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Stosh

Just wonderin'

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Has anyone considered that the nature f boys has changed since BSA was created.  I know this is heresy, but maybe organizing boys into small groups (patrols) is becoming a negative.

 

By this I am that boys seem to be more individualistic, and less interested in being part of a group:

 

-  Some sociologists have noted that males tend to get together with other males because they have to, not because they want to.  

 

-  Many of them activities boys do today (computers, video games...) are done alone.

 

-  People in general seem to have more trouble getting along with other people (at least that seems to be my impression)

 

-  Communities seem to be a lot looser, and social standards seem almost none existent.

 

-   More people work alone (via internet) than ever before, so the link between social skills and life is more tenuous. 

 

 

I am not saying this is a good thing, in fact I think it is a bad thing.   But you have to work with the world you have, and not the world you want.

 

I know people will not agree with this, but I think it is at least a factor that should be considered.

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Has anyone considered that the nature f boys has changed since BSA was created.  I know this is heresy, but maybe organizing boys into small groups (patrols) is becoming a negative.

 

By this I am that boys seem to be more individualistic, and less interested in being part of a group:

 

-  Some sociologists have noted that males tend to get together with other males because they have to, not because they want to.  

 

-  Many of them activities boys do today (computers, video games...) are done alone.

 

-  People in general seem to have more trouble getting along with other people (at least that seems to be my impression)

 

-  Communities seem to be a lot looser, and social standards seem almost none existent.

 

-   More people work alone (via internet) than ever before, so the link between social skills and life is more tenuous. 

 

 

I am not saying this is a good thing, in fact I think it is a bad thing.   But you have to work with the world you have, and not the world you want.

 

I know people will not agree with this, but I think it is at least a factor that should be considered.

 

While I agree with some of your observations I would disagree that working in small groups is out dated. Less popular maybe, but not outdated

 

Humans have evolved over many thousands of years to be social creatures. We live in families and for most of human existence villages. There is still a very basic human need to belong and that is particularly strong among teenagers. If it wasn't for that feeling we wouldn't have a fashion industry. We wouldn't have sport teams with tens of thousands of followers. We wouldn't have music festivals, churches, carnivals or weddings or all the other things where many people gather together.

 

And we haven't changed because of a decade of broad band internet!

 

Yes people are spending more time alone, but I would point out the huge increase in mental health problems as the big consequence of that. People staring at a screen rather than seeing each other face to face. It can't be healthy.

 

Those that have seen my previous posts will know that I am certainly not afraid of changes in scouting! But.... that fundamental part of how we operate. Of young people working with each other in small groups, led wherever possible by their peers, growing, learning and developing together, through the outdoors, that, in the world we live in, is probably more vital than ever. That is the core of what we do, whatever country or culture we happen to operate in.

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In my past and current experience, when boys are left to decide for themselves they choose most often to be in small groups than be alone. They might each be on their electronic device, but the inherent need to be close to one another is too strong. At some point "screen addiction" will be understood, accepted as a reality, then and only then will adults and society begin to address it.

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In my past and current experience, when boys are left to decide for themselves they choose most often to be in small groups than be alone. They might each be on their electronic device, but the inherent need to be close to one another is too strong. At some point "screen addiction" will be understood, accepted as a reality, then and only then will adults and society begin to address it.

 

Fifty years ago Scouts sat around whittling. Today, they sit around teching.  :blink:

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There's a wide variety, depending on personality.

I preferred mostly to be alone.

Groups took work.

Fortunately, I had friends who wouldn't leave me be!

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- Many of them activities boys do today (computers, video games...) are done alone.

 

I agree with most of your points but not this one. The most popular video games currently are Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft and Battlefield. Each of those games are entirely or mostly multiplayer affairs either splitscreen with your friends or matched up with strangers.

 

Many of them force you into small teams or Squads against the opposing teams and your team tries to complete objectives. Playing for yourself in Overwatch, League of Legends or World of Warcraft is a one way ticket to losing a ridiculous number of games.

 

I think today many children and adults use video games as a crutch for the lack of social interaction they are getting. Video games require no effort to make plans and match you up with teammates.

Edited by Sentinel947
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But you have to work with the world you have, and not the world you want.

"You can't always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you just might find

You get what you need." Keith Richards & Mick Jagger

 

I agree that ironically kids are less social with all the social software tools out there. While they might like teamwork less than before, companies are desperate for people that can work in groups. Even software, the quintessential nerd activity, requires a lot of teamwork these days. I guess all this applies to families as well. So the need is there.

 

But your point is well taken, scouts have fewer chances to learn how to interact with other people than before and consequently struggle with it. I see a lot of scouts struggle with leadership because they don't have a clue how to deal with disagreements. So they don't and problems fester. People problems seem to be the biggest challenge they have and so there's a lot of walking them through the process. What is really rewarding is when they do start figuring it out.

 

Also, introverts can do quite well in teams. They just need a job that can be done by one person. That's another challenge I see. Patrols are like soccer teams. When they're young it's swarm ball. Everyone is trying to do the same thing. As they get better they realize different players have different jobs.

 

So I'd say yes, it's a bigger issue, but it's even more important than before to make patrols work.

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Has anyone considered that the nature f boys has changed since BSA was created.  I know this is heresy, but maybe organizing boys into small groups (patrols) is becoming a negative.

 

By this I am that boys seem to be more individualistic, and less interested in being part of a group:

 

-  Some sociologists have noted that males tend to get together with other males because they have to, not because they want to.  

 

-  Many of them activities boys do today (computers, video games...) are done alone.

 

-  People in general seem to have more trouble getting along with other people (at least that seems to be my impression)

 

-  Communities seem to be a lot looser, and social standards seem almost none existent.

 

-   More people work alone (via internet) than ever before, so the link between social skills and life is more tenuous. 

 

 

I am not saying this is a good thing, in fact I think it is a bad thing.   But you have to work with the world you have, and not the world you want.

 

I know people will not agree with this, but I think it is at least a factor that should be considered.

 

It seems all that disconnectedness is having a real impact on health... 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-loneliness-epidemic-more-connected-than-ever-but-feeling-more-alone-10143206.html

 

So I'd argue that patrols and building camaraderie  is more important than ever before. 

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Assuming for purposes of discussion the rapid devolution of Homo Sapiens Teenagus into a loner, BP created a movement to change things for the better as he defined it, not to accept the evils of the world as he saw them.  If you don't want to better people and their behavior, you are in the wrong activity.

 

The strongest troops in this area in terms of membership are the few that one can honestly say operate on the Patrol Method.  Are they "perfect"?  No.  They are imperfect as we are all imperfect, but they stand out for knowing where they are trying to go and a self-critical ability to keep working at getting there.  They are almost always the source of the elected event SPLs for our district activities because the SPLs form the less-fortunate troops know what's what, even as they cannot get their adults to do the right thing.

 

It was "expert consultants" who convinced BSA's "professionals" to launch the never-to-be-sufficiently-cursed "Improved Scouting Program" on the insight that society was urban-centered rather than rural-centered.  When the smoke from the rapid and massive loss of members, youth and adult, cleared, it was observed that Scouting had always appealed more to the urban boy than the country boy and that the Improved Scouting Program had moved Scouting closer to school, a disincentive for youth to participate.

 

As for the assumption, and with all due respect, Pshaw!  They still dress in "uniform" and speak their own, kid language.

Edited by TAHAWK
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While I agree with some of your observations I would disagree that working in small groups is out dated. Less popular maybe, but not outdated

 

Humans have evolved over many thousands of years to be social creatures. We live in families and for most of human existence villages. There is still a very basic human need to belong and that is particularly strong among teenagers. If it wasn't for that feeling we wouldn't have a fashion industry. We wouldn't have sport teams with tens of thousands of followers. We wouldn't have music festivals, churches, carnivals or weddings or all the other things where many people gather together.

 

And we haven't changed because of a decade of broad band internet!

 

Yes people are spending more time alone, but I would point out the huge increase in mental health problems as the big consequence of that. People staring at a screen rather than seeing each other face to face. It can't be healthy.

 

Those that have seen my previous posts will know that I am certainly not afraid of changes in scouting! But.... that fundamental part of how we operate. Of young people working with each other in small groups, led wherever possible by their peers, growing, learning and developing together, through the outdoors, that, in the world we live in, is probably more vital than ever. That is the core of what we do, whatever country or culture we happen to operate in.

 

Cambridge Skip brings up some valid points. Recently when our Troop had a scout die (long sad story not to go into here) and while the news spread as fast as electrons when we announced an informal evening meeting for any scouts to get together and talk about it we got about half the Troop show up on short notice. It was the later teen boys who seemed the most affected and just wanted to be in each other's company for comfort (in spite of adults attempts at crisis management). Smack talk and generational camaraderie seemed to count for a lot. It was a very humbling experience to be in that room. 

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Well, these are likely the same sociologists that brought us transgenderism, micro agressions and other nonsense, but as far as I am concerned my comments in red...

 

By this I am that boys seem to be more individualistic, and less interested in being part of a group:

This is likely due to the rise in single parent households where the parents work, or dual parent households where both work and someone is not there for the kid after school, or the non-working parent putting their kid in day care instead of caring and nurturing the child themselves, or the plethora of devices that parents shove in front of their kids as soon as they can hold something instead of interacting and playing with them.

 

-  Some sociologists have noted that males tend to get together with other males because they have to, not because they want to.  

See comment above. Humans are social animals by nature. It is through desensitization that they become loners and shut-ins. If you take away the crack addiction of "screen time" and then ask a kid if they'd rather be alone or with friends, I highly doubt you'd get a kid saying he'd rather be alone and be HONEST about it.

 

-  Many of them activities boys do today (computers, video games...) are done alone.

That's because parents reinforce it through lack of parenting and allowing the screen to babysit and teach their kids. Why? It's easy and some parents are just too darn lazy or too self-absorbed in their own lives and wants.

 

-  People in general seem to have more trouble getting along with other people (at least that seems to be my impression)

It's a cause and effect, isn't it. If you raise an entire generation of latch key kids who have had to fend for themselves since 10, they never learn to socialize and you end up with loners. Just look at colleges these days. This generation is so used to getting a trophy that they have no clue what to do when confronted with someone who has a different opinion. So instead of discussing it they yell, scream, pout and whine to get their way. When that doesn't happen they play the race card, or sex card, or wealth card, or whatever. They simply have no self-control or personal accountability.

 

-  Communities seem to be a lot looser, and social standards seem almost none existent.

Parenting. 'Nuff said.

 

-   More people work alone (via internet) than ever before, so the link between social skills and life is more tenuous. 

I am not sure you conclusion is true. I have telecommuted and "flexed" for nearly 20 years, yet 5-10 times a day I am working with people from all over the world. We video conference and teleconference via Skype all the time. I would say I actually MORE meaningful interaction then I did in an office environment where I was either 1) wasting time on small talk, or 2) saying the compulsory "Hi" or smile at every person I walked by. Working from home I have real, meaningful conversations and really get to know the folks I work with and their families.

 

But maybe that's because I was raised by parents that kicked my butt out of the house and pulled the plug on the TV in the summer. God help you if my dad came home and found you in the house if it wasn't dark or the sky was blue. You'd end up with a chore list so long you'd be lucky to get done by the time school started in September.

 

 

I am not saying this is a good thing, in fact I think it is a bad thing.   But you have to work with the world you have, and not the world you want.

No, no you don't. You can CHANGE the world by making sure your kids don't grow up like this. As Scouters we can run a program where we don't rubber stamp kids requirements, where we actually make sure they know their core skills like they know how to add, subtract, etc.

 

I know people will not agree with this, but I think it is at least a factor that should be considered.

I think we all know these things. Some may agree that there's nothing to be done about it. Some may even agree it's not a bad way to raise a child. I suspect most of us don't like this trend and would fight it wherever we could. 

 

As for me, my kids know that when they get out of school today their LAN segment on the home network goes on a 2 hour timer. When two hours is up, nothing with a screen in the house will work until the next day...and then only for two more hours. If they get bored there's a list of chores on the fridge about 25 items long.

 

God I love being a parent!!! :D 

Edited by Col. Flagg
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Wish I could more than +1 this ...

Cambridge Skip brings up some valid points. Recently when our Troop had a scout die (long sad story not to go into here) and while the news spread as fast as electrons when we announced an informal evening meeting for any scouts to get together and talk about it we got about half the Troop show up on short notice. It was the later teen boys who seemed the most affected and just wanted to be in each other's company for comfort (in spite of adults attempts at crisis management). Smack talk and generational camaraderie seemed to count for a lot. It was a very humbling experience to be in that room. 

Getting a flashback right now as I read it.

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Boy Scouts started right before the Filrst World war, the cultural drive was to draw up the bridge and gather the troops.  It was a time of great migration towards community.  Soon after that, the Great Depression happens and for survival, groups gathered even tighter.  Same thing with WW II.  During this time period of great community emphasis, Boy Scouts thrived.

 

For a short period of time following that there was a reasonable relaxation period.  Suburbias developed, small towns thrived, pot lucks at church were common and frequent and block parties were all over town.

 

Then it hit full force!  It was slow at first but after a few years it was quite noticeable.  I think the Mamas and Papas identified it as clearly as anyone could.

 

"You gotta go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
With whoever you want to do it with."

 

It may have been the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, but it was best identified as the "Me Generation"   Front yard block parties became backyard (now fenced in) private affairs.  Divorce skyrocketed, Community was collapsing all around.  Historical revisionists, as well as the spin of current events, all promoted a new normal, spun to the tune of "The World Has Changed!!"  It's the new normal!  It took a couple of generations, but it's now well entrenched.  The new normal is non-community, social skills are void from everyday useage.  Dating is no longer taking a gal to a movie after stopping off at the malt shop   Familes have multiple step parents and siblings, No one stays home to insure family, it is all contracted out to the institutional day care industry.

 

The world changed?  Nope, the people did.  What we now have is not a new world, but a new non-community social structure.   Instead of the natural tribal tendency to gather, we simply don't.  Electronically we "connect" with information and a few emoticons, but for the "personal touch"?  It's nonexistent.

 

The Brotherhood of Scouting?  Yeah, right, that works today!?!  Instead of gathering, the tribes (patrols) into the greater whole, patrols seem to find it difficult to get their handful of people to get together, let alone, come together as a whole.

 

The world didn't change, the people did.  But they are all deep down inside yearning for something more personal, more closely connected, because humans by nature are not singletary animals.  Survival was greater if one was part of a group, .... which still holds true for today's humans.

 

So the solution to all this?????  YES!  Let's change scouting to address the issues of today's world!  The world changed, the program needs to change as well today.  (Yes, that statement was dripping heavily with sarcasm!)

 

People don't want to be alone, they don't want to be left out, and Scouting is heading merrily down the wrong lane.

 

Scouting?  What's in it for ME?  What about MY Eagle?  I am bored.  My scouting career. etc.  It's not all about ME!  Scouting is the #1 boy's youth program that still teaches leadership.  But as it turns out there is no one to lead if it's just about me.

 

Scouting is failing, not because of anything other than offering a program that promotes community leadership in a Me Generation society.  Facebook has capitalized on what BSA has failed to provide, but could in a far better and healthier way if they ever took off their PC blinders and simply looked around at reality.

Edited by Stosh

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I don't know, everyone has a theory. What I am told by the experts is that prepubescent boys are instinctively drawn toward groups because they feel safer. If a boy chooses to be alone, it's because he feels safe.

 

Barry

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