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Merlyn_LeRoy

UK: Scouts get prepared for more gay recruits

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Thanks Lisabob.

You post:

"As for comparison to others - this is just not a very American thing to do. We have a tendency to assume that our way is the best way, without examining the evidence or considering alternate interpretations or measures."

For a very long time I thought this was just something I was thinking.

I was kinda guilty of this "Our way is the best way". Line of thinking when it came to Scouts and Scouting. In my case it was that the English had it right.

I have grown a little? Now I'm happy to agree that there are different courses for different horses.

Ea.

 

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In my experience, I have found that the opposite is almost always true.

 

"Stupid Americans, what do they know..." People from near and far feel entitled to give their unsolicited opinion on how we run our country and our lives, and how we should be more like them, regardless of whether their system works better, or if it works at all.

 

Let the Scouting Association in the UK be the Scouting Association in the UK. My son will never be a member of that organization, and whatever they do matters not at all to me. If it comes to pass that the Boy Scouts of America chooses to change their policies, then I will make a decision whether I want my family to continue in scouting.

 

The only solution can come from within, and at the decision of the BSA and it's scouts. The only part of the issue on which I do have strong feelings is that I am adamantly opposed to the ACLU's campaign of lawsuits against the BSA. In every other aspect, I can support arguments both for and against change.

 

(This message has been edited by Garrison Cap)

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Garrison - the point made was that "we" Americans feel we are the best and will not look at other countries successes.. Which is true.. We are pompoue & smug.. In some cases we have our rights, in others we are not in the position to feel superior, and our attitude is causing big problems.

 

You should always look at what others are doing to figure out ways to improve. You may not like 80% or feel it will not work in our situation, but then the 20% is worth taking a closer look at..

 

Improvement doesn't come by looking within, it is from looking at what others do, or welcoming diverse individuals into your group ones with different ideas who may shake you up a bit.

 

If you have a troop that is not boy lead, we say take some training & go out and visit other troops to get new ideas..

 

If you need to learn something new, you take a course or buy a book, or ask those with expirience.. You can not learn or grow in a vaccum..

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Garrison.

 

I am always willing to listen to new ideas, where ever they come from.

 

Doesn't starting a thread about UK Scouts invite comment from UK Scouts?

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I guess it is probably human nature to assume that one's own culture (family, sports team, whatever) is really the best, but I do think American culture also reinforces this assumption in ways that are less evident in other societies.

 

A point I try to make in my teaching is that we can better understand ourselves - where we are coming from, why we have a tendency to respond to issues the way we do, how our decisions are made - by having something or someone else to compare with. It can be enlightening to examine how other places deal with similar problems. This isn't necessarily saying we have to change as a result of comparison, but sometimes we might also decide that we want to make changes. Sometimes, we might simply better understand the trade-offs inherent in any course of action, and so feel more grounded in the decisions we have made & continue to abide by.

 

To our UK scout friends: Welcome! Please pull up a log around the virtual fire.

 

 

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Garrison - it is true that some people in Europe particularly do behave in a somewhat snobbish manner towards the USA. For the most part it is unwarranted and unfair.

 

However it is worth remembering that the physcially smaller nature of European nations and how so many languages and cultures are packed into a small land mass means that it is part of the European attitude to compare and contrast ourselves with each other and inevitably that attitude spreads to comparing ourselves with other non European nations.

 

My impression of the USA, although admitedly I have only been there once, is that Americans are more curious and knowledgeable about other countries than many Europeans give them credit for but that that curiosity does not always extend to wanting to adopt any aspects of those cultures. I am not saying that they should have to by any means but I think that if they don't then they do lay themselves open to being labled as insular.

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I think it's futile to argue over whether America is insular or not - simply because to do so ignores the vast variation in culture and people across the country. The wife and I are looking to move back to NorCal at some point - we loved it when I worked there for three years and can't think of anywhere we're rather live. Our friends there were well-traveled, mostly because everyone in the area is very globally minded and I worked for an international company. But I also met some very insular locals. And that insularity can be more pronouced in other States. Only 27% of Americans have passports (June 2008), and it far fewer only a decade ago when you could get to Canada and Mexico on a driving license.

 

That said, Scouting is supposed to be global. B-P was very clear on this. We can't send every Scout to an international jamboree, but we could all use more small scale exchanges and communication. It's not really about reading each other's books. Every UK Scout (10-14) has to complete the Global Challenge as 1/8th of his or her Chief Scout Gold award. Every Explorer Scout (14-18) should be given the opportunity of an international expedition, and must complete one including foreign service to attain their Explorer Belt. It's the hardest part of our programme to organize. It's considered worth it because of the educational value to the individual and the ongoing positive effect on our Scouting community here.

 

Is the BSA more or less insular than the country it serves?

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Lisabob,

 

When one is simply not interested in learning or growing, whether it is through hubris or merely a healthy sense of self-satisfaction, the number or quality of available information sources is really immaterial.

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Gregharewood

 

If the UK offered the range of holiday opportunities that the USA can, from skiing to Mediterranean style beach holidays, all in a country that speaks English. Then I dare say only 27% of our fellow countrymen would have a passport.

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It seems Americans are pretty much regarded as the filthy beasts thorughout the world, ill mannered uncultured and pretty much not nice.

 

None of which explains why so many people want to leave their homes to come here to live however

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Chug,

 

I don't mean to say that Europeans travel for the right reasons, but they DO travel and they do acquire a wider experience as a result, albeit as an accidental side effect. :-)

 

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@OldGrayEagle

 

I find it a minority of Brits that have negative views of Americans.

 

Please don't take anything I've said negatively. It's hardly surprising that it can be hard to convince some Americans that there is anything worth seeing beyond the border. The benefits of seeing how the rest of the world live can seem a little intangible when in most material (and meteorological) ways at least it is going to appear inferior.

 

But there ARE benefits, and that is really my point - that Scouting should be pushing those things. B-P very clearly expressed a desire that boys get to appreciate other cultures and have international experience, and that in an ideal world, such communication and understanding could contribute to world peace. It IS a core original ideal of Scouting, and - in this I am being a little forthright - you ARE failing in Scouting if you fail to understand this and implement it where possible.

 

 

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>>It seems Americans are pretty much regarded as the filthy beasts thorughout the world, ill mannered uncultured and pretty much not nice.

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Eagledad

 

"filthy beast" is from one of my all time favorite movies

 

 

lets see, North to South Great Britain is what 683 miles in length? New York to Los Angelos is 2,800 miles. From Ely. Minnesota on the Canadian border to Eagle Pass Texas on the Mexican border is 1,630 miles. I can hear any language in the world by traveling 45 minutes to New York City and walking around town. I can backpack the deep backwoods wilderness of Maine's Allagash, I can take a swamp boat across FLorida's Okefenokee Swamp, there are the badlands of SOuth Dakota, the Majesty of the Rockies and the green lushness of the Pacific Northwest. Along the way I will cross as many cultures and ways of looking at things as anywhere.

 

 

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You know how it is...anytime you meet somebody new, or want to make an impression, your friend with the very least amount of tact, common sense and who is the most abrassive with stand up in his loudest voice and say something to embarrass you and give a very wrong picture of you! :)

 

I've seen it on both sides. I have some German frieds who thing we are curiously funny: We build cars that go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, and will top out at 200 mph, and we drive them on hiways where you get ticketed for going over 55 mph.

 

Anyways, what is something that Americans do whe they go abroad? They try to do whatever they want based on American laws and customs, and when stopped by the police, cry out loudly: "You can't do this! I am an AMERICAN!" as if the law enforcment of other countries are suddenly supposed to let us go.

 

How about when we are around non english speaking people, and we think that by speaking slowly and loudly, it suddenly becomes universal? Or we add extra syllables and think we are speaking the host countries language?

 

" I need-o to use-o the telephone-o to call-o my hotel-o! Yep, that's instant Espanol right there buddy! :)

 

But, it's not all of us. or even most of us, just the loudest, most abrassive and embarrassing of us!

 

But I also have seen others move here only to tell me why thier former country was so much better and why we should do this, this, this and this to be just like that place that was so spectacularly awesome...they couldn't wait to leave it!

 

My point, we are no better or worse, we just do it in a different language! :)(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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