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fred johnson

Is today's scouting too prissy?

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Prissy by design since 1965, the year that William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt retired, leaving the BSA's top office managers in control of the program.

They switched Scouting's icon from outdoorsmen to themselves.

 

You see a continuum from that event to the present day. First we got the program experiment of 1972 that, despite official utterances, never really ended. Then we got this Mission Statement that talks about "moral and ethical choices" and ignores the whole point of the exercise, namely citizenship. As B-P so eloquently stated of Scouting in Scouting For Boys, "it is, in a word, a school of citizenship through woodcraft." Unfortunately, we have "progressed" from having Scouting be active in the community to removing Scouting from view in the community and sequestering it in church basements, and we have "progressed" from raising up strong citizens to carefully molding sheeple! In effect, we have forgotten the point of the exercise.

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Unauthorized and Restricted Activities The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America:

  1. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are banned from program use. The exception is council-approved ATV programs. They are not approved for unit use. ATVs are defined as motorized recreational cycles with three or four large, soft tires, designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.
  2. Boxing, karate, and related martial artsâ€â€except judo, aikido, and Tai Chiâ€â€are not authorized activities.
  3. Chainsaws and mechanical log splitters may be authorized for use only by trained individuals over the age of 18, using proper protective gear in accordance with local laws.
  4. Exploration of abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity.
  5. Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.
  6. Fireworks secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities is unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert.
  7. The selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or moneyearning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils.
  8. Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental aircraft, or hot-air balloons (nontethered); parachuting; and flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission are unauthorized activities. Tethered hot-air balloon flights are authorized, and a flying plan must be submitted.
  9. Motorized go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized for Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. Go-carting conducted at a commercial facility that provides equipment and supervision of cart operation is authorized upon submittal of a completed tour and activity plan. Participating in motorized speed events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies, and related events are not authorized activities for any program level.
  10. Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events and council or district sponsorship of rodeos are not authorized.
  11. Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations. Units with council approval may participate in formally organized historical reenactment events, where firearms are used and intentionally aimed over the heads of the reenactment participants. The use of paintball guns, laser guns or similar devices may be utilized in target shooting events with council approval and following the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety. Council approval means the approval of the Scout Executive or his designee on a tour permit specifically outlining details of the event. (However, law enforcement departments and agencies using firearms in standard officer/agent training may use their training agenda when accompanied with appropriate safety equipment in the Law Enforcement Exploring program.)
  12. Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.
    (The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.)
  13. Motorized personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet-Skis®, are not authorized for use in Scouting aquatics, and their use should not be permitted in or near BSA program areas. The exception is council-approved PWC programs. They are not approved for unit use.
  14. Except for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the BSA hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.)
  15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by any other means, is unauthorized.
  16. All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock cord jumping) are unauthorized.
  17. Technical tree-climbing with ropes or harnesses is not authorized as an activity.
  18. Water chugging and related activities are not authorized for any program level.

I have often wondered if an imaginary finger pointing gun qualifies as a simulated firearm. I have seen a firing squad skit IOLS, so I guess it needs to be a physical object.

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Unauthorized and Restricted Activities The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America:

  1. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are banned from program use. The exception is council-approved ATV programs. They are not approved for unit use. ATVs are defined as motorized recreational cycles with three or four large, soft tires, designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.
  2. Boxing, karate, and related martial artsâ€â€except judo, aikido, and Tai Chiâ€â€are not authorized activities.
  3. Chainsaws and mechanical log splitters may be authorized for use only by trained individuals over the age of 18, using proper protective gear in accordance with local laws.
  4. Exploration of abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity.
  5. Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.
  6. Fireworks secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities is unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert.
  7. The selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or moneyearning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils.
  8. Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental aircraft, or hot-air balloons (nontethered); parachuting; and flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission are unauthorized activities. Tethered hot-air balloon flights are authorized, and a flying plan must be submitted.
  9. Motorized go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized for Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. Go-carting conducted at a commercial facility that provides equipment and supervision of cart operation is authorized upon submittal of a completed tour and activity plan. Participating in motorized speed events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies, and related events are not authorized activities for any program level.
  10. Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events and council or district sponsorship of rodeos are not authorized.
  11. Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations. Units with council approval may participate in formally organized historical reenactment events, where firearms are used and intentionally aimed over the heads of the reenactment participants. The use of paintball guns, laser guns or similar devices may be utilized in target shooting events with council approval and following the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety. Council approval means the approval of the Scout Executive or his designee on a tour permit specifically outlining details of the event. (However, law enforcement departments and agencies using firearms in standard officer/agent training may use their training agenda when accompanied with appropriate safety equipment in the Law Enforcement Exploring program.)
  12. Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.
    (The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.)
  13. Motorized personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet-Skis®, are not authorized for use in Scouting aquatics, and their use should not be permitted in or near BSA program areas. The exception is council-approved PWC programs. They are not approved for unit use.
  14. Except for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the BSA hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.)
  15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by any other means, is unauthorized.
  16. All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock cord jumping) are unauthorized.
  17. Technical tree-climbing with ropes or harnesses is not authorized as an activity.
  18. Water chugging and related activities are not authorized for any program level.

Years ago I took the Camp Director training from National Camping School in order to qualify to run our district Cub Scout Day Camp. One of the publications that I received was the guidelines on what is an appropriate skit for a campfire. I don't have that anymore, but some of the topics to stay away from were: killing, suicide, bullying / humiliation, alcohol / drunkenness, sexual acts, bathroom acts, cross-gender impersonations, underwear / nudity, and inside jokes. That list would eliminate pretty much all of the skits that I can remember from when I was a scout, but with the experience of the years since, I get it.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don't get it. I was at a summer camp a few years ago and the camp staff did all the skits at the opening night's fire. They tried jokes about "fat kids", people in wheelchairs, single-parent families, and race related food stereotypes. I spoke with the camp director about the opportunity for improvement and by the final of camp, the staff was mature enough to intervene and redirect a couple of the campers' skits that went off course.

BSA publication 33696 is meant to help plan a good campfire.

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33696.pdf

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packsaddle - water chugging is a contest to see who can drink the most water in a period of time. It sounds harmless, but there is a slight risk of "Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by over-hydration." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

 

There are a couple of cases per year that I hear about, and I can see this being something that could happen at summer camp in the heat if you aren't careful. I could see a hydration game getting out of control.

OK, I do know about hyponatremia. Just never heard of 'water chugging' before. I am astonished that something like this would rise to the top of the 'fun' bucket. You know, I bet if we had better stuff for them to do, water chugging would fall off of their list of 'fun' things to do, hint, hint.

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This thread has irritated me since it started, there has been a lot of guessing about why scouts is becoming prissy and I have two points on the matter:

 

1) MONEY!! Your council and national want dues $; to do that they need to increase membership and retain already enrolled members. That means they are recruiting and keeping kids that don't want squat to do with the outdoors.

 

2) MANLY??? Seriously???? We are a “prissy†troop according to the local Scouters. Some of our boys even shave their legs, its a great joke while on an outing to see how has smoother legs, them or me (there are times with they have won!)

 

Our “prissy†troop did a 30 mile backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in March, but that wasn't considered “manly†because we didn't go 50 miles. Our “prissy†troop is having their 50 miler in July, but it isn't manly either because we are canoeing, not backpacking. The boys in our “prissy†troop who shave their legs are either on the swim team or cyclist; one pair and their father even complete all 410 miles of the GOBA (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure) every summer. Our “prissy†boys can cook their own meals and don't need mommy to do it for them. And yes, we are fastidious about uniforming!

 

So what do the “manly†troops in our area do??? They attend summer camp and Fall Camp O'ree; occasionally Klondike, but outside of that, not much. When they camp they show up with ATV's so their boys won't actually have to walk anywhere; they can't run a camp stove, dutch oven, or cook over an open flame; and I kid you not, I've seen Scout Masters show up at Camp O'ree with boxes of Pizza for dinner because cooking is women work. Two years ago my mom fined one of the “manly†troops $17,000 for destruction of property and failure to comply with park rules and regulations while camping at a CORP of Engineers property. These guys show up with shirts unbuttoned, tails untucked, and basically look like crap.

 

I think we need to redefine “manly.†There is no reason your Scout Uniform shouldn't be given the same care as a military uniform. Failure to comply with local, state, or federal rules and regulations is never "manly;" At best its ignorant, but more likely its just belligerent!

My point is that National recruits boys that don’t want to go outside unless their “outside†activities resemble a “shoot-um up†video game. The council sponsors two recruiting events each year; one is a Wii & Xbox tournament, the other is watching a Spokane Chief Hockey game.

The Scouts that used ATV’s to destroy waterfowl nesting habitat should have been kicked out; the unit should have been disbanded. Instead they got funds to help pay the fines (and legal fees because they were dumb enough to contest them) all because council didn’t want to lose numbers!

This should not be the image of Scouting; unfortunately, this is what a “manly†unit is. Complete disregard for the law, the environment, personal safety, and the safety of others is the basis anarchy; John Wayne is not welcome here.

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This thread has irritated me since it started, there has been a lot of guessing about why scouts is becoming prissy and I have two points on the matter:

 

1) MONEY!! Your council and national want dues $; to do that they need to increase membership and retain already enrolled members. That means they are recruiting and keeping kids that don't want squat to do with the outdoors.

 

2) MANLY??? Seriously???? We are a “prissy†troop according to the local Scouters. Some of our boys even shave their legs, its a great joke while on an outing to see how has smoother legs, them or me (there are times with they have won!)

 

Our “prissy†troop did a 30 mile backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in March, but that wasn't considered “manly†because we didn't go 50 miles. Our “prissy†troop is having their 50 miler in July, but it isn't manly either because we are canoeing, not backpacking. The boys in our “prissy†troop who shave their legs are either on the swim team or cyclist; one pair and their father even complete all 410 miles of the GOBA (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure) every summer. Our “prissy†boys can cook their own meals and don't need mommy to do it for them. And yes, we are fastidious about uniforming!

 

So what do the “manly†troops in our area do??? They attend summer camp and Fall Camp O'ree; occasionally Klondike, but outside of that, not much. When they camp they show up with ATV's so their boys won't actually have to walk anywhere; they can't run a camp stove, dutch oven, or cook over an open flame; and I kid you not, I've seen Scout Masters show up at Camp O'ree with boxes of Pizza for dinner because cooking is women work. Two years ago my mom fined one of the “manly†troops $17,000 for destruction of property and failure to comply with park rules and regulations while camping at a CORP of Engineers property. These guys show up with shirts unbuttoned, tails untucked, and basically look like crap.

 

I think we need to redefine “manly.†There is no reason your Scout Uniform shouldn't be given the same care as a military uniform. Failure to comply with local, state, or federal rules and regulations is never "manly;" At best its ignorant, but more likely its just belligerent!

Basementdweller: The trip was in the Grand Canyon. There are a plethora of rules and regulations to follow. If you've never done a serious back country trip you might be aware of the permitting requirements. Once below the rim you are required to use leave-no-tace, and yes, we have poop tubes.

 

If the boys choose pizza because they don't know how to cook or because cooking is "women's work" there is a problem. The requirements for rank advancement state that the boys must cook their meals. I won't sign off that requirement for any boy who says he met the requirement by having pizza delivered.

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dedkad ... You provided a great definition. I think that's what I meant. "Someone who is "prissy" would prefer to stay indoors instead of getting outside and getting their hands dirty with hard work and active play."

 

I'd apply that to scouting where merit badge counselors want filled out workbooks instead of just getting down to doing it. Face-to-face. Getting your hands dirty. Youth camp planning that is excessively paperwork based instead of face-to-face working with people.

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Related to this discussion, I have noticed that the adults joining the program with younger guys have significantly less experience in outdoor skills. Is this something that others have seen as well?
@Dedkad,

 

I terms of camping and cub scouts, it may just be that the parents don't like camping, and don't want the expense of camping for themselves. You're talking at least $100 to get basic camping gear for an adult (tent, bag, pad/air mattress, not counting cooking gear). Some parents may want their sons to camp, but have no intent to do it themselves. The first night I camped in a tent was as an 11 yr old Boy Scout. As a cub, I went to Pack overnighters as a day trip. That said, afterwards, my family camped, primarily so that we could experience Yellowstone in the best way possible.

 

@rdclements,

I haven't really noticed that. For the most part, our new adult leaders have at least some outdoor skills. Maybe not First Class Scout level for all, but we are working on that.

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You folks really crack me up. I'm not sure knowing what happens quailfies as Prissy. I've know Prissy as my FIL's dog.

 

Lots of assumptions expressed. Hoping that there are few here who have the ability to think a little outside your sandbox and imagine the possibilities. Look at the reason that knowing about incidents and yes, near misses might be important to an organization who is truely committed to the health and safety of youth. It has nothing to do with lawyers or insurance. It is the right thing to do. Read this http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/HealthandSafety/SafetyThoughts/130205.aspx try and understand. Repeat as necessary.

 

On a serious note I hope the king will never have to make a call about the one did not miss or the person not coming home. Google may enlighten you to the probability you will make a call.

 

And once again, please don't assume.

"...Parents who entrust Scout leaders with their children justifiably expect them to return uninjured..."

 

I have a big problem with that. Partly, because it is a lie. It is impossible to prevent injury--even playing video games in the basement, and as a pediatrician told my wife, it is impossible to cover everything with bubblewrap. I hope my Troop's parents don't read that :-) I do agree that safety is the highest priority for adult leaders, but by that, I am mainly thinking safety from major injuries--drowning, heat stroke, etc.

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I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

 

I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

 

I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

 

I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.

 

Locally, we are seeing the same with Cubs. I think we would be better off to get rid of Tiger Cubs. I think we get too much burnout of kids and volunteers with 4 1/2 yrs of Cubs. I know I barely survived my tenure of 4 1/2 yrs as a Tiger Cub through Webelos den leader (along with another year as a Cub parent). Our troop is busting out at the seams at this point. The Cub pack, which had over 100 scouts when I was involved, is down to less than 30.

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I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

 

I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

 

I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

 

I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.

 

Locally, we are seeing the same with Cubs. I think we would be better off to get rid of Tiger Cubs. I think we get too much burnout of kids and volunteers with 4 1/2 yrs of Cubs. I know I barely survived my tenure of 4 1/2 yrs as a Tiger Cub through Webelos den leader (along with another year as a Cub parent). Our troop is busting out at the seams at this point. The Cub pack, which had over 100 scouts when I was involved, is down to less than 30.

I've been a leader since my son was Tiger. Now going into our final year as a Webelos 2. I agree that there is burnout. I'm burnt out and feel like I'm running out of ideas and enthusiasm. However, I would not have given up the Tiger year for anything. It was so fun doing all the Go-Sees and playing with the boys. If I had come in as a Wolf leader, I think I would have been miserable. I hated the Wolf year because there is too much sitting around, talking, and homework, and the boys just aren't ready for that at that age. I would not support getting rid of Tigers, but this talk about adding Lions does make me worried. You think 4 1/2 years of Cub Scouts causes burnout, imagine what 5 1/2 years will be like. If you've had that much of a drop-out rate with your pack, it's probably time to take a fresh look at your program and maybe get some new leaders in there to spice it up.

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I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

 

I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

 

I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

 

I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.

 

Locally, we are seeing the same with Cubs. I think we would be better off to get rid of Tiger Cubs. I think we get too much burnout of kids and volunteers with 4 1/2 yrs of Cubs. I know I barely survived my tenure of 4 1/2 yrs as a Tiger Cub through Webelos den leader (along with another year as a Cub parent). Our troop is busting out at the seams at this point. The Cub pack, which had over 100 scouts when I was involved, is down to less than 30.

I'm no longer involved in the Pack--haven't been for over 2 yrs, when my youngest crossed over to the Troop. That said, the leadership is supposedly changing. I do agree that's the problem. From what I understand about the Pack, the CM and CC were a married couple, and they didn't delegate enough to others. You can't run a Pack of 100 that way.

 

I still say get rid of Tigers. Make the Wolf year more like the current Tiger year--adding the go-sees. There is no reason not to play with the Wolves.

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Here is a thought, scouting isn't more prissy, it's selection bias. The guys that are here talking about "when I was a scout" aren't a random selection of scouts, they are the scouts that thought this was an important enough program to introduce their sons to AND serve as a volunteer. I have a few adults that, like me, were cub scouts as a kid, just got our first former boy scout to join as a leader - excited for that. I found cub scouting a valuable part of my childhood and wanted it for my son. I remember civic virtues and citizenship as the core of the program, and doing arts and crafts. The other former cub scouts kind of laughed about their experience, they didn't sign up as a leader. So are my experiences representative of it? Who knows, they weren't representative of the other cubs, but I'm the leader that posts on this forum, they'll show up for activities -- maybe. But all of you that were "non prissy" Scouts as a kid aren't a random selection of Scouts, you're the ones who found scouting the adventure of their childhood, and are their recreating it. All the guys that were scouts when you were that aren't registering their son as a cub scout? Those guys were just as prissy as today's prissy scouts.

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I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

 

I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

 

I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

 

I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.

 

Locally, we are seeing the same with Cubs. I think we would be better off to get rid of Tiger Cubs. I think we get too much burnout of kids and volunteers with 4 1/2 yrs of Cubs. I know I barely survived my tenure of 4 1/2 yrs as a Tiger Cub through Webelos den leader (along with another year as a Cub parent). Our troop is busting out at the seams at this point. The Cub pack, which had over 100 scouts when I was involved, is down to less than 30.

Cub Scouting IS Scouting. 65% of BSA Youth Members are cubs. 95% of Boy Scouts had "some prior Cub Scouting experience" -- they might not have transitioned, but they tried Scouting.

 

When I go to Round Table, there are 20 of us at the Cub Breakout, there are 150+ Troop level leaders. When the Council leaders are talking, it's always about the Troop level. Some things are now open to Cubs, but with the Adults doing a ton of work and the Cubs just having fun. Then the Cubs transition, have to do all the work, and lose interest.

 

I'm loving our Cub level camping, I never camped as a Cub Scout (and the adult leaders my age or older remember the same thing, projects with Mom for 2 years, then Dad came for a year or so as you camped as a Webelos and got ready, then off to Boy Scouts with you). I now having a Cub Pack with 5 Campouts on our calendar for next year (plus a Webelos one for that age)... that's a pretty serious commitment for Family Camping. So I tell my skeptical parents that Camping is an optional part of Cub Scouting, they do need to plan on one in 4th/5th grade, it's a blast, but if you won't camp, your son can get a lot out of the program.

 

But for a family that isn't an outdoors program, it's a LOT of family camping. So our core families LOVE camping, and the rest are marginally involved. But when the involved leaders plan stuff, we all plan camping trips... :)

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While we're putting labels on people, my question is: What label should we put on people who insist on putting a label on everybody else?

 

 

 

In the past we have had this issue with ideological labels like conservative, liberal, progressive etc. (this was a particular pet peeve of our departed friend OGE), but I guess there is no end to the kinds of labels, categories, overgeneralizations, etc. that people can think up for each other. Some descriptive terms can be helpful, though I find this is most often true when it is label applied by someone to themselves. In other words if someone says "I am a ____________" I usually tend to believe him/her unless there is evidence to the contrary. But "That guy over there is a __________" is not so useful most of the time.

"What label should we put on people who insist on putting a label on everybody else?"

 

Ans - Label-ers DUH!

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