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Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

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I guess my question would be:

What's more important, someone who is the best example of the Scouting ideals, but is boring, so someone who can capture the imagination of youth, insprire them, but misses the mark on things like this.  Sure - we'd like someone who is great at both - but those folks seem to be in short supply.

 

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I would rather my Scouts have few examples than poor ones. It's exactly because he captures their attention that this is such a problem. If we are raising our youth to merely look the other way with incidents like this, we must not be surprised when they grow older and make choices which hurt or confuse us, and we find that the moral compasses we thought we had instilled in them have been misaligned because of "missing the mark." As any orienteering instructor can tell you, your compass only needs to be off by a few degrees to get you miles off your charted course.

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@The Latin Scot - that's exactly my point.

The guy ate a frog while filming a survival show.  Yes, he did it in a national preserve - a bad choice.  But, on the spectrum of offsenses the one seems pretty minor.  Why does that now make him a poor roll model?

I'd rather have him use it as a teachable moment.  Here's an opportunity to admit his mistake and to highlight the importance of national parks and their role in protecting the environment.

But instead you'd rather have him step down and no-one talk about it?  

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I know a Scoutmaster who loves the phrase "teaching success through failure." It's his view of what Scouting is, or at least should be, letting scouts learn to succeed by first failing, sometimes often, and then learning how to overcome that failure. Probably a long way of getting around to calling things "teachable moments", but it works for that SM and I see nothing in that philosophy that is in opposition to the methods of Scouting. Probably sums it all up nicely, really. 

I'm also just coming out of a family faith meeting in which a guest speaker (priest from a nearby town) talked about how he's a below-average priest, probably has some sins in his past that would shock the audience, and even today he sometimes fails in his calling, misses a cue to do the right thing. Kind of seems fitting given the topic at hand here. We're not all perfect, not even the people who we sometimes want to appear to be perfect and never make a mistake in what they do. It's kind of unrealistic, really, to expect that we'll always have flawless representatives of our beliefs for our kids to emulate. 

The point of what this priest was discussing was about vocations, and specifically how you don't need to be a perfect person to take on a vocation in the church. 

If we want a perfect person to represent Scouting, then we'll be without a representative. 

I can't think of a better example than Bear of what I expect from my Scouts. When we go out in the woods, we know these kids are going to make mistakes. I'd prefer to have an imperfect representative of Scouting and be able to point to him and say, "Bear made a mistake here, but lets talk about what he should have done, and what he could do now to fix it." 

Edited by FireStone

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@The Latin Scot, please don't take offense, but I have a slightly different definition of "scandal"....

As retired military, I'll admit my definition was formed (warped?) over the years from dealing with wayward GIs, many of whom went out of their way to execute spectacular feats of stupidity, sometimes on an international level.  I'll refrain from citing examples because this is a family-oriented forum.

Bear killing and eating a bullfrog was ill-advised but forgivable.  As others have stated, though Bear does peculiar and showy things at times, he performs a greater good.  Besides, we don't have a deep bench of outdoor-minded, rugged men and women in Scouting that could step up and replace him.  The sedentary bent of modern Scouting is not helping the cause.

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Hmmm.  A few years back the BSA kicked to men out of the organization because they knocked over some rocks in a state park (https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-10-21/utah-boy-scout-leaders-expelled-after-toppling-ancient-rock-goblin-valley-state).  You can search goblin to find the thread where this forum crucified them.  If Bear did the things he's accused of doing, why would we as a forum or an organization look the other way?  Because he's British?  Hip? Can recruit youngsters?  Seems like some highly situational ethics.

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2 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Hmmm.  A few years back the BSA kicked to men out of the organization because they knocked over some rocks in a state park (https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-10-21/utah-boy-scout-leaders-expelled-after-toppling-ancient-rock-goblin-valley-state).  You can search goblin to find the thread where this forum crucified them.  If Bear did the things he's accused of doing, why would we as a forum or an organization look the other way?  Because he's British?  Hip? Can recruit youngsters?  Seems like some highly situational ethics.

I'm not recommending looking the other way, simply to let him take his medicine and move forward.  Not to split hairs but the rock formations took millions of years to form.  The bullfrogs will hopefully reproduce.

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4 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

Hmmm.  A few years back the BSA kicked to men out of the organization because they knocked over some rocks in a state park (https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-10-21/utah-boy-scout-leaders-expelled-after-toppling-ancient-rock-goblin-valley-state).  You can search goblin to find the thread where this forum crucified them.  If Bear did the things he's accused of doing, why would we as a forum or an organization look the other way?  Because he's British?  Hip? Can recruit youngsters?  Seems like some highly situational ethics.

These things are not comparable.  Now, if Bear Gryllis had killed and eaten a protected species on purpose - like going on a lion hunt  - that would be different.

What Bear did was similar to fishing in a national park.  What these guys did was deface a rock formation that was geologically unique and the basis for the park itself.

 

Edited by ParkMan
fixed spelling mistakes
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On 2/24/2019 at 8:59 PM, walk in the woods said:

Why blame there Bulgarians for Gryll's behavior?

Oh, I don't know..... he is a TV personality with an established format. It's the whole scorpion and frog thing.

It's kind of like Gordon Ramsey showing up at my restaurant wanting to film.

I tell him sure, but no cursing, yelling at my staff or showing health code violations. Then he does all those things he ALWAYS does. Shame on me for thinking the scorpion wouldn't sting the frog.

Common sense tells me to turn Gordon away when he shows up or grin an bare it when he does what he always does. 

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Bear Grylls guest edits next month's Lonely Planet magazine. There is a preview on Daily Mail...good read and photos.

Experience has now taught me to prepare well. One of my favourite parts of my job is being Chief Scout, and I love that at the heart of the Scouts is this life-changing wisdom: 'Be Prepared'. It is a genius motto.

All these preparations help to keep us safe, although sometimes the best safety tips don't require anything beyond old-fashioned common sense, such as letting people know where you're going, how you're planning on getting around and when you're due to arrive. 

Safety matters. We want our life to be a series of epic adventures, rather than just one! But we mustn't let caution kill adventure. Like so much in life, it's all a balance.

Some people say there's nowhere left to explore. They say that we've already mapped and studied it all, so why bother? 

But travel is about so much more than maps, or ticking off a series of locations, or bragging about stamps in a passport. We travel because it betters us, it broadens and enriches us. And ultimately, it unites us.

The best-travelled people I know are almost always the most tolerant. When we are exposed to all the things that make us different, we see more of what unites us. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-6690729/Survivalist-Bear-Grylls-life-changing-global-escapades.html

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11 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Oh, I don't know..... he is a TV personality with an established format.

You're right. He is a TV personality. And every parent in the UK has heard of him, and knows he's associated with UK Scouts. Ergo, every parent in the UK knows about UK Scouts. That's marketing. Add the occasional times Princess Kate does things with scouts and their marketing program is working and it's cheap. They don't need any ads. Scouting is all about people so the idea of using people to advertise it just makes sense.

Compare that to the BSA. The one person in the BSA you think of is  ... the CSE? and everyone knows his name, right? The only time he shows up is when some social hot potato is being bandied about. Have you ever seen him camping? Then there are all the ads the BSA puts out ...? The entire BSA marketing program consists of hoping local newspapers send photographers to pinewood derby races or scouts going door to door collecting food with their uniforms on. But most local newspapers are cutting staff. In other words, there is no marketing program and the local volunteers are expected to do the work.

I agree that Grylls made a mistake and it doesn't look good, but I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.

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I agree, @MattR.  It would be nice to see execs swing an axe, carry a pack on a 50 miler, paddle a canoe, or stir a dutch oven stew over an open fire.  The BSA's collective image runs towards a) corporate and b) indoors. 

To be fair, I'm sure there are execs who would love to get outdoors more but their duties won't permit it.  A sad state of affairs for an organization whose primary selling point is "outdoor adventure."

Edited by desertrat77
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22 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

Hmmm.  A few years back the BSA kicked to men out of the organization because they knocked over some rocks in a state park (https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-10-21/utah-boy-scout-leaders-expelled-after-toppling-ancient-rock-goblin-valley-state).  You can search goblin to find the thread where this forum crucified them.  If Bear did the things he's accused of doing, why would we as a forum or an organization look the other way?  Because he's British?  Hip? Can recruit youngsters?  Seems like some highly situational ethics.

Not even close to the same thing. And I can fairly confidently say that Bear would not destroy rock formations like that.

There's no fair comparison between eating a frog and the recklessness showed in that goblin rock-toppling video.

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17 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Now, if Bear Gryllis had killed and eaten a protected species on purpose - like going on a lion hunt  - that would be different

So the frogs he ate just jumped into his pot of boiling water of their own accord by accident?  He killed the frog(s) on purpose, for no other reason than his TV show,  in direct violation of the park regulations.  A scout is kind informs this, no?

13 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Oh, I don't know..... he is a TV personality with an established format. It's the whole scorpion and frog thing.

So he gets a pass for his poor behavior because he's famous?  Really?  Do we want to teach our scouts, "you have to be really trustworthy, at least until you get famous!"  

18 hours ago, ParkMan said:

What Bear did was similar to fishing in a national park

Except fishing in a National Park is generally legal and typically licensed.  In Gryll's case killing the animals is expressly forbidden (Hmmm, obedient maybe comes into play).  

 

 

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15 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

So he gets a pass for his poor behavior because he's famous?  Really?  Do we want to teach our scouts, "you have to be really trustworthy, at least until you get famous!"  

I would guess he's probably been poorly served by his production company, and maybe the Bulgarian authorities. I wouldn't be surprised if the first he heard of it was shortly before it hit the press. Someone in an office, some fixer somewhere, had to get permission to film there, it wouldn't have been Grylls, that person or persons either missed the national park restrictions, or chose to ignore them, or maybe even bunged officialdom a few lev. Who knows? I don't. But I'd guess by the time Bear got briefed before the trip it was like "we're off for the usual schtick in Bulgaria with celebrity X, see you on the 14th, bring one of your branded knives". At some point a minion should have gone "wait, we can't do x y z here, will that be okay?" so they could then either change the location, or not do it, or yes, I suppose, choose to ignore it. I mean, if they're filming it, they're hardly going to get away with it.

Of course, the cynic in me wouldn't be surprised if the frog killing bit was done outwith the National Park (ok, yeah, or just done anyway) at a different time, all is actually by the book, and all this is just free publicity.

The actual truth is probably lost in the murky grey fog.

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