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    Tales of Scout cooks, prized techniques and yummy recipes for gathering around the fire.


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    • Yes, but the problem is what is a "non-political position" when EVERYTHING is a political position? Masks. What kind of meat you serve (or don't) at an event. Who your CO is. Everything. The mere act of standing for the National Anthem? Political statement.
    • The emphasized sentence concerns me greatly because if trained Scouters do not understand this, we are in deep trouble. YOUTH LED VIA THE PATROL METHOD IS THE FOUNDATION OF SCOUTING! (emphasis). The fun programs you mention and others: sports, 4-H, band,  robotics, church groups, school, etc all have adults telling the kids what to do, how to do it, etc.  Scouting is suppose to let the youth be in charge with adults guiding and mentoring. Youth make the decisions, do the planning and organizing, conduct the activities, etc. For many youth in Scouting, this the first time they actually do what they want to do, and it IS magical. Youth led is messy, disorganized, and full of trial and error. The  Scouts may seem like they are flailing about. BUT, in the long term they learn and grow so much faster. Sadly I am seeing more adult led troops and troops that allow adults to interfere needlessly in the patrols. My sons and I left a troop like that because it was not Scouting. Scouts were getting frustrated at the adult interference to the point they "zoned out." They had no true reason to be there except  because they wanted to get Eagle or they were forced to. When we switched to a true youth-led troop, it was a world of difference in attitudes. My boys went from apathetic and sarcastic complainers who gave up trying to run their patrols to active, sympathetic, Scouts willing to take charge and be successful with fun activities. I have worked with youth professionally in my career. I have been deeply concerned how many youth today have no interest in taking initiative and responsibility for themselves. I have seen it when i was organizing job shadowing experiences at the hospital, and I see it at the college. Parents making all the decisions and doing all the work for their high school, and in some cases college students. Worse case, mom was ticked off she could not be at the academic counseling session due to COVID. Student got the schedule and classes he wanted. When Mom was informed, she was ticked off,  yelled through the door the schedule is screwed up and she will be redoing it as soon as she is able to.  What life lessons did that college student learn? Youth led does a heck of a lot more than "make a tedious program more enjoyable." It gives them a chance to make decisions, problem solve,  responsibility, plan, provide leadership, make mistakes and learn from them,  independence, and self reliance.  I agree with you the advancement. The Advancement Method has been so corrupted over the years by National, that is is nowhere near it's original purpose by Baden-Powell. The original purpose of Advancement was to provide a series of skills  and experiences that Scouts challenged themselves to complete. Mastery of the skill was required, and rewarded with a badge. Nowadays the focus is on getting First Class in a year, getting Eagle, getting X number of MBs, etc that some Scouts are not truly getting the full benefit of the advancement program. I'd rather have the 16 year old Life Scout who did a 50 miler in the Canadian wilderness who truly earned First Aid MB do first aid on me to save my life than the Life  Scout, about to make Eagle, who did not know what shock was and how to treat it at a first aid competition. The purpose of advancement is to learn life skills, not get Eagle, X number of MBs, etc. And too many adults have forgotten that. One of the reasons it is fun is because they have their freedom. They make the decisions. They have the responsibility. Yes camping is fun. But deciding where to camp, what activity THEY want to do, what meals THEY want to cook, etc is freedom that they do not have in other fun activities.
    • True. Other adult led programs are fun for kids. But there IS something magical about youth-led. That is it directly leads to the mission of Scouting. Without it, adults make the (majority of) decisions. Scouts cannot learn to make good decisions without having the opportunity to make any decisions.  Scouting as youth-led and via the patrol method is the structure which allows scouts to make decisions (including bad ones) and learn from them all while having fun.  
    • ... because some adults lose track of the "fun" part when running the program that they plan and lead.  Kids may not want to grind away at a merit badge every single meeting at some advancement mill.  You won't see many kids turning out for baseball who dislike baseball. unless dad is trying to live vicariously through his child. (which does happen - like the dad who never got Eagle, but his kid WILL!!)   Kids mainly  join Scouting to have fun with friends, not to "benefit from"  an educational program to make them good citizens.  The later sounds like school, which has become near year-round for many, even those not on a sports (year-'round) team.    
    • Absolutely not. It's just weird that the concept of  "fun" for kids has to be discussed in an organization devoted to kids at all. Does that make any sense? I'm not trying to be adversarial I'm just noting that this never comes up for discussion in other forums I participate in for sports coaches or 4-H or whatever. The activity itself is always fun. The discussions are always about admin stuff or how to make it better or how to recruit more kids. I just realized it tonight reading that comment how strange that is that we discuss it here. 
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