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Our youth versus their youth?

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So the topic of howcum today's kids don't seem to take to Scouting like us old folks remember, comes up 

*So many choices of activity... sports, clubs, church, ,,,,

*Parents seem to want someone else to "raise the kid", and hence do not want to Be A Part of the Scout Unit....

*Many present Scout Leaders seem to want a "classroom"  environment rather than an "outdoor"  environment and the kids react to that with a large portion of "ho hum"....

*Parents are very protective of the kid (school shootings, drugs rampant, bullying not attended to, child abuse in schools and church, traffic and strangers out in the woods,  police not responsive, media/TV/movies not family friendly, etc....) and averse to "letting them just go". Maybe the parents have good reason.  How does that translate into not being a Scout? ...

I would like to suggest a new one:   Most kids now are TAUGHT by the school, by the parent to NOT be self-reliant and self motivated.   They are TAUGHT to wait for instruction, permission, direction from SOME ONE ELSE . They are routinely punished for NOT waiting for permission, direction, instruction.  But that is what the Scouting world was originally built on, the kid that had been allowed to take some scrap lumber and build a shack or tree house, AND if necessary, fall out of it and GET HURT.   Folks are so afraid of letting our kids GET HURT.  There is that, of course, a skinned knee is one thing, an AK47 is another.  

The "natural world" is avoided.  The kids are taught to avoid dirt,  doing for themselves, or getting lost , even by accident.  

I know (I know !) most of the folks on this chatroom are of the older variety, if not in chronological sense then in a spiritual sense.  How many kids now a days are turned loose in the backyard, or in the stream bed behind the neighborhood, or told "be back by dinner time" ?  How many , by comparison, are handed a tablet and told to sit and watch a cartoon show?   Watch the scenery out the car window? Talk to folks about the history of the town?  Naw,,,, put a movie on the TV screen hanging from the roof of the van.  You have a hard time buying a family van without such a screen! 

The lack of Scouting, traditional Scouting, out in the woods, on a trail, in a tent, cooking over a fire (even charcoal),  having to eat whatever the Patrol cooked (that the Scout cooked?) , I think came from the knowledge, gleaned early in life,  that a person can go out there (there ! ) , find stuff to do, discover how things work,  pile one thing on top of another (by myself, without anyone else's help) and by extension , do it in a wider more adventurous venue thru Scouting.   God bless the adults/parents that allowed (encouraged !) me and my compadres to get dirty, cold, wet,  hungry, and taught us, not to WAIT for instruction, but how to teach each other how to get out of those problems.  Plan, think ahead?  For myself?  Or WAIT for someone to TELL me what I might need?  Play the "what if" game?  No wonder kids refuse to use the toilet at camp. It is not just a revulsion of the condition of the toilet (!) but  an unconscious  revolt "you can't tell ME what to do." 

Now, how do we convince the parents of today to encourage, allow, their boys AND girls, to get dirty, cold, hungry, go discover, protect our natural world, by DOING rather than WAITING for someone else to give them permission?  

Thank you. We now return you to your regularly emailed complaints....

 

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