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As an American?

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Protesting "as an american"? Really? In every country, scouts is about citizenship and that DOES include the flag and a certain level of patriotism. Now, ya don't need to wave the flag or run and join the military. But it does mean a certain level of "proud to be an american". I'm astounded anyone would question that.

 

It's like saying you are member of a church, but the church doesn't believe in the existence of God and doesn't really have any core beliefs (i.e. UUA). It's like saying you are believe everyone needs to pay their fair share but then protesting when the taxes hit you. But then supporting taxes that hit either the working poor or the top 1%.

 

"As an American" ... ya know ... scouts also say the pledge of allegiance before each meeting. Your scouts from India, New Zealand and the U.K. already have a much bigger issue. How about the Scout Oath?

 

Sorry ... that question did get to me. But to be honest, I know very few scouts who know the outdoor code. They read it once and then tend to forget it.

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If they are not an "American" I would just substitute the word Scout or use whatever they call themselves. I also believe that being "American" is more of an idea than a legalistic citizenship term. The idea is best embodied in the Declaration of Independce. Anyone who supports those ideals is welcome to stand with me as American.

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I did a little digging on the Internet and found this in a description of the 5th edition of the Scout Handbook, which was published from 1948 to 1959:

 

 

 

In addition to other information on conservation, it is the first book to contain a "Conservation Pledge" ("I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my Country  its soil and minerals, its forests, water and wildlife." ). Later printings expand this pledge and reword it as our present "Outdoor Code" ("As an American, I will do my best to  be clean in my outdoor manners, be careful with fire, be considerate in the outdoors, and be conservation-minded.")

 

 

 

First of all, this means that the reference in a previous post to the "minds in Texas", assuming that is meant to refer to the national headquarters of the BSA, is incorrect. The BSA HQ was in New York City until 1954 when it moved to New Jersey, so depending on which printing of the 5th edition introduced the actual "Outdoor Code" with its current title and wording, the minds in question were located in either NYC or NJ.

 

 

 

More to the point, it is interesting that the original version (called the "Conservation Pledge") started "I give my pledge as an American to...", which was then shortened to "As an American, I will..." Personally I think they should have kept the beginning from the first version. They switched to a wording that is, well, kind of awkward. The "As an American" does come out of the blue, kind of. I don't have any problems with the word "American."

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If they are not citizens, but are still BSA members, then try this...

 

As an American Scout:), I will do my best to -

Be clean in my outdoor manners.

Be careful with fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors.

Be conservation minded.

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Because Americans do a better job of taking care of the outdoors and cleaning up our messes than anyone else on the planet? (Hoo boy now I've done it)
coffee-on-the-screen moment ...

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I am not a citizen or resident but probably more 'merican than a lot of others as a "3rd culture kid":

When I joined BSA (together with boys from 3-4 different countries) we all said the Pledge of Allegiance;

thats the flag on the shoulder, right?

When I became ASM I think I had 5-6-7 nationalities in my Troop but Pledfe of Allegiance was the opening, being BSA and all.

So we always had more Interpreter Strips than any of the other Troops. BSA-TAC is special ;-)

 

In NZ I learned the new Promise & all, but still wear my BSA Smokey Bear. Some things dont change.

 

 

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Because Americans do a better job of taking care of the outdoors and cleaning up our messes than anyone else on the planet? (Hoo boy now I've done it)
The United States, through USAID, funds programs around the world to help others follow the US example on environmental protection and conservation. For example, a USAID program helped the Jordanians map all the chemicals plants in Jordan to monitor and hold polluting plants accountable.

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I'm really beginning to question the value of scouter dot com when such a non-starter of a topic ends up in the Program Forum. At best, it should be damned to the pit we fondly call, Issues and Politics.

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I'm really beginning to question the value of scouter dot com when such a non-starter of a topic ends up in the Program Forum. At best, it should be damned to the pit we fondly call, Issues and Politics.
You forgot the "open discussion" part.

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And I suppose that being "an American" could mean anyone from the Western Hemisphere (North and South America along with associated islands). Not that that helps DS's Indians, Kiwis, or Brits :D

 

[EDIT]On a slightly more serious note, the "A" in BSA stands for America. Another requirement states that you must recite the Pledge of Allegiance. That is many units' opening ceremony. DS, do you ask your "foreigners" to pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA? Are they required to know that?

 

As jblake said, "When in Rome". If a Scout born in the USA were to join Scouting in Japan (whatever that organization is named) he would be expected to know or learn their requirements; why shouldn't any member of the BSA -- no matter their birthplace?[/EDIT]

Non-Americans can take the Pledge of Allegiance just like a citizen; nothing excludes them in the pledge's language.

 

I disagree; some countries would even consider it a crime to pledge allegiance to a foreign country.

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Because Americans do a better job of taking care of the outdoors and cleaning up our messes than anyone else on the planet? (Hoo boy now I've done it)
Callooh! Callay! - that is very noble of USAID and good for the Jordanians indeed.

 

Meanwhile Walmart will dump toxic waste in the normal, household-type dumpster.

British Pretolium turns the Gulf of Mexiko into a death zone.

Wasting fast food by hundreds of tons.

SUV's that consume too much because in comparison fuel in the US is cheaper than elsewhere.

Lets protect the environment with fracking, because drilling a gazillion holes in the ground and pumping dangerouns chemicals into the ground is conserving the countryside.

Did you know that GMO's, that gene modified mais and corn, can no longer be imported into the EU?

Monsanto is no longer working in europe as they can only grow their dangerous $h!t in the US.

Bringing a Butterfinger choclate bar into the EU is basiclly illegal now.

Should I go on ... ?

 

I love the US, but outside BSA I think the "leave no trace" and "reduce, reuse, recycle, repair" has never been heard of.

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Because Americans do a better job of taking care of the outdoors and cleaning up our messes than anyone else on the planet? (Hoo boy now I've done it)
you asked for it ;-)

 

A vast majority of things sold in the US is actually made in China.

Sadly this includes our BSA uniforms and patches.

The only reason the chinese can be so cheap is total disregard for human health or environmental effects.

A lot of these things made with dangours chemicals that are dumped uncontrolably into the enviroment end up in

stores in the US so that the jeans, polos whatever are a couple cents cheaper.

The US not only uses heaps of oil but consumes a lot of plastic.

US cars may look nice but the motors/consumption have always been below average.

US cars have always been chugging galons.

 

The US is a very bad example for the world with its "throw away" societey.

Just consume more now, who cares about last season.

Most 'Mericans lack an ecological conscience, or any appreciation for the environment (Scouts excluded).

Looking at how germany or switzerland recycle, the US is quite shocking.

 

Woohoo - a couple dozen plants in Jordan can be held accountable, nobody cares about the 100,000 factories in China ...

(sadly, germany to this day pays development aid to china to build water wells and all ...)

 

I travel a lot, know a lot of people. Funny enough I dont know anyone anywhere (except you)

who thinks americans can be a good example at conservation, environment protection or what not (again, Scouts excluded)

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Because Americans do a better job of taking care of the outdoors and cleaning up our messes than anyone else on the planet? (Hoo boy now I've done it)
The environment in the US is significantly cleaner now than in 1970. Does the Ohio catch on fire anymore? Is the Potomac still a deathly swill of typhus and cholera? An industrial society is going to create industrial pollution. We now manage it much better, as do the Germans and Swiss. It's not like those two countries are pristine.

 

As for Germany, visit a German lay-by, not an autohof, but a regular rest area. Filthy, every one of them. I also recall a recycling scandal there in the early 2000's when people discovered that their sorted trash was being exported to China. It was right at the end of our tour, and I admit I didn't pay as much attention as I could have. The minutae of recycling in Germany is almost pathological.

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