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Predictions from 30 years ago

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In 1986, one of my council's summer camps, Many Point Scout Camp (then known as Many Point Scout Reservation) buried a time capsule on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.  That was unearthed this year and the contents displayed.


One of the most interesting items were cards filled out by all of the troops attending.  I paged through a few hundred of them and found the one from my old troop, which is now defunct.  It listed all of the leaders and scouts.  Since I had aged out 7 years before, I didn't recognize any of the names, although a couple of the last names looked familiar.  I did know the scoutmaster, whose son came in about the time I was leaving.


On the back, they were asked to write predictions of what scouting would be like in the 21st century.   I would say that they got most, but not all, right:

"More troop control from national, council & district leadership as troop leadership may be lacking in many areas."  I would say that's partially correct.
"Very limited primitive type camping.  Scouts will camp in air conditioned hotels, primitive camping will be like today with tents."  We haven't quite gotten to air conditioned hotels.  The amount of camping today, in my experience, is more than back in the day, but with one caveat.  My troop generally camped four times a year.  In fact, they were normally called "fall camp," "winter camp," "spring camp," and "summer camp."  Most troops today at least try to do it once a month.  But the difference is that today, it seems to be more of an a la carte proposition.  In my old troop, most of the scouts went on all of the campouts, unless they had some particular reason to miss it.  Today, it seems like while there might be about 12 campouts to choose from, most scouts don't seem to make it to more than about 4.
And while there might be a few "air conditioned hotel" opportunities that didn't exist back then, I'm seeing more of what I would consider to be primitive camping.  Most of our campouts back then were essentially car camping.  We had a few that were backpacking or canoe trips, but most  involved lugging patrol boxes around.  Very few troops had troop trailers, but that was probably just because cars had bigger trunks.  On the few occasions when we needed a trailer, we would rent a U-Haul.  It probably seems like we do more "car camping" because we all have trailers to haul the stuff, and we can do it more often.  But in my experience, I would say that there's a bit more "primitive" camping today than there was back then.
The prediction for uniforms wasn't too far off:  "Uniform of knits, tee shirts & nylon long pants with choice of colors."  I had never heard the term "Class B" until I got back into scouting a few years ago.  While a few troops might have had a "troop tee shirt," it was just an optional piece of clothing, and nobody would dream of calling it a "uniform."  But today, the "Class B uniform" is a tee shirt with choice of colors, so I would say he nailed that!


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It must have been a hot week for the boys to think of air conditioning!


Interesting no mention of radios or electronic devices ... so there probably wasn't a major sports event that anybody missed watching ... or a major release of a movie. Doesn't sound like the troop had much home-sickness (no mention of "free" telephone calls)!

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