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34 minutes ago, MattR said:

I watched the video and what I saw was a group of kids that were shocked that a 14 year old died in a war. 

Of course, women and children die in every war.  Many women and children died in the Revolutionary War.  The surprising thing about this story is that the boy died in uniform.

When I study the American Civil War, I am a little shocked that adult soldiers would so callously kill a 14 year old boy.  The bugle boys and drummer boys were intentionally targeted as a means to disrupt an army's communications.  The Union army hanged a confederate teenage boy as a spy.

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I believe the youngest boy soldier who fought for the United States was John Clem.  It was said that a Confederate officer got the drop on a very young John Clem and ordered him to surrender.  Instead of surrendering, John Clem raised his weapon and shot the Confederate officer dead.  The officer died because he didn't have it in him to kill so young a boy.

I wish we knew where that Confederate officer was buried so that our scouts could honor him.

Edited by David CO
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52 minutes ago, MattR said:

I can. I watched the video and what I saw was a group of kids that were shocked that a 14 year old died in a war. I'm guessing this had a big impact on them. I say that because when I was their age I walked through the US military cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. What hit me we're all the soldiers that died and how they were mostly just a few years older than I when they died. For me, recognizing the fallen wasn't about glory. But it was a really good history lesson. 

Visiting the American cemetery at Normandy with my dad who was  a WWII vet was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The rows of headstones, mostly of young people, were sobering. Driving down the coast and looking up at the cliffs they climbed up under fire left me speechless. I look at my teenage sons, and think of my dad. He couldn't wait to enlist, and signed up at 17 the day after he graduated high school. They are capable of the same, but thank God this generation hasn't needed to ask it of them. 

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This is a warped discussion with the book ends of helicopter parent protectionist to patriotic extremists. Thank goodness Matt brought reason into the discussion.

i was talking to one of our past scouts who Eagled 10 years earlier. We ran into each other at Walmart and while he was holding his two kids. I don’t remember how the subject came up, but he told me that one of my Scoutmaster minutes made an impression on the kind of person he wanted to become. The story was about A few soldiers who played a joke on a new recruit by dropping a dummy grenade in the group. While group al leaped away pretending the grenade was live, the unknowing recruit jumped on it to save their lives. The group was so taken by the action, he received a medal even though it was peace time.

The scout told me he wanted to have that kind of reactionary courage. It’s was important enough for him that wanted to tell me 10 years later.

There are a lot of high moral takeaways a person can take from that story and stories like it. I can’t even imagine it being debated.

I learned over the years as a scoutmaster that there are a few requirements to make an adult story interesting for a large group of scout age young men. Action, humorous, and short. A scoutmaster minute requires at least 2of those traits to hold the interest of teenage male mind. I got SM Minutes down to less than 2 minutes. And I found humor was just as memorable as action and adventure.

i don’t know how to make an impression to the female mind with a SM minute, but I worry that trying to do it by sterilizing the attempts to make scouts think about morality will loose the scouts respect. It’s not the concern for subject matter that is appropriate for the age that worries me, it’s the lack of understanding for the scouts maturity as adults. Leaders seem to want to treat all the scouts as first year Webelos 9 year olds. My warning is that adult leaders reap what they sow.


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