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  • Scouts is Uncool

    Is it common that most Scouts find it uncool to be in Scouts? I myself was always trying to keep it on the down-low when I was in Elementary School, and really started having some pride in it when I was a Freshman or Sophomore.

    I know a few Scouts in the unit who have similar feelings about it. Figured it was an interesting enough thing to see how common it is.

  • #2
    In Middle School in particular, lads want to fit in. In that environment, scouts is uncool. Mostly da goofy uniforms and such. If yeh did the same stuff with a church group or outdoors club it would be OK.

    By sophomore or junior year in high school, it's still uncool but not as big an issue. Boys in high school are lookin' to stand out as much as fit in, and high schoolers tend to find niches of friends where they can be themselves.

    So yah, sure, most scouts will report at least that their classmates think scouts is uncool.



    • #3
      That's what I call "The secret scout society". Yes, they keep their scouting activities quiet, even the :good: scouts. It prevents bullying, from what I've learned.


      • #4
        A few decades ago, middle school was easy to be a scout, but I was the only kid in my High School who wore his uniform on Scouting's anniversary. My classmates were good people, and respected individuals. But I was also the guy who stood up for bullied kids, even when my friends were doing the bullying. In any case I carried Scouting with as much pride as the QB carried football.

        I felt sorry for the boys who were afraid to put themselves out there ...

        I can see nowadays that middle school would be tough, but social media encourages individualism, and once kids are able to use that FB account, our scouts are posting pics of their weekend activities. Campfires are "uniforms" that never go out of vogue.


        • #5
          So, if you think being a scout is hard or uncool today, try being a scout in the Chicago area in the Post '68 Democratic Convention era. We didnt wear our uniforms for over 2 years for fear of being harmed by the "peace loving hippies". Our Scoutmaster told us it wasnt worth getting hurt because we were wearing our uniforms. Our District Camporees had adults and older scouts patrolling the campsite perimeter because of rumored "raids".

          Mob hatred of those who state they will be righteous is not new, it's a part of life.

          In the greatest movie of all times, Whitey tells his father he dosent want to go off with "a bunch of daisy pickin' Momma's boys",

          It is a conundrum, how to attract individuals in an age range where individualism is not highly regarded. But then being smart has its dangers as well


          • #6
            Ya it's uncool

            I have struggled with how to write a response that was even close to PC.

            First I enjoy my boys for who they are....... BUT.

            Bottom line is I look at my boys at summer camp lined up for flags at summer camp, No quarterbacks, class presidents or kids popular with their peers at school.

            A couple of weeks ago, I Stopped by the webelos meeting and there was one scout crying staring at the wall and two hiding under the table......the WDL response was they do that. Great........

            Just sayin.......


            • #7
              Be careful when you say "most." It's common, but not necessarily a universal opinion.

              I have met Scouts in school who I didn't know were Scouts. When I found out, a lot of them replied that they didn't want to make a big deal out of it or to keep their personal lives out of school. Primary school, it's not a huge issue. I've seen girls wearing Cub Scout uniforms for some reason. Middle school is the time where they go through all these changes, so it IS a big deal to some. By high school, people don't really worry or care much anymore.

              As long as there is a pervasive "Scouts is for the socially awkward" perception, then it will be common.


              • #8
                Basement; I do not live where you do, nor know your kids, but the idea you do not see any athletes or such is nonsense. We have had many scouts in those positions in our area over the years. One year, one of my Eagles graduated 4th in his class and got a full academic scholarship to NAU. But he also was student body president and captain of the water polo team. Have had other similar situations with scouts in other units throughout our council. Then of course you can find numerous Eagle Scouts who are successful athletes in colleges, and even a few making it in the pro's.

                We simply need to find a way to not hide these success stories, as they are not as unusual as we tend to think.


                • #9
                  We can't overlook the image of the adult scouter. It plays a big factor too.

                  Like Basement, I am having trouble drafting a PC idea on this. So I'll just plow in, broad brush:

                  Many adults in scouting don't convey the image of "you want to be like me" to the kids.

                  Quite the opposite. Yes, they are well-meaning folks, we couldn't get by without them, etc. True. But the fact remains.

                  It's probably a factor is why kids flock to JR ROTC, football, etc.


                  • #10
                    Is Scouting the coolest thing on post? No, but we also have mostly well-rounded and well-adjusted boys and parents as part of our units due to demographics of a higher headquarters and the reluctance of the military to transfer families with special needs to this area.

                    For my nephew though, most of the kids in his den are "challenged" to one extent or another. Only one other child in D's den is "normal." (My sister is a middle school teacher, so her definition of normal is pretty expansive.) These kids are unable or unwilling to fully participate in an active program. Their parents often abandon them to DLs who are not therapists or social workers to get an hour of quiet. It's no wonder the D-Man prefers his baseball teammates and quit Cubs.

                    I suppose I'm getting to the point that I believe if kids can't behave or perform at/near grade level, they need to be in a pack that runs every den like a Tiger den. It's not having one or two kids in the pack with a "special need." It's having 30-40% with issues but not having those parents realize that the average volunteer just can't handle it, and those parents still insist we treat their kids both like everyone else and in accordance with the IEP.


                    • #11
                      "Scouts is uncool"...been hearing that since the 60s...


                      • #12
                        It depends on the boy himself. Some hide it, others don't mind if others know they are scouts. Four of my high school seniors (three of whom are athletes as well) served as a color guard in front of the whole school for their school's Veteran's Day ceremonies. I was definitely proud of them!


                        • #13
                          "Scouts is uncool"...been hearing that since the 60s...

                          Ditto. The irony today is that scouts may do more in scouting, but there is less they are permitted do themselves than back in the 60s. Uncool then more uncool now.

                          My $0.02,


                          • #14
                            I am seeing exactly what Nike is seeing.

                            The normal boys try scouting for a while and because we have such a collection of misfits they leave to be with boys with less issues. Same goes for the parents, they come in and see the dysfunctional boys acting out they take their sons and leave.


                            • #15
                              IT was uncool back in the late 70s/early80s. A couple of fun stories though.

                              Junior year of high school. Chemistry class. One boy in the room had given the instructor an invitation to his Eagle COH before class. The instructor congratulated him during class. One boy (sitting in front of me) "Ha Ha - you are still in Scouts?"
                              I tap him on the shoulder, tell the boy I am honored to have Mike join the Eagle's nest (we are different troops). I was also a football letterman.
                              The boy in FRONT of the bully turns around and ask what the kids problem is. He had Eagled with me. He was the President of the FFA.
                              ANOTHER kid (a Senior) also pipes up that HE is an Eagle.
                              Great moment in closet Scouts speaking up.

                              Frat house, Stanford University. 1/3 of the men in my house were Eagles. My wife's granola crunchy hippie dorm at Stanford one night at dinner a guy does the Scout sign, and every single one of the men recited the oath and law just for fun.

                              District Camporee last year. My older son is leading the crew in competition. While everyone is assembling for morning flags, etc, he grabs the Crew flag and tells the Webelos to follow him for victory lap running around the "bowl" where we are assembled. He hears his name called out from two different directions - two boys from his high school are there from different units. All closet Scouts. My son - letterman and season MVP in Soccer.

                              My unit is full of Lettermen in Soccer, Football and Wrestling from 4 high schools. We also have our share of other groups as well.

                              My son stopped wearing his uniform to school in 5th grade.
                              He was embarrassed to be called out in 8th grade.
                              He stopped caring at 9th grade ("Dad, everyone knows - and I can take just about anyone who tries to mess with me about it. If not, I get XYZ to help." XYZ is the wrestler.