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I have always been an avid camper - even outside of scouting.  I put more nights in outside of scouts than I do with the boys.  I, too, am an avid reader, maybe not 300 books a year, but I read plenty.  Magazines with an agenda hold no interest with me.  I haven't paid for an subscription to any magazine in over 40 years.  The only thing that will get me to turn pages is the seed catalogs.  I get teaser magazines all the time because I am an outdoors-man, but they got immediately into the trash, NRA, Scouting, etc. never get read.  For the most part they are nothing more than advertising, even the articles that "advertise" activities.  I family camp all the time, even my grand-kids have sat around the campfire and roasted marshmallows, I don't need a magazine to tell me all the accolades about family camping.

So, take Scouter magazine with it's family agenda and without even opening the pages I know it's not the program I signed on with in BSA.  I don't need some magazine to convince me that family camping is the next best thing since sliced bread.  It isn't.  Maybe it will inspire some non-camper to go to Walmart and buy a tent and a sleeping bag, but I did that 60 years ago.  But I don't need to be told I need to buy a new nylon, free-standing, 3 season tent is any better than my military surplus canvas which is a lot cheaper and gets the job done.  I don't need a magazine to tell me how great it is to hike the Appalachian trail when there are plenty of trails where I am that isn't going to cost me an arm and a leg to enjoy.  I canoe, kayak, fish, hunt and camp for far less than what it takes to get the boys to summer camp.  If I had to pay to go, I would send my ASM's.

Now, if the Scouting magazine were to offer more than agenda articles, advertising for high priced gear, and something that would help me be better with my kids, then fine.  But I'm not seeing or hearing that about the publication.  Yes, the old Boys Life were good and over the years the older magazines did provide such things, but for the most part today they are more reminiscent of the coupon and opinion pages sections of the newspaper than something really helpful.

Rah, rah! Go Family Scouting! on glossy paper isn't even good material to line the bottom of the bird cage.  I'll pass, thanks but no thanks.

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The family camping on the cover was really a not to subtle..hey look, family camping is GREAT.  Agree the article was a might vague as to how this ties to scouts nor was it useful to me as a leader in a 100+ member scout troop that does 13 outdoor and overnight events a year.  Show me new places to camp, new activities to have on an outing, how to handle the logistics of moving a large group, how to engage the scouts for better meals, low cost yet highly engaging fun things to do on an outing.

It is fairly obvious where BSA (dare I say SA or maybe FSA) wants to move, or is in fact moving.  They see not only that girls can be registered, hey let's get the whole durned family signed up. 

As many have noted and commented, that is not really what a lot of us signed up for nor intended to be involved with.  Yes the family is great, yes there are good things that come from strong families.  The same can be said of many many many activities that families and kids are involved with.  Does that mean one organization should try and meet all those needs?  

While the Pravda comment was a harsh one, it has a strong ring of truth

  1. Propaganda is amazing. People can be led to believe anything - Alice Walker
  2. The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief - Jacques Ellul
  3. Propaganda invariably serves the long-term interests of some elite - John Berger

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13 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

How do I cancel the subscription? I don't read them and it's wasting paper. 

I simply went to their website, called their 800 number and asked them to cancel my subscription. They were taken aback a bit because they called it a "free" publication, so why wouldn't I want it, right? I was pretty forthright with them and told them why...pretty much many of the reasons enumerated above. Again, they were a bit surprised but they took me off the subscription list. It took a few months but I eventually stopped getting them.

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12 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

Maybe its the way my mind works - maybe its because I was (and still am) a huge fan of James Burke's BBC mini-series Connections - but I can't help but try to connect past discussions in this forum over the past few years about how these new parents/volunteers joining up have no experience with camping or the outdoors which is having a negative effect on "outing in Scouting" (yikes - just realized, with a certain new policy, that takes on a whole new meaning - happy Tampa?) and a lot of wondering how this can be fixed and here is Scouter Magazine, seeming to answer our wishes (quite accidentally I'm sure) by starting to promote camping outside of Scouting and here we are complaining about that!  

Not at all. The complaints are of the sudden big picture policy change. Or rather how Nationals less than honest approach toward the change. I don't ever recall National discouraging family camping. So, it is certainly gonna raise suspicion. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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to the original post.... way too funny.  I had the EXACT same thoughts about both mags this month when I looked through them the other night....

  • Upvote 1

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The irony...

I went looking for our latest version of Scouting Magazine to see what is so bad about it. It is 9 PM so everyone is in their bed reading and on their way to sleep.

I asked my son and he said they were in the library. On my way to the library I passed by my daughter's room and I peaked in only to see her with a stack of Boys Life Magazines in her bed. She was reading an issue from September 2015 about

weird scientific discoveries:

 maxresdefault.jpg 

 

I laughed and told her to turn off the light but she told me that she had two more issues to read first.

 

I gave up my search for the latest issue of Scouting Mag after that.

:cool::D:wub:

 

 

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I was given a large collection of old Boy's Life magazines.  They are tabloid sized and thick.  Very impressive magazines.  The current Boy's Life is a shallow copy of the past.  Still though, the current Boy's Life magazine serves a purpose with the youth.

As for the Scouting magazine for leaders?  I don't know anyone who reads it.  IMHO, I read 100 times more articles online than I do in paper these days.  I suspect that's true with most leaders except the most senior leaders.  

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Agree with Fred, BL is a shadow of its former self which I enjoyed as a Scout in the 60s.  I wonder how much longer the title itself ("Boys' Life - For All Boys") will survive.  Will it be "Boys' and Girls' Life"...or just "Life"?  No, wait, that one's been done.  Maybe "Scouts' Life"...or "Family Life"...or "Gender-neutral Life"??

":

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The old ones were pretty cool. I remember that they would have stories about Scouts camping out and wolf packs and the like. Exciting stuff. I used to read them faithfully as a cub scout drooling over when I could be a scout. Then there was a big switch around the 1970's--I guess this was the era of the new 'Urban Scouting' and the articles changed--longer thought pieces, some social justice stuff, less camping. My mom was surprised when I asked her to stop renewing the subscription. I think she got me 'True Magazine' though she thought it got a little racy -- it had "I survived a savage wolf attack'. (little did she know that I was smuggling old 1960's Playboys out of Dad's closet).

One point I have is BSA has always used the magazines --when they paid attention to them-- to instruct the youth and scouters on what image they want to project. So it is logical to be wary of fuzzy 'Family Camping' articles as a possible change in BSA strategic direction. Of course it can simply be a change in editorial direction by individuals. Or it could be (as I suspect on a lot of things like uniforming) a committee decision process that produces a mediocre product.

Another point I have is back in the day how did I get my "Scout Fix" after BL disappointed me? I found old issues, my Dad's 1942 Popular Mechanics for boys analogy (which I still have including Whiteys the German Sheppard's bite marks circa 1945), Dad's 1943 Boy Scout Book, and those old Seton Woodcraft books. 

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As a kid back in the 60's I read BL from cover to cover, even the ads that promoted selling stuff to get prizes.  Sure there were agenda items in the magazine.  The space articles were great (I grew up in the era of Sputnik to Moon Landing).  They were great.  Camping, hunting, fishing, it was all there designed just for me in mind.  Yes, the changes in the 70's marked the top of the slippery slope to what we have today.  I thought it might have been me, having grown up and taken a non-youthful look at the world of BL.  But alas, my son dropped his BL subscription after the first year.  It might have glanced through a first couple of issues, but after that when they came in the mail, they sat on the kitchen table for days until the Mrs. told him to put his things in his room.  He did, he had a trash can in his room.

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My best friend growing up was the youngest of three boys, so we spent many hours in his room reading old Boys Life and Mad Magazines. Both were very appropriate and entertaining for boys in that day. One reflected the typical boys dreams for adventure. The other reflected the typical boys' sarcastic view of the culture. 

I'm going to have to disagree with Fred: If the BLs today are what boys today need, they are a very boring generation. My sons thought they were a waste of money. I haven't looked at Mad Magazine in a long time.

Barry

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Growing up in the 1980s, I too read BL cover to cover. I especially loved the comic serial, specifically the WHITE MOUNTAINS TRILOGY.  I remember drooling over the gear they advertised, and when I found a Coleman Peak1 Ramflex backpack for $2.50 at a thrift store, I jumped at it, but gave it to the wife so that she would no longer use my internal frame pack.

I was so in love with BL, I remember a neighbor who was in Boy Scouts was moving and the family had a garage sale. He was selling all of his BL magazines. I bought them all up. Sadly my BL collection from my youth was destroyed in a hurricane. But my wife and sis-in-law got a hold of the microfiche files of BL magazine from 1985-1990, and gave that to me as a Christmas present. Happy Scouter.

But then I had the chance to look at older BL and Scouting magazines when a friend passed away, and I inherited some of his collection. WOW they were a lot better in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

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In Boys' Life, I liked Pee Wee Harris, Pedro and Scouts in Action, but my favorite was the bad, old jokes on the back page.  I still tell some of those bad jokes.  :)

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Bobby Fischer wrote a chess for awhile. I liked the Space Conquerors strip. Back then the space race was on.

SC+1960+06.jpg

Why didn't they just go at night?  :confused:

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