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Going back into the Dark Ages, when I was a Scout. I didn't attend a High School that was in our area.I am almost sure that none of the boys that I went to school with were in Scouting. At School there seemed to be 3 main groups. The Bad Group. These were the people who for one reason or another always seemed to be in some kind of trouble.Drugs may have played a part in this. But I think everyone expected them to do something wrong and they were looking for it. Sad to say even though some of these people were bright, always being in trouble prevented them from reaching their full potential. Of course being stoned half the time wasn't much help either.

Then there were those that were just there. They didn't ever seem to be involved with any of the stuff that was going on. It was almost as if they were serving their time.

The third group, were the kids that really enjoyed their time. These were the kids in too all the stuff that was going on. We were there to grab every minute by the scruff of the neck and enjoy every second of it.

I was in group three. We were the kids in the school plays, the students on the Student Council, we played sports. We had fun.

Sure the Bad Group, seemed to be envious of us and at times this led to teasing and confrontation. The kids in group two were too busy doing nothing to do anything else.

I have in past posting retold how the re-birth of the troop came about with two Lads coming into the Scout HQ.And kicking a soccer ball around. I'm not sure if it was by accident or by design that as the troop grew it was with a lot of the Lads that would seem to come from the Bad Group. I was for a while a regular at the Juvenile Court appearing as a character wittiness, when some of these Lads got back into trouble. I remember well having to take a group back into a near by town,from where we were camped at summer camp so they could return the stuff that they had shoplifted.

Visiting parents when the family home was an apartment in the flats(Projects) When I was the only non black face was at first a little daunting. As I got to know them better and going back for parties, where the bass from the Reggae music felt that it was drilling a hole in your insides was fun add. Sharing a curry in the home of some of the Indian and Pakistani Scouts was fun.

These were the kids that when I was a kid gave Scouting a bad rap.

I wasn't the greatest of Scoutmasters. I was at that time having a bad time dealing with my ego. Still I like to think that each of these Lads knew that I cared. I made the time to visit them at home. I got to know their parents. I knew that I had to make the first step and visit them, they weren't going to come to me. If a Lad missed more the a couple of meetings he knew that my size 9 shoes would be on his doorstep. Word and mouth is a great form of advertisement. The rap can be bad, but with a little bit of hard work that rap can be changed into a good rap and work for us.


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Since recorded time there has been a vocal segment of humanity that teases and belittles men and women of god character and positive values. Todays era is no different, and do not expect tomorrows to change.


The values of honesty for the sake of honesty, doing good deeds for others without the expectation of reward, is so foreign to some people that there are entire cultures who have no word or volunteer in their language. Even in this forum you see the belief in God criticized not only by those who do not believe, but even by those who believe but not in the same way as you.


And children can be especially critical. Remember that with some it is out of envy that you have the opportunity to do things that their parents do not take the time to do with them. So rather than be able to be angry with their parents they expel that anger onto you in the form of teasing and insults. Others simply are not raised with the positive ideals that your parents have chosen to see you nurtured with.


Do not worry about the image of scouting. Images are seldom true, they are easily distorted. Focus on who you are, and who you want to be, and the tools that scouting gives you for both.


The problem in scouting is not image. The problem is that you and every other scout deserve a quality scouting experience with all the adventure and opportunities written about in the Scout Handbook. For that to happen every unit needs quality leaders, and every scout deserves nothing less.


Bob White


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All of you make very good points which are very true. Another reason I think is a problem is that Scouting became "not cool" was around the same time that God became "not cool" in our society. Our society has become so hedonistic and self absorbed that it despises anything good and moral.


Someone mentioned MTV and I think thats a perfect example of the kind of trash our kids are exposed too. They all wanna be cool like those idiots on TV. While there is a growing wave of people who want to return to a more moral society they are small in number compared to whole of society. The powerbrokers of today are not interested in going back. Look at the reality tv shows on the air, is it any wonder our kids and society are so screwed up.

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I'm not going to disagree with you about MTV and today's culture. However, keep in mind that people complained about Elvis and that danged rock and roll music with it's savage tom-tom beat that made kids lustful back in the mid 50's. Each generation has been on the verge of total collapse in someone's eyes since recorded history.

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I agree with Beaver. The roll of the media is to entertain not to develop character. I don't think we can judge a generation byt he way the meadia or music industry panders to them.


The values of scout have been aspired to by different cultures around the world for genarations. The values we teach are still relevant today, but kids are methods of fun change over the years and the BSA has changed with them. What is needed are leaders who are able to do the same, retain the values but use current methods.


My opinion only.

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Everyone has stated valid reasons why scouting is seen as not cool by many. I think a better question may be, what are we going to do about it? I think that scouting must be promoted to young families first and foremost. We need to show young parents the benefits of having their sons in scouting at the earliest age possible. We need to promote scouting at all churches and schools at every opportunity. Bring scouting into conversations with other adults every chance you get and talk about what you're troop or pack is doing. If it can be established early on to young boys how much fun scouting is they will be more likely to stay involved and get their parents involved. It has been my experience that it is extremely difficult to combat negative pier pressure when boy join scouts at an older age. How long has it been since you have a read or heard a positive story about reguarding Boy Scouts in the main stream media? I don't ever recall one. We need to promote scouting in local newspapers at every opportunity. Most newspapers are actively looking for stories to print and will happily run articles about troop and pack activities and upcoming events. I've strayed a little from the original post but the bottom line is that everyone of us involved in scouting needs to do a better job of selling it to the public and quit letting the main stream media take unanswered cheap shots at a program I believe is the best in the world for young men.


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You are right about Elvis, but I think there is a big difference between shows like South Park, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, et. al and the hedonistic messages they give off versus most of rock and roll. Our society will not collapse, but is rapidly becoming immoral, anti-God, and self indulgent in nature. Scouting is not cool to kids because it runs contrary to current society and is pro morality. There was an ad on prime time TV just last night promoting a dating site for gay men. What kind of subliminal messages are our kids receiving and processing each day. So lets not blame the kids for not wanting to join the BSA but at the core reasons for why BSA is not cool to kids. Lets start with our societal values that are rapidly degrading that promotes the idea of "Whats in it for me." To quote Ronald Reagan, "America is great because it is good, if America ever stops being good we will cease being great." I think that quote says it all, and I'm not even a Republican.

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Remember our old friend Socrates,


"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."


So, we will always have the "older generaiton leary of the younger generations" still doesnt answer why

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Okay I will try another approach. First teens do not like uniforms, they want their own individuality. This is why I think Venturing is becoming so popular, there are no real uniforms, instead the teens pick out and design a t shirt or sweatshirt. Second, teens like to be listened to and be in charge, Venture officers are given this ability and to show leadership. Third, teens want to do activities they want to do not what is required of them in a book, most do not care about advancement, those that do can earn unique recognition. Fourth, the program is coed a big asset, if you want to attract new members. In my humble opinion this is why Venturing is attracting more teens than Boy Scouts and looked upon as being "cool" compared to Boy Scouts. These are the reasons my Venture teens gave me, so it's straight from the horses mouth so to speak. I do not believe that Venture is better than Boy Scouts, both are unique programs. From the reasons my teens gave me might provide some insight into the teens minds and desires.


I was in Great Britan recently and noticed some radical changes to their Boy Scout program. One change is that troops can now be coed if they choose to, another is that all the uniforms are changing in style and colors that appeal more to their teens. In addition their program has become more flexible and adaptable to the desires of their youth. Will this make the program bigger or better, time will tell. I am sure our own National office is aware of and are studying these changes to see if any could be applied to the BSA. Now before anyone gets upset, I am not promoting these changes, just reporting what I saw and was told by the British scouts and leaders. I for one would love to see the BSA growing rather than declining in numbers, maybe we need to do what many of you always state in here, "Lets ask the kids."

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Bob, I pretty well knew that what was said here wasnt going to change anything because it aint really possible.


That wasnt my point. My point of starting this thread is starting something that dealt more with Scouts and not poliTICs.

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Oh how to say it...


Hops, there is and always will be those who will want everyone to be just like themselves. 'If we can only level the playing field' sort of thing. when someone is showing or doing special activities that places them somewhere over that 'level playing field' a lot of people get nervous on where they are and that makes them want to drag those back down to where they are to make them feel better.


As a scout you may not see the smiles of approval when you wear your uniform in public, most scouts are not attuned to recoginizing this. But as a Scouter I do see the smiles and understand the reasons for the smiles.


I get a kick out of the kids that say that the scout uniform is uncool because it is a uniform. Then I look at the crowd of them and see the same labels, styles of clothing and recognize that what they are wearing are uniforms of sorts...just not one recognized by them as an uniform.


I think that many of the youthful detractors of scouting just do not know what scouting is all about and since they do not know they will make fun of it. Don't worry about it.


Also, ignore the talking heads that decry what scouting is doing to you. You speak for yourself and do it quite well, maybe scouting has been a good thing for you. And that is what matters.


As far as what can change these attitudes? Don't know and leave that to those in positions that can do so. I am concerned with the scouts that are here now and try to help change things one scout at a time. That is all most of us can do... including yourself.



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I see teens wearing uniforms all the time:

soccer, baseball, track, football, lacrosse, swimming, band, gang colors. The ones who are proud of what they are doing are proud to wear the uniform that represents their activity.


I know many, many scouts who have no problem dressing the part. I think the biggest problem with uniforming are leaders who press the guys to wear it in inappropriate times. If the swim coach pushed the team to wear their uniform all the time I don't think they would like it as much either.


This same conversation has taken place since the beginning of scouts. Not everyone is gong to like scouts. You have to ask yourself what is more important, what others say about you or how you feel about yourself. If you have confidence in who you are then you can discern who is worth listening to and who isn't.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I don't think that Elvis, the Beach Boys or even Deep Purple ever called their mothers, girl friends and wives " **** es" and "hoes." But they weren't angels.


In the late 60s, the music was about drugs and free love and kids did drugs and girls got pregnant out of wedlock.


Now, the "music" is about sex without love, disrepect for women, and drugs. Look at what goes on.



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We look like a bunch of dorks. The uniforms do not bother me.


Compare imagery of Scouts from long long ago.in a galaxy far far (Norman Rockwell) compared to Today. We looked much more rugged then. More Manly. Most Scouts today do not brush their hair or even wear their A,B or street wear decently.


Word Association

Girl Scouts is to Girl Scout Cookies




Boys Scouts is to Goody Tooshoo

(Helping Granny across the street.) Which is fine but you get the idea.


When I was a young lad I thought it was kinda gay when I first joined. After I got involved and did all the fun stuff you don't care anymore.

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