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RememberSchiff

Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

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1 minute ago, gblotter said:

Re-orient Scouting toward building manly self-confidence (ala Jordan Peterson) to attract more boys and shed BSA's wimpy image. Young men require a physical challenge to feel accomplishment - a rite of passage.

Revamp the Eagle-required merit badge list: Less bookwork - more adventure. Drop Env Science, Communication. One citizenship MB should be sufficient. Instead of Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, how about Swimming AND Hiking AND Cycling. Make Wilderness Survival MB required.

In addition to an Eagle Scout Service Project, add an Eagle Scout Outdoor Adventure Project to the requirements. Let natural competition kick in to see which Scout can craft the greatest outdoor adventure on his path to Eagle.

BTW: Introducing girls into the program is the antithesis of everything mentioned above.

I do agree that a rite of passage would be a good idea for Eagles.  Maybe plan a 50 mile trek (or unpowered movement voyage), that involves at least two nights under a tent.  I would also change Camping MB to require 50 nights of camping, but allow adirondack (three sided shelter), and non-Scout related camping as part of those nights. 

 

I agree with the one Citizenship MB. I would also combine Personal Management and Family Life into "Personal and Family Management."  I would also keep Enviro Science (and kill Sustainability, which is an expansion of the worst parts of enviro science), but add more outdoor activity to it.  I agree with Wilderness Survival addition.  Maybe with the Swimming or Hiking or Cycling, make it a "pick 2."  I would also put Nature MB back as an Eagle required badge.  (with maybe an option for Wildlife Management). 

 

I don't mind having two parallel Scout organizations for 11-17 year olds, but coed Troops probably isn't a good idea. Almost no boy will be SPL in a coed Troop. Teenaged girls are much more political and organized, and they will take over Troop leadership, just like, for the most part, they've taken over student government associations in schools. 

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3 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

I don't think the youth of today have that much higher expectations than we had (in my case 40 years ago when I was a scout).  I do think the current crop of Scout leaders has been trained to be less adventurous. We have the GTSS, which is pretty stringent at times. That said, based on talking to one of my sister-in-laws who is a GSA leader, BSA has almost no risk aversion.  They are more  cautious than we are. 

What I meant by changed is that my world is much broader than my fathers and even more than his fathers.  When my dad was a kid, vacation was somewhere in the state.  When I was a kid, vacation was a trip to the beach.  Today, my kids go to national parks all over the country, travel to Europe, etc.  Travel is just less expensive than it once was.

My kids have 200+ TV channels with stories about exotic places, survival experts, etc.  When i was a kid we had National Geographic, a few TV channels, and the movies.

I remember one of the troop high adventure trips a few years ago.  By coincidence my family was visiting many of the same places at National Parks on the west coast.  We'd see an email from the troop that they'd gone somewhere and I'd think - yep, we'll be there tomorrow.  When I was a kid you'd do things in Scouting you couldn't other places.  Now my kids just go on vacations with us.

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3 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

I don't mind having two parallel Scout organizations for 11-17 year olds, but coed Troops probably isn't a good idea.

Parallel Scout organizations are not what is being implemented. Local troops can remain single-gender, but everything else in BSA (every national, council, district event) is moving to co-ed. Where is the parallel organization?

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We need parents to unplug as much as we need the youth to. I have tried for 3 years to get any type of adventure Campout on our calendar (3 day canoe trek, two night backpacking trip, etc.) and I get nothing but pushback from the adults. Kids say they re all for it. For the adults, it is either not their cup of tea (it's so much easier to just sit on your but at a fire, or "big activity" would be to go cast some lines), or they don't want to have to give up their whole weekend (they cannot fathom getting home later than noon on Sunday). So, program devolves to become family oriented. Yes, we'll do a summer trip, where families are invited, and there will be a day of kayaking (flat water, guided, where any 8 year old and his parent can go)- hardly an actual adventure. 

Mike is so right. The wussification is the number one reason more youth are not into Scouting today. As much as the "political" issues bug us adults, the youth generally could care less.

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3 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

Last time I camped out with the troop, sitting round the campfire, some of the older scouts asked for a scout story from the old days.    So I told them one or two, then turned to go.  They asked for another, then another.  Surprised and somewhat pleased they were so interested I never once thought I was getting myself in trouble.

Yes. It is bad enough that BSA has so drastically changed the scouting program. Do they really need to edit out our history as well?

I not only hesitate to talk about the old days with current scouts, I am reluctant to discuss them with other old-timers as well. There are too many people who will get mad thinking that I am trying to undermine their current program.

It would be nice to have a safe zone where I could reminisce with my old friends without being held suspect.

 

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I

2 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

We need parents to unplug as much as we need the youth to. I have tried for 3 years to get any type of adventure Campout on our calendar (3 day canoe trek, two night backpacking trip, etc.) and I get nothing but pushback from the adults. Kids say they re all for it. For the adults, it is either not their cup of tea (it's so much easier to just sit on your but at a fire, or "big activity" would be to go cast some lines), or they don't want to have to give up their whole weekend (they cannot fathom getting home later than noon on Sunday). So, program devolves to become family oriented. Yes, we'll do a summer trip, where families are invited, and there will be a day of kayaking (flat water, guided, where any 8 year old and his parent can go)- hardly an actual adventure. 

Mike is so right. The wussification is the number one reason more youth are not into Scouting today. As much as the "political" issues bug us adults, the youth generally could care less.

Our troops challenge is coming up with adventurous ideas.  We all most never veto an idea because of G2SS rules.

Maybe we could have some of the grey-beards share some ideas we could learn from.  I'd appreciate it.

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 Survival campout-   we held one every summer just before school started.    Limited to firstclass and higher.   you were allowed a canteen ,a knife (any size) and whatever you could fit in an altoids tin.  shelter?  make one.    food ?  go find some blackberries or cattails, or catch a fish in the lake.   Fire?   bow and drill isnt that hard if you have practiced,   or find some quartz and cattail fluff.

3-4 day canoe trip, camping  on islands if possible     

catapults and water balloons!    every patrol  makes their own.   and is issued 40 small and 15 big balloons.   Firing to begin at 2:00pm

 tonights cracker barrel is somewhere in the woods,  here is your first compass bearing.  make sure you start by the white oak tree and not the poplar 

which patrol can lash together the best table /chair by dinnertime ?  Apple pie to the winner

Edited by Oldscout448
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Variations of orienteering - find the clues, the food, canoe orienteering are popular.  Our PLC was brainstorming about a night-only orienteering. During the day they would set up solar panels to charge flashlight and phone batteries, "like The Martian".  :)  Oh forgot, they would only eat potatoes.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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First aid campout- send an adult victim into the woods, full on fake blood, "bones" protruding from the leg, scouts need to diagnose and assess. Have some scout victims as well, where they need to transport them out for evac (I cannot tell you how much it angers me when units only teach first aid "from the book" at scout meetings).

We used to do campout that involved kayaking to one of the islands in Boston Harbor, bringing anything we needed had to fit in the kayak with us. 

 

Edited by HashTagScouts
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21 minutes ago, David CO said:

How about swinging from a rope, from a wobbly tree limb, into a swimming hole, while skinny dipping, as other scouts are trying to pelt you mid-air with water balloons. 

that sounds risky!    WE used a sturdy branch.  

Edited by Oldscout448

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You definitely have to drive the adventure and fun, but you (WE) as leaders have got to set the direction and make the adventure happen.  These are some of the things we have done last 12 months

  • We do a Lock-in, which is basically 14 hours total, and in that is 3 to 4 hours of dodgeball and 2 hours of Nerf wars.  Yeah yeah, no scouts as targets, we may have missed that paragraph in G2SS
  • We do a Capture the Flag, where you tear a ribbon off the opposing players arm to capture them, during this we are literally one boulder crushing away from Lord of the Flies
  • We do an aquatics outing where we rent canoes and they canoe to an island during the day, only rule is you gotta have on the life jacket, if you are not canoeing we are hauling you around on a tube behind a boat
  • We go to a rail to trail bike path and they do 25 to 60 miles in the weekend
  • Our winter trip is 3 day backpacking, or canoeing in the swamp
  • One weekend outing we went down into a gorge (permit only) and I was pretty sure I was gonna die
  • One weekend we go to a ropes course and camp in the park, they spent 3 hours up in trees
  • At one summer camp we take the troop swimming at a water fall in a nearby state park, the locals hanging out there are always entertaining
  • Also every year we go to either Seabase of Philmont

The troop does 13 outdoor / events each year (not including HA and HA training stuff).  If you went to all of them it would be 27 nights of camping and 39 days involved in scouts NOT inclusive of meeting, service projects, etc.

Point is adventure is made, it takes work.  But damn if it isn't worth it.

Edited by Jameson76
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His take on safe spaces is interesting. I'm not so sure that many people would equate Scouting with safe spaces. Quite the opposite. We go on hikes in the woods with wild animals and deadly bugs around. We shoot guns, bow & arrows, and slingshots. We use knives. We make fires. We play rough, yell loudly, get dirty, and promote bravery. We aim to instill confidence, leadership, character, and strength in our scouts. And we reward hard work with awards and ranks that take a long time to earn. 

I love that about us. And I think it positions us in stark contrast to the safe space movement.

But I also don't think we're in a great position to lead the charge against that movement. Maybe this isn't exactly the bravest of positions to take, but I feel like we've stuck our necks out plenty lately. Let's be brave, but not reckless. Give us a few years and maybe we can be that kind of organization that Mike suggests. 

Let's get our own house cleaned up and get this new co-ed thing up and running. Then maybe we can talk about leading that charge, and enjoy the help from our new female members in doing so, as Mike also suggested: 

Quote

The safe space movement needs to be confronted, and I’d love nothing more than to see Scouts of both genders lead the charge.

 

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3 hours ago, gblotter said:

Perhaps it is better to actually read MIke Rowe's response.

He is not against girls in Scouting. Rather, he doesn't think inclusiveness is going to fix what is wrong with Scouting.

"So I’m not opposed to building a program within Scouting for girls. But I am very worried about the future of Scouting in general."

Actually, I did read his response.  Venturing is not a separate unit in scouting it is integrated and has been since 1969 I think.   It isn't like venture crews are parallel with one crew for boys and another for girls. 

Frankly, I am worried about scouting in general but that is related to boring meetings.  I have seen a lot of boring meetings across several troops.   Maybe the girls will make the meetings more exciting, but I doubt it.

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