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  • Bear Gryllis Real or Fake

    To all you Bear fans out there did you see the critics review of his show today on the net?
    They panned his show as where nothing ever really happens to him or on his show saying it was all a cheap and dull theatrical series of stunts. I have only seen it once myself but I was rather unimpressed. Is this the kind of guy you really want as scoutings spokesman? Just curious what you all think.

  • #2
    I take it for what it is, entertainment value. There are some genuine survival skills thrown in (note I said some), but overall it is a different type of show than say, Survivorman.

    As for him representing the UK Scouts? I could take it or leave it. From what I remember, there is not any mention of that on his show, so I don't know how much crossover there is overseas.


    • #3
      I prefer Dual Survival over either Bear Gryllis or Survivorman. They're upfront about the cognitive dissonance that is inherent in folks in survival situations being followed by a camera crew.

      I like how Cody Lundin - the laid back, barefoot "hippie" and Dave Canterbury - the gung-ho, former military hunter counterbalance each other, how they approach situations with different experiences and skill sets, and what we can learn from each of them - Canterbury's stubborn stick-to-it attitude, and Lundin's calm and thoughtful attitude. From what I've seen so far, Lundin's a bit more polished and resourceful, but that could be that the early shows play more towards his strengths and experience.

      I think both are good role models for Scouts - perhaps we can have co-spokespeople.


      • #4
        Bear has said that his Born Survivor/Man Vs Wild show is a "How to" rather than him being in actual trouble. He's done things with his life that most of his critics wont achieve in 10 lifetimes. He is extremely enthusiastic about Scouting, and takes his role as Chief Scout very seriously. If you look at the wristbands he wears in the series the purple one is a "Scouts, join the adventure" one.

        There's not many Scouts in the UK who'll hear a bad word said against him.


        • #5
          It's interesting that this discussion is happening at all. If you look at the history of British Scouting, I cannot think of anyone who has caused the recruiting excitement that Bear Gryllis has since the death of Robert Baden-Powell. That's because he's a well-known national/international personality who loves the program and teaches the skills.

          In the US, no one has commanded that type of attention in the non-Scouting population since Dan Beard died in 1941, who was one of the most popular men in the country during his Scouting lifetime. An argument can be made for Bill Hillcourt within the movement but he did not have the popular following that National Scout Commissioner Beard or Chief Scout Ernest Thompson Seton outside of the movement. They are the ones who excited the public on Scouting...much like Gryllis does in England today. And that ain't bad.

          David C. Scott


          • #6
            Yesterday's news.

            Bear was "outed" a couple seasons ago. Since then the show includes disclaimers that "certain situations are presented" to Bear to make a point. The past couple seasons he's been more interactive with the camera crew and open about creating situations to demonstrate a skill.

            How is this different than a Wilderness Survival merit badge class.

            Personally, I like Survivorman better in that it shows a more accurate approach to survival situations. His first response is usually to hunker down, find water, shelter and food and wait for help. Later in the show he will try to get himself out of a situation. Bear, on the other hand, tries some really stupid things (swimming under unknown obsticales, climbing or rappeling faces with rigged equipment) to make a point and a dramatic scene.

            I've only seen a couple episodes of Dual Survivor. Seems like tree-hugger vs. meat eater. But I'll admit I've not given the show a fair run.

            As to Gryllis's fitness to represent Scouting, how is he any different than Mike Rowe. Mike's not really a whale autopsy technician. He spends a day with them then goes to a fancy hotel for a soak in the hot tub. He really wanted to sing opera. Still, I'm all for naming Mike as BSA's Chief Scout.


            • #7
              As others have said you have to take Man vs Wild with a grain of salt. From what I hear from my UK friends they seem to like how he represents Scouting there and the positive effects it has had.

              There is only one person in this country right now that comes to mind that could do anything similar for BSA and that is Mike Rowe of dirty jobs... but lets face it he is not super famous ... but on flip side he does his best to live by the Scout Law daily and supports Scouting when and how he can...

              No matter how you look at it they are just a publicity stunt ... they are not what Scouting is but rather a way to bring notice to it ... that is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is done with tact.

              Just my wacky 2 cents...

              Scott Robertson


              • #8
                I second Mike Row for BSA's Chief Scout.


                • #9
                  I agree with Mike Rowe as Chief Scout. He's what we would like our boys to be--personable, hard-working, cheerful (even when cleaning up a sewer plant), etc., and an Eagle Scout to boot. No evidence that either of the Dual Survival guys or Les Stroud were Boy Scouts


                  • #10
                    On subject of Les Stroud I saw this on twitter yesterday ... Les Stroud Returns w/ 'Beyond Survival'

                    As far as I have been able to determine Les was not a Scout, but there is no evidence either way... I don't have cable now so have never seen Dual Survival so no idea there...

                    Scott Robertson


                    • #11
                      I've always preferred Survivorman over Man vs Wild. Man vs Wild has grown on me over time. Here are my pros and cons of each.

                      Les truely "survived" his experiences, but he wasn't really all that great at surviving. Yes, he presented skills he had learned prior to the show, but I don't know that I would call him a survival expert. He sure did go hungry a lot. I do admire that he carried his own camera equipment and shot the show himself.

                      Bear seems to have the skills, but he isn't really surviving as he has a crew there for safety and goes off to a hotel in the evening. Bear does a lot of really stupid stuff for dramatic effect. If you are actually trying to survive and get out alive, you don't jump off of a cliff into water below. It could be 18 feet deep or 18 inces. If it is 18 inches, you're going to have two broken legs, internal injuries and you'll die alone in the water. There is no telling how long it takes them to set up a shot and take all safety concerns into account before Bear makes the jump. Unfortunately, you don't have that luxury if you are lost and alone. Hopefully people watching realize not to emulate many of his feats.

                      The new dual survival seems to be a much better how to show giving you two different perspectives on how to do it. They actually catch food to eat. Perhaps Les should go with them and learn a few things.


                      • #12
                        While Bear is a great spokesperson I am definitely AGAINST many of his "survival strategies".

                        Jumping into flowing water under an ice shelf as a way of getting from point A to point b seems more like a "I'm tired of this and if I don't make it that's fine" strategy than a survival strategy.
                        Sure it might be an item of last resort but that's the issue for me, he tends to show the item of last resort(repeatedly) as though it's a good idea and should be used well before it's necessary.

                        I get the mentality of "He who dares, wins." but it's fairly inappropriate in this context.


                        • #13
                          Watched Man vs Wild tonight, a repeat of "North Africa" and Bear had a World Scout Crest emblem on his jacket. It was plainly visible over and over throughout the program as well as the purple UK Scouts wristband.

                          Whether you question his techniques, choices, or the fact he has a crew filming him he is plainly doing all his own stunts (for the lack of a better term)and without a safety line. I just pray he doesn't mess up one day and get seriously injured. He comes off as a genuine guy and I haven't heard a single negative thing about him in the media.

                          My cub scout son thinks he's great (along with Dave and Cody too) and if scouts in the UK do as well then he's the right man for the job. Imagine if the BSA finds an equivalent?
                          (This message has been edited by Miquin1978)


                          • #14
                            I couldn't believe the faux outrage in some parts of the British press (Daily Mail). Bear never claimed that he was on his own during filming, I would have thought it was obvious to anyone watching that he had a camera crew with him.