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SlowDerbyRacer

If Scouting Began Today

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Roses?  What roses, I don't see or even smell any roses.  Gotta go.....

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I was at summer camp with my troop two weeks ago and the staff was commenting on how cool it was that my patrols had their own cook sites. I looked around and my troop was the only one where the patrols cooked on their own. The Council exec came to talk at a SM dinner thing and he asked what the adults needed more of. I said I wanted more patrol activities. Cooking and cleaning were the only patrol activity and it's hard, I wanted some fun things for the scouts to enjoy together and MB time was preventing that. Give us the canoes outside of class, organized geo cache, at least give us some maps of local trails so my patrols could do that. I got a blank stare. I went up afterwards and talked to him individually and he just couldn't understand what I was trying to get at. This was the council exec!

 

I don't think anyone would even start something like scouts today. Today, everything is about competition. Sports rule. Band used to be about appreciating the arts. Now that's being pushed out in favor of band competitions. I like competition but when it becomes all encompassing it kills the magic of a campfire, or helping someone fix a tire. Just to appreciate life's best moments.

 

 For every leader that complains about what you did he most likely gets 10 more that want more merit badges and larger size classes to accomidate as many boys as possible. The one thing I have always done in my time as an ASM and SM was got  those pre camp and post camp meetings. A beach ball going down the shore line doesn't roll as much as I would roll my eyes. Talk about people without a clue. One major thing I would always hear is we need more Eagle badges so that the older boys would have something to do at camp. One year in camp I had a SM come up and ask me how did you "bribe" your older scouts to come to camp?  I looked back and told him that I don't insist that scouts have to be working on a badge at every session of the day. (Like he did) After 3 or 4 years of that and the boys or their parents feel no need to go to camp because they have already earned most of the badges from camp.

 

  Tell you what I really don't blame the camps for this as much as lazy scout leaders and materialistic type parents that feel if Johnny can not come home with a hand full of badges then why attend. The last few years I had to argue with CD over the fact that some of my boys had gone to open shoot at either rifle or archery range and were told that those working on their targets for the merit badges had first dibs and if there was any room or time regular shooting might be done.I got so mad one time that I asked for part of my scouts fee be refunded because they were not allowing my scouts the chance to shoot. Later that day he came to our site and informed me that after dinner I could bring any of the scouts in the troop that would like to shoot down to range.

 

 A couple years ago while at camp I was sitting having a cup of coffee after dinner and just looked at the boys in the troop. Here they are it is beautiful out and they all were sitting at picnic tables writing. Really is this why I give up my free time to drive 4 hours away so the boys can do school work?  Like it or not I think what people call "scouting" today sucks.

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I was the one that did the enrolling in classes on the computer system the camp we went to uses. They have only 1 time slot for open swim, and I suggested that everyone take off that period so that they can cool down.

 

One of the Scouts wasn't game for that. he wanted the period immediately after lunch free because the showers were easily avilable and he could take an afternoon nap.

 

More power to him.

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  Like it or not I think what people call "scouting" today sucks.

 

Eagle, your entire post is spot on, and this sentence especially caught my eye.  It sums up exactly how I feel about the BSA.

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Well there have been some attempts to start "scout" style groups outside of the BSA and GS. Here is one LINK. They mention Navigators, Campfire, Spiral Scouts, and Baden-Powell Service. Another LINK to Trail Life USA.

 

Any of those groups would lack any kind of national structure though and be very spotty. Maybe in one area one group would do well but be unheard of outside it.

 

Does anyone see any say successful Spiral Scout programs in your area?

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We had a scout (my son) make a recruitment video based on Minecraft for Cub Scouts. It took place in Mincraft in a virtual summer camp complete with archery range, dinning hall, water front, trading post, etc. Blew their little minds. That video is good for 5-7 scouts a year without even trying to recruit. ;)

 

That's brilliant.  Would you mind sharing the video?  It sounds like a fantastic recruitment tool.

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That's brilliant.  Would you mind sharing the video?  It sounds like a fantastic recruitment tool.

 

I'll have him scrub it and see if he can't post it.

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Must have been a young council exec. In similar circumstances, I usually get a bobblehead nod and "I hear ya"...same result though. :laugh:

 

As for your second paragraph, I hear ya.

 

My $0.02

Old Scouters are just as likely as young scouters to not "get it."

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But for a moment, assume that didn't exist.  What would the program look like if it started in 2015?

To take the question seriously, nothing exists in a vacuum. Part of the reason the boy scouts exists in it's current form had a lot to do with the concerns of early 20th century society. Look at Seton's League of Woodcraft Indians (in fact Seton was friends with Baden-Powell, and gave him a copy of his book the Birch Bark Roll in 1906. It heavily influenced his Scouting for Boys.). The same cultural concerns that led to the Boy Scouts also led to Seton's Woodcraft Indians and Dan Beard's Sons of Daniel Boon (both of which were merged into the brand new BSA in 1910).

 

So any organization starting today will reflect today's concerns and culture. The Native American, Frontiersmen and Kipling inspired elements would be gone (along with westerns and coonskin hats), probably replaced with Jedi knights and Harry Potter style wizards. So what are the cultural concerns of today that would drive the creation of an outdoor focused organization? As others have pointed out, our society is much more competitive than it was earlier. So every youth activity is put through the "how will this help my kid get into college?" filter. It becomes about documenting achievement (hence the desire for MB mills and the like) instead of character building.  So any outdoor focused organization would have to have a program the looked good on a college application (STEM Scouts), or be an occasional or one off thing that won't get in the way of more academic pursuits (like the Duke of Edinburgh Award).

 

Our society is much more fear based along with having an extended childhood. So I don't think boy-led would be a thing.

Edited by Rick_in_CA

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How many knots does one need to know to own a Class A, B, or C RV?

 

How well does one need to know maps and compass when they own a GPS?

 

Service projects are credits for college bound students?

 

Does one really need to know lashings when a bungee cord will work just as well?

 

Isn't a 10 minute sales pitch at REI good enough to pick out the right equipment?

 

And when you come right down to it, with all the world at our finger tips, LITERALLY!, why would anyone wish to get off the couch longer than to toss a frozen pizza in the oven?

 

Scouting hasn't a chance until a major calamity and then only those that know the basics will survive.  All he basics are there on You-Tube in case you're interested.

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  First off if started today it would be an indoor activity, most likely a video game to be played on X-Box or Playstation. You would not earn ranks but travel to different levels. Each level would give you different tools and things to use. HA would be easy too. Just try and climb or repel that rock face, any problems or you fall just respawn and start over. Some parents would love this. Just pay for the disk, all the equipment needed you earn or select as you go along. But the reason they'll love it most is Johnny is in the house and safe. Don't have to worry about getting along with others. Bet you BSA is already checking this out.

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If scouting began today there's no way kids would follow a middle-aged man in to the woods to camp.

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If scouting began today there's no way kids would follow a middle-aged man in to the woods to camp.

 

The kicker is: If a NEW program wouldn't get off the ground under these circumstances, how can an OLD program survive under these circumstances?

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The kicker is: If a NEW program wouldn't get off the ground under these circumstances, how can an OLD program survive under these circumstances?

 

Well, good point. Membership numbers will be interesting.

 

We heard from our COR today and our CO is sticking with the current policy until the national meeting later this month. Then they will see what national says.

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