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It's great to see small communities of Americans sponsoring Boy Scouts of America (as well as GS and other youth organizations) in some far corners of the globe and equally good to see deployed US troops hosting a visit.
I try to check out the Direct Service webpage on occasion. Reading their newsletter just a week ago, I saw that there is a BSA troop actually in Iraq. For a few recent years, there have been US Servicemembers-BSA members whom have volunteered some off-duty time with Non Government Organizations encouraging local national Scouting to be revived in some difficult areas. But I was pleasantly surprised to see actual BSA youth in northern Iraq.
thanks again RememberSchiff, the 2nd link worked :-)
But the scouts just visited the army, in this case not the Chartering Organisation ;-)
The good things of being in an army/air force pack or troop:
-MPs come by Day Camp with K9s
-Huey helicopter at Day Camp
-Medics at Camp bring the army ambulance and sit around, just in case
-visiting the General in the HQ
-MREs (scouts love them and want 2nds ...)
-infinite supply of Kim lights aka glow sticks
-the discipline - if just one father/leader is an NCO ...!
-loads of fun with "army stuff" that kids love
-american food in the most remote places
-a truly unique scouting spirit
-feeling safe with the boys behind barbed wire LOL
-spending a night in the barracks on the way to summer camp
Scouting was historiclly part or attached to the military and evolved over 100 years,
I have Scoutbooks from the 1950s and 1970s and 80s/90s and they keep on becoming "softer".
Most people dont get the connection between scouting then and recon now.
One con to overseas scouting that I remember as an ASM:
-being told that you and your boys are not to wear uniforms or neckerchiefs in public/to fairs off base because of terror warnings
-terror warning on the way to summer camp (2 vans full of kids and 1,000km on the Autobahn - paranoid joy ride)
All in all mostly positive.
Military has been most supportive, although since the 1980s a jungle of red tape has appeared ... (not their fault!)
Now if they could just air drop some MREs next scout camp ... ;-)