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UncleP

Boy Scout Program for Adults Opening Up

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I thought ths might make for some interesting, and non-controversial, discussion topic. 

 

A website "The Art of Manliness"  is launching a new program "The Strenuous Life", which is basically a Boy Scout Program for adults.  It will include a handbook and even merit badges.  I was wondering what everyone this of the idea.  Attached is a link to the website:

 

https://strenuouslife.co/

 

 

Please note that I am not endorsing the program, and I have concerns about some of the ideas and information on "The Art of Manliness" website.  However, I would be curious to know what everyone thinks.

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I can't speak for others but I view my place as helping to make things better for our children and not some kind of personal development program.

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I'm all for self improvement but their price tag was a turn off. Other free avenues are out there. Thanks for sharing, Uncle P. Hope your nephew is enjoying Scouts!

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I don't think this program started in a vacuum.  There's probably a demand for it.

 

I think it's related to the interest in ultra marathons, extreme fitness, difficult obstacle courses, etc.   Men (and women) pay hundreds of dollars for early morning boot camp fitness regimens...for the privilege of being yelled at by a drill instructor.  Pushed hard and held accountable.

 

These things aren't for everyone.  But there are some folks who sense they missed something growing up.  They weren't pushed to their true potential.  Or they feel the need for a rite of passage.  I'm not sure about the correct psychological or sociological phrasing.  Some people want to achieve something difficult.  To be proud of something they accomplished.  That's why we see framed marathon completion medals and runner's bibs, and the like.

 

The link states that men (and women) must be 18 to participate.  The physical fitness standards will not be adjusted by gender, however.

 

Here is what society has told children for decades:

1.  Don't push yourself

2.  You are fine just the way you are

3.  Winning doesn't count, just have fun

4.  Wanting to win is selfish and hurts other people's feelings

5.  Spelling doesn't matter

6.  People shouldn't judge, so there's no need to improve yourself

7.  Everyone gets a trophy to prevent hurt feelings

8.  A good effort is equal to actual accomplishment

 

Etc.

 

Some men grow up and look back and realize they've missed opportunities.  An overprotective mom didn't let them play sports.  Or an absent dad never bothered to teach the young lad how to be a gentleman.  Or mom and/or dad didn't want their son to join scouting and risk getting hurt.  So these men and women are trying to fulfill competitive desires, and fill gaps in their knowledge and habits.

 

Plus--and this is just a hunch--there are lots of lonely people out there.  Even with social media, I've never seen so many lonely people in my life.  This may be yet another way to connect with like-minded people.

Edited by desertrat77
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I wonder how this will last before the women want in on it?

There was a sentence or two (going from memory) stating that women could do this program too.  But the program directors weren't going to adjust the physical fitness standards.  Both genders are going to have to do the same amount of PT.

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I've been an outdoorsman all my life and PT isn't my forte.  I know a lot of women who could do me great harm.  :)  To me, they need focus on knowledge.  I can survive on a meal of roast rabbit and wile onions, a 250# "he-man" would starve to death on that diet.  I may not be able to climb a 10' wall or carry a heavy load very far, but I don't find many 10' walls in the woods, nor would I in survival mode want to be expending a lot of necessary energy carrying around large logs.

 

Can I survive in the wilderness?  find food and water, make a shelter, build a fire?  I don't have to be Charles Atlas to pull that off.  I need knowledge and practical skills, not body building.

 

Social Dynamo merit badge - I gotta get me one of those!

 

Where's the emphasis on caring for others, like maybe a father would.

Helping others vs. self-improvement.

 

Nope, not for me.  If the political structure of this country collapsed and the providing/protecting nature of manliness comes back into vogue, I really don't want a entrepreneurial social dynamo in my tribe.

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I guess, because I rarely ever did structured fitness, I would not buy into this. But I could see myself helping guys who wanted to master some of these skills.

 

But, this shows that BSA, by denying adults advancement, created a vacuum that someone else will try to fill.

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I guess, because I rarely ever did structured fitness, I would not buy into this. But I could see myself helping guys who wanted to master some of these skills.

 

But, this shows that BSA, by denying adults advancement, created a vacuum that someone else will try to fill.

 

I wonder if some dads will join and pull their boys out of BSA into this program? Cost about the same, uniform provided, no fundraisers, no women...

 

"...a parent can sign up for an account and do the badge requirements with their children. Once they have marked off the requirements in the system and are eligible to purchase a badge, a parent could buy multiple badges — one for them and one for their child."

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I’ve used Art of Manliness articles, as well as other resources, to supplement items in the BSHB and Field Book and other BSA publications that I find lacking or non-existent. I read my old 2nd edition FB and see entire sections missing from the 4th edition I have.  I do not own 3rd or current 5th editions, so I cannot comment.

 

As for demand for this type of program, yes there is. We have a new Scouter in the troop who does this type of programs. They sound great as they remind me of some of the more intense weekend campouts I did as a youth. Then he tells me the price tag. Some of these weekend trips cost as much as sending my two Scouts and I to summer camp!  But as someone supposed for folks who do this, he was never a Scout.

Same thing with another friend of mine. He is into the GoRuck craze. Basically intense weekend backpacking treks with some challenges. Again he was never a Scout.

 

Thinking about this, one of my Eagles who would be an ace in these type of programs is into something more mundane: weightlifting. Only thing he still craves to do is Philmont, but he is “overweight†according to BSA’s guidelines since he is over 300 pounds. 

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I use the AOM website as well as Eagle94-A1 does. Overall I love the site maybe not this so much. I get the host is trying to make a living but my response is 'meh'. I am an adult and can design my own program...earning virtual merit badges strikes me as a bit juvenile. I think ol TR would harumph "Bully...not". Too much of this "Man Scouting" creeping into our society. But I suppose it might do some guys some good.

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There's another adult scouting program, part of the BPSA. They use Baden-Powell's model of the Rover concept for adult scouters and leaders with no upper age limit for membership. 

 

Within the context of a youth scouting program, personally I don't think I'd have the time or patience for that. Several years ago I considered setting up a local BPSA group. I abandoned that idea, but I always thought that if I did it I'd probably turn away any adult who wanted to join without their own kids. There's already enough work to do without needing to be concerned with an adult who wants to relive their youth. Not sure if I would have even been able to do that, or if it would have even happened, but I never had the need to find out. 

 

If adults want to do something like this on their own, go for it and good luck. That's just not how I personally view scouting. As a parent, of course I'm biased. But I just view the scouting movement as a youth-focused program and that adult involvement should be with the intent of serving the youth, not ourselves. 

 

With that in mind, it's odd for me to think about any kind of scouting that is adult-oriented. Just seems out of place. But again, I'm admittedly biased on this subject. As are probably a lot of folks who hang out here. 

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