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Hiking MB a thing of the past

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You may say "yes, but I can't get to mountains, oceans and primeval forests. How then am I to see and understand the wonders of Nature and her messages?"


Well, you can do almost as much in your own country if you will come away from the town and suburb and get out into the open, into the woods and meadows.


With your page on your back and a staff in your hand or taking with you your little canvas home, your blanket or your cooking-pot -- and FREEDOM. Out in God's open air, drinking in the glories of sky and earth and sea; seeing the colour in the woods and fields, scenting the flowers and the hay, hearing the music of the brooks and birds and the whispering wind, getting to know the animals and their ways, till you feel that you are a comrade with them all and "find yourself" as a part of the great scheme of Nature.


--Lord Baden-Powell, Roving to Success

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Maybe a sign of the times, as I am looking at all these "instant" merit badges now for summer camp, I can't help but feel like I am watching the video game generation. Each hour is packed with one "adventure" after another.


I feel that a lot of adults are afraid to let those boys try, or that it is so simple that it escapes the boys and adults attention.


It is going against the grain to pick a put down on paper " 12 mile hike, 6 hours time with lunch"...people would rather see, I did 3 merit badges. Even the Philmont program is now built more around many small "adventures".


I had more quality time as a scout doing those long distance trips (even with out adults), than during any merit badge trip.


I was sitting around a campfire a few months ago and this very topic came up. 4 of the adults had done Hiking MB as scouts.


3 of us, all from different states had done the same 20 mile trail in Kentucky. We all could remember that trail, and the 10+/- mile second day after that. We all were about the same age, maybe 12 or 13.


As a adult, I can remember more about those trips than any mammal studies MB.


I would rather see a boy do things like that, then worry about getting rank.



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Is part of the issue perhaps that scouting is looked upon by some as a means to an end rather than an end itself? That is, perhaps some attach an undue importance to merit badges and rank because they believe it will get them somewhere in life? Or is it just a natural competitive spirit? Though I think if it were the latter, actual accomplishments and knowledge would outrank paper ones. :-)

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A favorite quote of mine


Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their

elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they

contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.


Who said this again?(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Back in me Scout days, most of us realized early on that the two most important MB's in our advancement arsenal were Hiking, and Cycling.

Hikes, and bike trips were always planned around requirements for other MB's. Often times, we would be working on at any one time near about 15 other MB's. It was common in our Troop to have Stars and Lifes with MB's in the 40 plus range, and Eagles pushing 70 plus....


(This message has been edited by le Voyageur)

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Ironically, if my Scout wants to get his Eagle, he'll *have* to do the Hiking MB.


The alternatives, Cycling and Swimming are non-starters for him.


He never learned how to ride a bike, too phobic about crashing.


He's really a non-swimmer, in spite of being passed by the YMCA Lifeguard.


So, if he want's his Eagle, he'll have to hike his way there!

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DLChris and Qwazse... I have no problem with finding trails. I would NOT aim for the easy one as they can be quite boring in my opinion. I would aim for the ones that climb to a panarama view on top or hide some hidden treasure. There is a couple of hidden treasure ones with relativity flat trails along waterways that I would hit first. I like the idea of moving trails meaning checking out a different one each time and increase the endurance and length.


My problem stems from having adults and youth leaders that would struggle doing just a couple miles hike hence my reason for wanting the progressions like the Cycling MB gives.


Gotta agree with LisaBob in not doing the hiking around some track or to people's house. I'm of the opinion that hiking is to encourage one to get out in nature on the off beaten track. There is SO many hidden trails.

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OGE: While attributed to Socrates via Plato, the origin is disputed since none of Socrates' writings have survived.


Even if Socrates didn't actually say it, I bet he (and every other elder for the last 2000 years) thought it.

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DS.....Again you use I.....


When are you going to make the connection????? The boys do the merit badges on their own.....Not in a troop class room setting. You are out of line scheduling troop hikes of your choosing and planning.


The boys pick and plan the hikes, just that simple.


It is not your decision....It never was intended to be.....


what you think is cool the boys will not.....


My son did it, one of his hikes was to a Hooters for lunch......Not my choice but his.... I tagged along......

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Again my life is different most on this board....


I ride Ducati's I am a member of DesmoOhio a Ducati enthusiast group......The local group meets at the local Hooters regularly.....Son has been tagging along since his feet were able to touch the foot pegs. So he has been going since he was 6.....


So what is so evil with hooters????? Beer and drinking????? The gals in the shorts and tight tops???? I am glad my that I am not all hung up and my son will grow up with the advantage of not having that intellectual burden.


Now had he asked to go to the Platinum Fox.....that would have been no, you need to wait till your 21....










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I'm just sharing my view that there are boundaries within which a boy plans out his scouting activities, and this particular choice would have been outside the boundaries IMO. Apparently, you agree that there are some boundaries, but we may differ on where the boundaries are.


You, of course, are free to do what you want according to your values.


For me, I do not support establishments that make their reputation and profit by objectifying other people. That's me, those are my values, and so I would have told my kid "no" to that.



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Hooter's has just never done anything for me. I'm just not impressed. Been there quite a few times as my boss would offer to buy lunch there.


Been there a few times with my friends too.


They do have an awesome steak and cheese sandwhich though.


So, my son may decide to hike there. he may decide to hike to a beach that has it's share of bikinis and thongs.


He might decide to hike somewhere more intense.


Maybe his patrol wants to meet at a deli that also serve beer and the waitstaff are known for their minimal dress.


WHo knows what they will chose.


But the thing here is to let them experience all sides of life, then use their own dveloping moral judgement to make better decisions in life.


Okay, from personal experince, I have been friends with 3 different people who's fathers were preachers. Two were males and one was a female.


One of the males was my best friend for many years and part of my wedding party. His wife( now ex-wife) is very good friends with my wife to this day.


WEll, my friend was a beer drinker and quite the party animal. His wife was too. They both would talk the talk, but couldn't walk the walk. They stole stuff, they cheated on each other, they did pretty much the opposite of what their parents had taught them.


The girl I was friends with..well, she'd dress all nice and proper when her parents were around, but as soon as daddy went off on a buisnes trip with mom in tow, she was into catsuits, leather mini skirts, pvc clothing and such. Little weed here, little bit of coke there, sleep with whoever was willing.


Third friend, well, he had a knack for aquirring and selling stuff that was stolen. Dealt weed too.


So, what I saw was that just preaching and preaching and preaching to them could just as easily get you a child that will respond exactly opposite of what you expected.


Now, some other friends I had who were in very religious families or had c lergy for parents...well, there parents were not so strict., They did stuff , they dabbled and they experienced life just like everybody else.


Today you will find them all to be very decent people with outstanding morals.


Now, I do have to say one thing about the following comment:


"establishments that make their reputation and profit by objectifying other people"


What is really being objectified? The women of the money they make from it? Take into consideration that these girls voluntarily sought out the job, made their own decision to apply, fill out an application and work there for pay that is not shabby at all.


Is it really objectifying them if they willfully engage in it? Maybe the women are objectifying themselves? I mean, we are not talking about forced servitude or indentured servants, They are not sex slaves either.


So anyways, my point is this: I am not going to encourage my son to drink beer every night. I am not going to suggest he try all sorts of drugs. I will not teach him to steal either.


But I do expect him to experience life on his own, and make decisions on his own based on his own morals that he polishes through experience instead of just because dad said so.


Me, I drank enough beer when I was 19 and 20 to last a lifetime. I smoked enough weed too. Used to be quite a party animal.


Today, I can tell you that I do not use any drugs. I don't even take many medicines that are prescribed to me either. Just me. Tylenol and Tums are about as extreme as I go.


Drinking? I can count on one hand how many times I have drank in the last ten years. And for each of those times, I can count on one hand how many drinks I had.


My point?

I saw, I did, I got over it. Doesn't appeal to me at all. But what I did do is experience life, came up with my own decisions of my own free will.


Not because somebody forbade me to do it.


It's part of learning and growing.


But as for Hooters itself? I don't see a big deal with it. Not my cup of tea, but neither are restaurants where you wear tuxedos just to impress yourself and everybody around you. I mean come on, does wearing a tuxedo really make you a better person? More class or just social elitism?



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DS- I too personally like the summit with the vista...though these days its a hard thing to find. Some times we find a sunset over a pond or river, or quietness of the dark path. Well I can only hope a trail is found by your troop. But remember the easy training hikes of 10 miles are just that, training. You want fancy views from the passes in the Grand Tetons you need to get the boys in shape. I am definitely against track hikes, but there are plenty of good opportunities around the country for interesting easy-moderated hikes.


By the way, my Webelos son did a 3 mile hike yesterday as part of his Outdoorsman and lived and has easily done 6 miles with a 15 pound pack. And you guys are telling me a boy scout can't do 10 miles? Geez.

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