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Why does sports/band/etc seem to trump Scouting?

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Or have them register as Crews. I know a local high school cross country team that registered as a Crew, thus gaining access to the Council's 900+ acre camp and 7+ miles of trails. Actual our Lodge is planning a 5K event for the Ox Roast this coming August as a fund raiser.


Actually, our summer-camp does MB groupings with special programs, Earthworks (Forestry, W&S, F&WM), Native Amer. Culture (Indian Lore, Archeology, Amer. Culture), Lights Action Camera (Cinematography, Theater, Art), etc.


Same could go for band as mentioned in one of the earlier posts. the only way this would work is if the ACLU could keep their meddling nose out of it. Hey, this could save the school systems major dollars when their teams and bands travel to invitationals and other out of town overnight events and competitions. Instead of putting up at costly hotels, they could put up at Council camps for a fraction of the cost. UHM!!!



I understand. Academic teams and bands are great. Been there and did that with band. At one point, I thought about music as a career. One year, my class schedule was English, Spanish, French, science, algebra, band, orchestra alternating with chior (they were at the same time), art, along with marching band, jazz band and mens ensemble. I played three different instruments.


But look at it this way. If you were an admissions officer or a company recruiter, would you look at the person (4.0 GPA) with all the music and or sports experience, or the scout (4.0 GPA), who may have started out as a CIT at 14, work three years on staff, then promoted as a area director at 18 with 5-8 people working under them, then at 21 as camp director handling a $300K plus budget with 60-80 employees? Or an 18/22 year old that has worked on local camp staff, then possibly international camp staff overseas or as a regional or National officer for OA? No brainer. It would be the 4.0 GPA with the leadership and world experiences.


I wish there had been a lot more information about some of the above scouting stuff when I was your age back in the 70's. I would have been applying to camp staff, High Adventure staff, International camp staff, Jambo staff, etc.


Michael, maybe think about using your musical talents on staff at the 2009 NOAC or the 2010 Jambo. How many of your fellow band members or your band director would ever dream of having the possibility of playing for the President at Jambo?


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More thoughts. I tell the boys in my outpost this passage.


Revelations 3:14-16 NIV

14To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


Kelly version: Make up your mind, nobody likes a fence-sitter.


Matthew 25-14 talks about people being responsible which what has been given to them. "You have been faithful in a few thing; I will put you in charge of many things."


Jesus said that in order for us to be great, we have to be servants. Just the same for a leader. I am speaking to the choir on this since I know that almost all the scouters here lay down their lives and time for the boys. Leadership requires sacrifice. Lukewarm leaders are basically useless. So puke them out.


Before elections make sure the boys understand that if they are not able to attend and lead, they need not be in a leadership position and should not run for a position.


I don't think a coach would put up with a quarterback that only showed up half of the games. The same should be for a scoutmaster's expectations of a SPL. I have in the past and would ask an absent SPL to give up his position if he can't fullfill it. It is not fair for the ASPL to do the SPL job. His is to assist the SPL, not do his position. We had one SPL take responsibility for his absence and asked if he could switch positions with the ASPL. I give him credit for this. RD

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I think that there are a number of issues at play here. The grade issue is a big one. We may not be able to send a patrol to our district Klondike Derby because it is the same weekend as the Science Fair. We have some pretty smart kids in our troop and as many are in Accelerated or Advanced Placement science classes they are required to enter as part of their grade. As of last night we only had four signed up and we need at least 5.


NeilUp touched on another issue when he mentioned the "nerdy" status of scouts. A few years ago a high school aged scout (not from my unit) attended our district RT. There was a discussion of the why scouts did not want to proudly wear their uniforms. He he pointed out that we were all missing a major point. He said that in his opinion the boy scouts is "America's largest secret society". All the scouters in the room seemed to lean forward in unison as he continued to say that "you will rarely hear a scout mention scouting in front of his non-scouting friends at school". He said that in his school scouts used the phrase "youth group" as a code for scouts; "See you at the youth group tonight". He did not offer an explanation as to why that was that way; just that it was.


Why would this be so? I think that the "nerdy" image is a part of it and in this area I think BSA's position on gays and atheists also hurts our image. Our scouts enjoy scouting but by high school (often sooner) they are aware of the controversy and many our uncomfortable with it. We lost an extremely good scout a few years ago because he was torn between what he learned at church and in his family about Christian love and inclusion and what he heard about scouts on the news and I suspect from his friends.


I am not raising this issue to hijack the thread to a discussion of the controversies but just to point out that a scout is not likely to raise the issue of a conflict with scouting if they are hesitant to even admit they are scouts.


I should point out that our district is in the most liberal county in Virginia, generally votes about 70% Democratic in elections. Attitudes are probably different elsewhere but are we sure? It might be worth discussions with senior scouts as to their perception of the image of scouting. The answers might surprise us.




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Being a Scout cut both ways in EagleSon's university search.


At a Jesuit university, when we were campus visiting, the Admissions Officer didn't want to know that he was in Scouting; he wanted his list of ACHIEVEMENTS in Scouting. An Eagle himself, he said "Eagle alone isn't enough anymore. Troop leadership alone isn't enough anymore. How many times have you been to Philmont. What are your duties in Lodge leadership? When were you on Camp Staff? The longer your resume, the better you'll compete."


OTOH, at a certain school, a certain professor of music flipped his attention span to the ON position the instant my son said he was an Eagle Scout. "I can make better musicians, but I have no tolerance for folks who aren't good people when they arrive here."


PING!!! Lisa'bob: You're somewhat near the world of higher education ;) ... what are you hearing from your peers in admissions offices vis a vis Scouting and admissions?



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Hal_Crawford: I'm not sure what you're saying about scouts being embarrassed to wear the uniform in school is anything new. I do recall in the 70s, wearing my uniform a time or two to junior high school. Nobody said boo or made fun of it. But I didn't wear it in high school. . . I suppose because scouting is a non-high school activity.


This was long before the 90s brouhaha over the 3Gs.


Kids are always willing to find reason to pick on kids who are different, and a scout uniform can do this to you. Kids have been embarrassed to wear the uniform in school for a long time, perhaps since 1910.


And also, all those badges and patches are things are undecipherable to the uninitiated! But everybody knows what varsity letters and jackets are.

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I'm really not sure my sons would have worn their soccer or baseball uniforms to school either. My son hated the khaki pants he wore while on the school golf team. He put those on in the car from the school to the golf tournaments. So I'm not sure why we are making it a big deal with just scouts.


As for the backbone thingy, they come to us to develop it.



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I'm sorry if I was not clear. While the discussion was initially about wearing the uniform in public (not necessarily at school) the scout was saying that the scouts he knew would not acknowledge being scouts in any way to their non-scout classmates. That is the point that is important. Again I think it could be an interesting conversation to have with your scouts... at least the older ones. "What do you see as the image of scouts among your non-scout friends?"


One of our scouts told me that some at school referred to scouts as "the brown shirts". Nice! If scouts are fighting or ducking this kind of image it is little wonder that they might not speak up and say, "I can't attend this practice (rehearsal, whatever) because I am already committed to a boy scout campout".


BTW: We didn't wear our uniforms to school past elementary school when I was in scouts and that was over 40 years ago.





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A couple of things that may go back a couple of pages...


1)The most recent first, In regard to wearing uniforms at school, I remember wanting to do Cub Scouts when I was in grade school and not being allowed due to some issues my parents and older brothers had with a "interesting" Scoutmaster - but when I saw the poor kid who's mom "made" him wear the CS uniform to school and he was clinging to the car crying, yelling "I won't go" and she had to get out and frog-march him into the school - I quit worrying about it for a long time after that.


2)The remark was made that,"Football - coach gives you the plays. The only time you get to make a decision is when the play gets screwed up, and you have to improvise.

Don't mess the play up, hold onto the ball, and run like heck.

Defense, you may have a little more opportunity to make some decisions and show some leadership.


Other sports have less opportunity to show real leadership, making real decisions that really effect how things are, except for some collegic sports. "


I respectfully disagree, in most Sports there is as much or more Leadership shown on the practice field, in the weight room, in not getting out of the coaches sight and continuing on pace for your run, in calling out your teammate who's slacking during practice than may be called for on the actual event field. Leadership is shown everyday in the practice venue of what ever sport. ( I was a Track and Cross-Country runner, two Varsity Track Letters and Three Varsity Cross-Country) It's easy to slack off and watch your teammates do the same - I knew anytime I wanted a break or just slow the pace or go shorter distances than what we were assigned that they'd be ready to do that too. But do you really think that knowing that and deciding to press on didn't help develop my leadership skills? Every time I hung on and didn't succumb to peer presure, I WAS making a real difference in the outcome of the upcoming meets.


In the "non-team" sports like track there is in fact a strong team component, no single athlete can win a team title in Track. The pole vaulters, hurdlers, discus hurlers and shot-putters, triple jumpers and yes, the milers all need to be inspired and while a coach is great it's seeing the other "non-gifted" athlete who is succeeding because he's working hard consistently that helps to drive each of those disparate parts into doing their best to bring home the team win. When another athlete whose event doesn't start for a couple of hours brings you drink in between heats of your event, when there event is done for the day and they are actively cheering your efforts, isn't that Leadership and teamwork in action? It's great to do well in your event - but it's the team title that hangs on the school wall.

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not withstanding the greater amount of scholarships or campus privileges possible with sports or band experience, I believe two possible reasons have not been sufficiently addressed:

1) like it or not, most kids are raised by peer pressure -- which means they may not want adults around at all times. Coach, band director, & Scoutmaster are roughly equivalent. Yet, when the sports team is on the field, they usually call their own plays, depend on each other, and are harder on each other than a grown-up would be. Plus, school sports gets 3-5 pages in the local paper enabling a group identity.

Similarly, a marching band, when on the field, is out there with their drum major (correct term?) while the band director remains on the sidelines -- in most cases. They make it on their own out there.

Only in Scouts do you have to have an adult baby-sitter always tagging along on the field. Scouts lead? Even at Philmont only an adult can perform the important paperwork & bill-paying. The nightly coffee at the staffed camp's cabin is only for adults -- which means even Eagles are just little kids. This gets tiring.

2) Scouts turns out to be just plain wimpy. New Scouts are frequently sold a bill of goods on Adventure. They enter expecting to have the equivalent of the pioneering m.b. by Tenderfoot, three weeks canoeing the North Woods by Second, something grand by First. What they frequently get is endless time in the knots corner, or the first-aid corner...Scouts are looking for much better rights of passage. There needs to be better use of what they've learned while they are still in Scouting.

As an aside, has anyone considered having their troop meetings on a Saturday? This would leave Sunday through Friday evenings for homework & school activities.

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Drum major is the correct term. Earlier in this thread, I drew a parallel between SPL/PL and how marching bands are organized (or at least how they used to be organized when I was marching -- SPL/PL is not unlike drum majors, section leaders and squad leaders -- these are "on the field" participants that have real roles and responsibilities), but it was buried in a ton of verbiage.


As far as the Saturday meeting idea goes, there would be conflicts in our area because that's when the bulk of non-school youth sports happens -- I'd always thought that Sunday afternoons would be good for Scout meetings, although there would be plenty of people that wouldn't like that either...my son's patrol leader was looking for an alternate day for a patrol meeting, and it seemed like everyone was open on Sunday afternoons but him, because of his family.



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John asked (several posts ago, sorry) about what I'm seeing regarding how colleges treat extra-curriculars like scouts these days. I have to preface this by saying that the school I teach at is not highly selective in terms of its admission policies, and so what I see is not the same as what might happen at the flagship campuses of a Big 10/Big 12 school, an Ivy, or an elite liberal arts college, where there is intense competition for admissions. However, there are literally thousands of colleges and universities in the country and the bulk of them are probably more like my school in terms of not being highly selective. (We're not open-enrollment either. You do have to have a minimum GPA and test scores to get in. But that means most people who apply will be accepted.)


Anyway, all of that said - scouting and other extracurriculars play very small roles in our admission process. The primary determinants are GPA and test scores. GPAs in a school like ours are NOT typically weighted based on difficulty of curriculum and "extras" are NOT stripped out. We do not have an essay component of our application; the one place on an application where someone might indicate achievements like Eagle, or OA, would be on the list of achievements and honors - which, to be honest, holds practically no weight in the admission decision. We also do not conduct admission interviews - no option to highlight one's scouting accomplishments there, either. Most of our university-wide scholarships for entering freshmen are also based solely on GPA and test scores.


Now, all that said, once you get admitted, there may be some places where being an Eagle Scout makes a difference. Personal relationships with faculty are important when it comes to applying for various in-house scholarships, and getting strong letters of recommendation matters. Many faculty will still be impressed with scouting accomplishments and that may factor into what they include in their letters. I know that it matters to me, at least. And we do have some scholarships for continuing students that are based in part on demonstrating leadership, and of course Eagle rank or OA, or various Venturing recognitions, etc., are helpful there.


But for admission? Nah, Eagle is not even looked at. A good grade in Band (or what have you) will probably do more to help you get in to a school like mine than scouting will, because it will likely raise your GPA. I'm not saying that's always a good way to think about it, but that's the view from the trenches where I am located.

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I skimmed many of the posts in this thread, so forgive me if this has already been brought up, but I don't think it has. There is a fundamental difference between many other activities and Scouting. That is anybody can be a Scout, even if you are disabled. On the other hand, not everybody can play sports, and even fewer will be good enough to play at the high school level if they are not in a very small school that is just begging for players.


My son is a 7th grader who plays basketball. Already the competition is tough to be on the high school feeder teams. He wants to play high school ball, but he knows when he gets to that level not everybody who wants to play will be able to. More than likely at least 2/3 of the boys who try out will not make it.


With Scouting, you can take it at your own pace. If your goal is to be an Eagle, you can do it when you are 13 or when you are 17. With sports, you gotta work real hard to even make it onto a team.


And not to confuse this as a sport-only thing, when I was a kid I was more into music. I was in orchestras that you had to try out for. I was pretty good, good enough to be offered college scholarships, but I didn't make it into every orchestra I tried for. There was real competition, and if you were in a more elite group, there was no option to miss performances unless you were in the hospital. You miss too many practices or miss a performance, and there are plenty of people on a waiting list to take your place.


Now, as somebody else pointed out, being in sports during high school is a status thing, especially if you are really good. Kids care about being popular. They want people to like them.


This also gets into the uniforming issue that was brought up earlier. I'm sure most kids in middle school would be made fun of if they wore their uniform to school. It's not a matter of being ashamed of the uniform. When I was growing up in the 70's, I wanted to wear my hair long, because that was the rocker look. Looking back as an adult, it didn't make sense, but I was a kid then.

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I know that colleges differ on their weight for extra curricular. However, As a recruiter for upper level management (headhunter) for 15 years I can tell you an Eagle Scout has weight. In fact, I have seen Eagle Scout being the deciding factor.

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In response to 2eagles, I too have seen being an Eagle Scout making a difference in employment.


However, I have yet to see being a Tiger Cub having any difference at all in hiring.


What message is it sending to youth and what message should we take ourselves when we honestly look in the mirror when we are saying that unless one is an Eagle Scout, the value of Scouting in college applications, employment, etc. is zero or less? It's not Scouting which is valuable, it's that one super bauble that comes at the end of the trail. Otherwise, forget it. Don't waste your time.


Kids are no different from the rest of us. In fact, I suspect that, at one time or another, all of us have been children :)


So unless something produces





-status and/or



or else one is forced to do it, they won't do it. And if something produces mocking and being made fun of, why should they do it?


We may tell the kids "Aren't you brave? Can't you stand up to those kids mocking you?"


But the kids will say to themselves "Why should I if I don't get anything for it?"


Kids are no different from the rest of us.

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