knew it was going to happen to me too. Plus..I was RIGHT! It IS happening, right now...ohhhh nooooo!

                    But you know, that whole patrol camping thing to me, is just a lot of smoke and mirrors. We can stand around complaining about it, OR we can just do it anyway. Ignore that CYA nonsense and apply some local control over the program. True scouting is and always has been, something that has a local home, not in some corporate HQ in Texas.


                    • King Ding Dong
                      King Ding Dong commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Wow. OK. I see where you are comming from Pack, and a slice of me agrees with you. The course of action you suggest opens a big can of worms. Scout Law and Oath for one. I'm not sure if you call the insurance and liability issue CYA or not.

                      Wearing my IH hat, I am not very comfortable with that approach. My public school district has over 17k students and supports scouting. Not sure how many scouts there are but I estimate at least 1K scouts. To put that relationship in jeopardy by breaking rules you agreed to uphold, I don't know...
                      Last edited by King Ding Dong; 08-31-2013, 11:02 AM.

                    • qwazse
                      qwazse commented
                      Editing a comment
                      A scout is helpful: he learns to function independently of adults.

                      KDD, for a lot of us the restriction smacks against the very core of the Oath and Law. Blindly following it deprives the nations youth of the pinnacle scouting experience. (Many scouts cherish their patrol camping memories above Jambo and all of the HAs.) Worse, it could potentially deprive the nation's highway and byways of youth who could potentially rescue someone in harms way.

                      That, at its core, is a paradigm of disloyalty. Our duty to country mandates that we reply by encouraging capable youth to camp overnight in patrols at their convenience. And we will do so with or without the BSA. I would encourage you as IH to consider doing the same.

                      And now, if you do it without BSA, you'll save $24 per person per year.

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
                    rubbing two sticks together while staying 300 feet away from other patrols (did I step on everybody's toes yet?)

                    Your heels are in good company: The BSA's Chief Scout Executive uses the term "rubbing two sticks together" to express his contempt for Scoutcraft.

                    Just curious: Have you ever camped Boy Scout Patrols Baden-Powell's minimum distance apart?


                    • #13
                      My boys are now 23 and 21 (both Eagles!) - far from perfect but I like to believe they had fun in Scouting. When the oldest was around 14 and the youngest 12 (with at least one full year of Boy Scouts under his belt) we had a troop campout. I reserved two campsites. In one campsite we had the adults, visiting Webelos and Scouts with less than one year of experience. In another site, were the other boys - about eight or so who desired/deserved to camp on their own. Their site was about a mile away - out of earshot and our sightline. I drove the troop trailer to their site, they got out their tents, patrol boxes, food, etc. and they set up camp. I drove down to our site and did the same. We met up with them to play capture the flag and checked on them at the end of the game (my oldest was the SPL). For Saturday I walked up to their camp around 10:00 AM and they were finishing up breakfast clean-up. They came on down to our site all participated in activities together for the day. Again, I checked in on them at around 9:00 PM that evening and left them until about 9:00 AM the following morning.

                      To this day, they state that it was one of their favorite outings. They were trusted and the trust I gave them was rewarded by their behavior. Also, they learned that eating cheese as part of every meal isn't such a good idea.

                      A Scoutmaster and the SPL has to know their scouts. One has to be cautious but also let them spread their wings when ready.
                      Last edited by acco40; 09-01-2013, 07:48 PM.


                      • packsaddle
                        packsaddle commented
                        Editing a comment
                        In my experience, being within sight doesn't diminish their pyromaniac tendencies. We just can respond in a more timely manner and, once in a while, prevent it from happening.

                      • Kudu
                        Kudu commented
                        Editing a comment

                        Who's "we," white man?

                        If your priority is Leadership Development's "Controlled Failure:" Elections every six months so that Positions of Responsibility change hands often then, yes, you must pack your Patrols in close together like Cub Scouts so that "we" adults "can respond in a more timely manner."

                        On the other hand, if like Baden-Powell and Green Bar Bill you guide your most mature and gifted leaders to be Patrol Leaders, then they will handle the pyromaniac tendencies of boys just as well as they did before the invention of "Leadership Development," back when Scouting was popular.

                      • packsaddle
                        packsaddle commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Heh, heh, I 'get' what you're saying and I agree. But unless I'm wrong about the guys in this unit, those best of the best leaders in this unit are also the ones most likely to 'light up'. That said, the incidents I'm thinking about were instigated by other units at camporees. 'We' were just close enough to be able to step over to their campsite and put an end to the activity (while their most mature and gifted leaders slept).

                    • #14
                      No patrol camping? What?


                      • King Ding Dong
                        King Ding Dong commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Not sure what his title is but got the job because of his outstanding performance at Keller finding innovative ways to put more and more warning labels on ladders.

                      • packsaddle
                        packsaddle commented
                        Editing a comment
                        RichardB is a member of the forums who is also one of the 'dreaded' professionals in BSA. He has defended some unpopular official policies strongly enough to become an icon in these forums, one that is representative of what some view as overprotective policies (I'm being kind here). Anyway, he's shown that he can take a hit and come right back. So some of us go ahead and swing away, sometimes when it's just at his 'shadow', lol.
                        Edit: RichardB is one of the reasons I think of 'official' policies in terms of 'smoke and mirrors'. There's just not much of an element of reality.....
                        Last edited by packsaddle; 09-04-2013, 09:32 PM.

                      • King Ding Dong
                        King Ding Dong commented
                        Editing a comment
                        In his defense, after taking Climbing and Rappelling Instructor training I appreciate the need for the Near Miss report better. It does have its place. The guidelines for its use could use some improvement.