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 Historically, Scouts drew directly from and was formed around military traditions and structure. The merit badges frequently had either direct correlation or applicable though that has softened somewhat.   There is a reason there is a wide range of commands, formations and activities that echo this. Likewise, the traditional development attributes from scouting up to very recently if not still so allowed enlisting members to have one upgrade rank on coming in.

it seems modern parents may not be cognizant of these facts and in some cases bitterly refute or resent it.  Be that as it may, the program ought to be a hybrid...in my view.  

In the service, the leadership development is fairly well developed through enlisted, NCO and Officer.  All these steps have training to advance and that include skills and competency with instruction and evaluation.  Appropriately, new members observe and learn what to do, each grade learns by example from senior and do on.  They have to prove their merit and competency.  

None of this is new or surprising.  The adult military is not a perfect fit but has been an excellent one.  While scouts doesn’t have NCO schools or basic training, they do offer the echo of a successful formula.  The structure, instruction, incentives, duty, respect and advancement are wildly beneficial to boys...I simply don’t know about how the changes with adding girls has resulted but presumably there is little difference on this score.   

When I came through, we loved the summer camp, marching, formations, bivouacs, long hikes, attention to uniform and so forth.  Being from the south, marksmanship was especially liked and many of the troops played guerrilla warfare on camping trips with great relish. Many, if not most, of the fathers and adult leaders were prior service.  (It’s no coincidence the south has traditionally supplied large numbers of military personnel to the armed services).  Perhaps many current adults might find this repellent and not why they signed up...this has been said already on this forum except in a far worse delivery.  But, that’s how it was in the Chickasaw Council and kids loved it and didn’t turn out as war mongering autocratic adults.  

Im unfamiliar with many changes since 1987 and don’t know how they work.  Adults don’t do the work for the scouts but guide, set limits, arbitrate, set examples and take on the responsibilities that are not for minors.  They exercised experience and wisdom where youth lacked and made sure the environment was a fun and learning one.

The scouts take the instructions when given and pass them down to their patrol members.  The patrol leaders are responsible for organizing, delegating, monitoring and being held accountable for a variety of tasks.  At least that is  how our troop worked.  The hierarchy and rank, like the armed services, worked.  

I’ve not read a great deal among the threads about the intimate connections with the military serves.  That truly puzzles me.  The farther from those original attributes and traditions Scouts has drifted, the greater the weakening of the organization as a whole.  Times and population change and what worked may be rejected. Doing that, however, irrevocably changes the entire character of the organization and after a period of time. It’s likely that people want to pick and choose the parts they like and remove or brush aside the inconvenient or LDS desirable.  If that’s the case, people should be honest and just say they reject the old and want to recreate a new.  In the spirit of keeping the tradition and foundations of scouting alive, it seems that instituting some basic history instruction on the organization itself that is more thorough than is given.  There may be a reluctance to do that because of a dislike of those cultural ideas and principles that underpinned it’s inception and operation for decades.  But unless people will come out and goat repudiate the deeper history, then scouts are owed the knowledge of what the organization was designed to be.

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Passing thought: I think BP was shocked that Brit boys knew nothing of outdoor skills. This started his program for the military which the boy picked up on their own. I think the US military wants folks with these skills, but I believe that BSA has always resisted being "militarized. "  

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While I do not really remember much of my initial troop, as we moved soon after I had joined, though it was not into serious drilling, but did have some of the basic elements of formations and respect.  The unit I joined after moving was sponsored by the VFW, as opposed to the Lutheran Church, and it had a strong cadre of adults from WWII, as it was the fifties.  It was there I learned and came to like basic drill and formalities, and we did include some more militaristic bits, saluting the SM if meeting formally, as well as the youth leaders.  We drilled regularly and could do it well in parades and flag ceremonies.  The drilling does serve a purpose beyond just "looking good", as it forces one to be aware of the command voice and, while marching, those around you.  To this day I truly enjoy crisp formations in motion, especially a four wide flight smoothly rounding a corner, or a column changing direction as one, rather than in line.  It just, to me, is impressive and almost mesmerizing in its smoothness.  But we do not drill today, or seldom do it beyond basic flag ceremony practice.  And honestly I cringe at times with the lack of tight formations and motions many groups present, including our own.  But, they are still being respectful and it is still mostly appreciated by observers, even myself.  I try to not be overly critical beyond working at standing up straight and staying in line, and respecting the ceremonial elements at actual formations.  I have told my own youth more than once that if I can stand at basic attention for ten minutes, so can they; but also I teach them how to NOT be tense while doing it, especially locking joints.  

Related I find writing this is the comparison to the lack of interest by so many today in the OA.  And I see that to be partly due to the loss of the OA mystique and well done ceremony.  The PC atmosphere and, to me mainly misplaced idea of disrespect of the Native American history is part of that.  There is no doubt that often sloppiness or not understanding the formalities of Native ceremony contributed, it is more the bending of history and culture in a questionable direction that actually often does more damage to the image and culture than the poorly performed ceremonies.  Just my own perception, and I will not argue the foolishness of cultural appropriation with anyone, as that to me is mostly simply nonsense or other terminology not appropriate here.  

In the end though, BP, especially after his retirement from the military, made it pretty clear that Scouting should NOT be military boot camp or preparation.  He aspired towards a world brotherhood of Scouting, a term we still use today and represented by the purple patch.  And it works, when allowed to.  Many of us have had the privilege of seeng it at a jamboree or in today, online interactions.  And that "brotherhood", or I suppose that "family" of World Scouting may be more important to day than ever.  

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