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For Afghan Scouts, 'Be prepared' takes on a new meaning

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  • For Afghan Scouts, 'Be prepared' takes on a new meaning

    Great article in today's LA Times about Boy Scouts in Afghanistan:,full.story

    The group's motto, "Be prepared," takes on special meaning here, where members risk death to attend meetings, earn "rule of law" merit badges and learn to identify roadside bombs in
    first aid

  • #2
    This is a nice article. I could not help but wonder why the Times can publish this very positive piece, though they did mention the Gay issue slightly in passing, and seldom recognize the similar large contribution of Scouting to the communities here. They certainly find the space to publicize all kinds of negative things, even though the positive is far more the norm.


    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      The LA Times hasn't got an axe to grind with the ASA.

  • #3
    Skeptic, it's simply a case of what constitutes news. Most people are unfamiliar with day to day life in Afghanistan where as they know what scouts do in the average American community. Simple as that.


    • skeptic
      skeptic commented
      Editing a comment
      Frankly, due to the lack of almost any positive media coverage, I am not so sure people really know what BSA units do, especially the level of service they give. In our small to medium council, using a conservative average of 100 hours per Eagle project, last years Eagle class contributed over 20K hours, mostly to public schools, local parks, and the Forest Service. Without those projects, these improvements would simply not occur, as the state budgets do not allow it. That does not include the money factors in the projects, nor the likely similar level of hours in other general troop projects. My point is simply that the overall good the BSA does for their communities far outweighs the backlash of the PC campaign that favors a very small percentage of the public and in its own way is just as bigoted as they claim the Scouts are. The real problem is that Scouting IS NOT a political organization, nor does it have a huge, wealthy and powerful lobby pushing its cause. It has issues that need to be solved; but its history has shown it evolves over time. Their problem is that the negative campaigners do not care about how much damage may be done to communities or the children deriving real growth from their Scouting experience. All they want is to enforce their "rights", not understanding that rights are not license; nobody's rights should overpower someone else's. The two sides of the controversy could exist without all the drama, especially since NO ONE is required to join BSA or any church. It is a choice. The common sense idea that if you do not agree, simply do not intermingle seems to have no place anymore. We live in a world where the loudest, most strident voice or the richest cause wins. I suspect if you could ever get the 70% or so of the populace that simply tunes it all out, refusing to side with anyone, to speak up, they would overwhelm the more radical issues on both the right and left. JMO of course.

  • #4
    The Times has printed pictures of Scouts handling the colors at Memorial Day and other ceremonies. Those are not as interesting as controversy, however, and they don't sell newspapers. The Times also has ripped apart the local schools, with 10x the coverage as when a a local school wins the Academic Decathalon.

    There is also the problem that under recent leadership (since the Dale decision), the Boy Scouts have chosen to avoid press coverage. This year was the first that I received a note from my Council asking if we were doing anything for Memorial Day, so that they they could tell the press. There should be PR training for all DEs, and part of their job should be to send releases and invite the press to events where we shine. Until then, it is only interesting when Man Bites Dog.

    As for the recent issues - we gave ourselves that press black eye by how we treated each other in the debate.