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t487scouter

The new BSA?

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I have read quite a few posts on the thoughts of the future BSA, where it will be 20, 30 or 40 years from now. Although we of course will never know, I wonder what it would be like if it didn't exist today. What would it be like if LBP began forming BSA tomorrow. Would the same foundation and merits that BSA stands behind hold true if this were formed tomorrow? Would BSA have the same requirements for membership?

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Scouting came to the world and spread fast and far. It was a movement not an organization. Kids desired to be Scouts. They knew that by putting on the uniform and learning the codes to live by that they were important. Scouts represented goodness and had fun while doing it. I don't know all of the reasons but it met the innermost needs of children all over the world.

 

Many others started organizations over the years to do the same things but have failed. People that have not experienced the fullness of Scouting think that Scouting is an organization. They think that by getting a uniform or making up codes or using a theme that they can create Scouting 2. It appears easy but it is not to be.

 

When people speak of BP and for those that know, they speak about him as if he were still something very special and most never heard him or met him. So, one could say it was a man and they would be wrong. One could point to the American founders, Uncle Dan and Seton or GBB who were wonderful individuals, so one could say it was a group and they would be wrong.

 

One could point to history and say it was a stroke of luck but they would be wrong also. Scouting today means something around the world and that is hard to recreate. How does one do it has to be the question. One must create a movement which is the convergence of many things and bigger than one person or persons, bigger than an organization or codes or uniforms. It is something that must reach out to the hearts of kids everywhere and that is hard to do.

 

 

FB

 

 

 

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Thanks T487,

 

Using my response as a SM's minute would be an honor.

 

Some of the time when I want to try and understand Scouting, I think about Summer Camp. I picture myself standing in the dining hall/meeting room which is a large rock structure with a big fireplace and mantle, cement floor and two large covered porches on either side. During the summer, the large windows that line the porches can be opened and the breeze cools the inside.

 

I ate in that hall my first year as an adult leader. I had some friends that were Scouters which means they loved the program also and they were there with me. We had a memorable camp. I can still retell most of what we did almost day by day. We later had Work Weekends in the camp and several Scouters from all over the council came together. We slept in the dining hall and worked in the camp. During those weekends, there were individuals that attended that had character and were like walking stories. We had O.A. weekends in the camp and the dining hall was the main meeting place. We stood in line for meals in front and beside the porch. I remember being in line waiting to eat and other times standing on the porch while others waited to eat. We held Woodbadge there and we met in the hall and held sessions there. It was like being in a cathedral of Scouting. I was Camp Director there and I would help the staff clean the hall after everyone ate. There were tables to put up and chairs to clean. Later in the evening, several of us would meet in the kitchen for coffee, snacks and stories. We held Junior Leader Training there and watched the younger guys lead their sessions in the hall. Later, I was CC on a WB course and the hall was our meeting area. During the preparation weekends, we met and slept there. There are so many stories that could and should be told because Scouting captures one's heart and allows a person to share the best of themselves.

 

A few years ago, the camp was sold and along with it was that beautiful, timeless rock dining hall. We did not lose Scouting in the transaction. We did not lose the stories of our love for Scouting when it was given over to the new owners. Each of us knew that something had died forever but Scouting itself survived. Scouting is not something that can be sold and it is not a place, even when we deeply mourn the loss of that place.

 

FB

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