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Eamonn

" Scouting is supposed to be global"

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A forum member from the UK posted some of the requirements that Scouts in the UK have, many seem to deal with international Scouting.

They weren't around when I was Scouting in the UK.

As a Scout Leader back in the dark ages when I was there, we did as a Troop camp outside of the UK.

While maybe we managed to give the Scouts we took a better understanding of what was happening outside of England? I kinda think if the truth were to be told it had more to do with the international experiences being a carrot that held the interest of the Scouts and kept them involved in Scouts, Scouting and the Troop.

Offering an international experience is not the norm for most American Boy Scouts.

Sure we pack off some to attend World Jamborees and a few Troops and Crews do camp and travel outside of the USA.

 

I bet if I were to say to most if not all of the SM's in my area that Scouting is supposed to be global, I'd get some strange looks and most would think I was full of it.

While most if not all Scouter's know and are aware that there are Scouts all over the world the feeling is that while it's nice at the end of the day it amounts to a hill of beans for them and the Troops that they serve.

Kinda like me knowing that the Roman Catholic Church is global, but still when I attend Mass its not something that I dwell on or think about. Other then when they might have a collection to help out overseas.

Most people who haven't taken the time don't know that the BSA isn't just based on Scouting For Boys and the good stuff that Lord Baden Powell came up with. There was in the early days other organizations that came together, other ideas and people with very strong views who came on board.

 

The distances from Sea to shining Sea is vast.

How the Scouting program is delivered at the local level and the diversity of the Scouts who receive it is great.

The number of people youth and adult is also great.

While offering international experiences to American Scouts might be kinda nice, I'm not sold on the idea.

 

While I was attending the conference on Delivering Commissioner Service at PTC. At the same time there was a conference going on about International Scouting. From what I seen apart from a guy from Mexico and a female Scouter from Germany, most of the Americans were serving at the Council level and from talking with these their main focus was helping the Council with World Jamborees.

We do in the USA have a International Scouter's Award.

I kinda like the fact that I'm the only person in the Council I serve who has it!

When it comes to Scouting here in the USA and the BSA the idea that "Scouting is supposed to be global" Really doesn't carry much weight.

Sure some of us have had the opportunities to meet with and visit Scouts outside of the USA, but I have had Sea Scouts who until they joined the Ship had never been outside of Pennsylvania.

Ea.

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My son just got back from Spain and was excitedly explaining to us how little it cost to visit different counties in Europe, once you are in Europe. It seems a person can travel to most European counties for around $100. That is a lot cheaper than Philmont.

 

I like the idea of International Scouting, however, my sons and I have never been to the Jamboree here in the US because the minimum cost even back then was $3000. I cant imagine the cost of a World Jamboree.

 

Maybe we kind of contribute to International Scouting because we have been to the Boundary Waters of Canada several times. I think we met a Canadian while we were there, but it was hard to tell because she sounded like the locals of Minnesota. I understand the troop went Scuba Diving in Mexico last year. They saved up for a few years for that international trip. Does Alaska count as international?

 

I can understand the idea of international scouting I guess, but the US is so big that International Scouting for an Oklahoman is meeting a Troop from California.

 

I can say that our scouts always come back from summer camp enlightened that each troop is a little different than our own. I think that is what International Scouting is really about. We met some very nice scouts from the East Coast while at Philmont, they have an interesting accent and seem to talk a little louder.

 

I guess what Im saying is I don't know if all that many American Scouts can afford to really understand the concept of International Scouting.

 

I do intend to take a trip east one day and visit my English friend Eammon. Does that count?

 

Barry

 

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Yeah Eamonn, I took note of that comment on the thread also. But, like Eagledad equated it to the fact that countries are small & close together so, it is more doable in the UK.

 

Being in NH, I guess it would not be too bad to look to Canida if we had that as part of the requirement. A few of our scouts (my son included) did the Bahama Sea Base, but that was costly and few went because even with fundraisers, the rest was up to the family to foot the bill.. Our troop is not one of the ones that can fundraise for the day and pull in 10,000 dollars.. Our fundraiser end up bringing in little, so for the Seabase, we had to run multiple fundraisers and still only got about half raised.

 

Parts of this country would be hard press to figure out a way to get to another country if that became a requirement.

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We do in the USA have a International Scouter's Award.

I kinda like the fact that I'm the only person in the Council I serve who has it!

 

Consider the gauntlet thrown. Oh, wait, there's paperwork. Nevermind.

 

I think you'd be surprised the number of scouters who make international connections. They just don't go blowing their horns about it. This year two of my crew members served at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. One sent me a picture with her wearing her venturing t-shirt while she was being hugged by some orphans. It warmed the cockles of my heart. Whenever any of my youth take an overseas they try look up the local scouting organization. I can name at least three scouters in council who probably deserve the knot outright. If it's not on their shirt, I'll let them know about it. They'll probably shrug and walk away.

 

ED, the youth from my council have to drop about $3500 to attend this year's contingent. Unfortunately my crew had reserved boats in the Bahamas for the same week. (Is that international enough?) Youth Euro-rail passes are dirt cheap. I always tell my kids, go while you can afford it.

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Yep Not many know about scouting's international opportunities.

 

Besides world jambos, units can organize their own international trips, and BSA national has a few resources, not many, to help out with it.

 

One of the best deals is the European Camp Staff Program. I beleive the application fee is $150 now, and that covers medical insurance once accepted, and your transprotation to and from the camp you work at. When you come back 50% or $400, whichever is lesser, is reinbursed. What other program allows you to stay 3 months in the UK and cost less than $1000 once you return and get your money back(ok it was closer $3500, but that included WSJ and serious sightseeing on the days off)

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I think you're right, Eamonn.

 

For most people in the US, it would make little difference whether there were any international Scouts or not. Many people in Europe just don't realize how big the US is. I had friends from Ireland who couldn't believe that most Americans did not have passports. A large majority of Americans still don't have passports, and this despite the fact that the percentage has climbed a lot recently since now you need one to go to Canada.

 

The US is huge. It's bigger than all 44 non-Russian European countries combined. We go from glaciers in Montana to beaches in Florida, from Rocky Mountains to rain forests to pine forests to swamps to deserts. Huge river systems, great lakes. The cultural and historical breadth does not compare to Europe, but people living in rural North Dakota might easily think of New York City as a foreign country if not an alien planet.

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I think there is a lot of sense above.

 

Cambridge is perhaps 30 minutes drive from London Stansted airport. If I turned up there tonight with my passport and 200 in my pocked I reckon I could get on a plane to 20+ countries. Turn up there with 400 and the whole of Europe is my oyster and parts of North Africa as well. I am very lucky, it's just the nature of Europe.

 

If someone turns up at any given airport in the USA with the equivalent of 200 in their pocket how many countries can they get to? Canada? Mexico? You might just get to Greenland on a cheap deal, if you're in Alaska you can probably make Russia. If you're in Hawaia (I probably spelt that wrong. Sorry.) then you'll probably get nowhere. Same can be said for residents of other large countries like Canada, Brazil or China. They would all struggle to get to many other countries.

 

Equally though the USA has a far more diverse culture than many countries simply because it was built on immigration. Yes in the UK we have a sizeable Pakistani community and a growing Polish community (although most Poles are only here temporarily) and in North London a strong Irish community but beyond that we have nowhere near the diversity the USA has.

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I have had a pen friend in England since 1965, and was fortunate to visit her family and her in 1967 while stationed in Germany with the AF. We have kept in touch all these years, and recently visited here in California. She is still in awe of the distances we take as common everyday drives. As Cambridgeskip noted, they simply really do not equate.

 

Back in 1976 Sue's husband, a member of the elite British Parachute team, came to Yuma, Arizona for winter training. While there, they arranged a trip to Disneyland for them. He called me and wanted to know if I was close to Disneyland, as Sue had told him to contact me if at all possible. I lived in the San Fernando Valley at the time, about 75 miles from the park. So, I arranged to meet him at the hotel and take him to my apartment in the Valley for supper and a visit. On our way to my place, he commented that we must be near the Oregon border, as he had ridden roughly 500 miles north already. He just was floored when I told him it was not but a third of the way there. He also could not quite yet grasp the variations in topography; they drove on Interstate 10 from Yuma through the below sea level area of Salton Sea, through the San Gorgonio pass with 11,400 foot San Gorgonio on one side and 10,800 foot San Jacinto on the other, into the cities.

 

We often do not realize just how blessed we are in regard to diversity of landforms and cultural exposures. Nothing I saw in Europe, in relation to physical geography, was particularly unusual, even though I was in Bavaria and visited the Alps. But, the cultural exposures were eye opening, with the depth of history so easily accessible.

 

We have had a number of international trips from our council in the past, outside of jambo; but none recently. The last one was to Discovery in Great Britain to which I had a scout go. But there were only ten total, including the adults.

 

Interesting discussion.

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Just as a bit of comparison, Philmont Scout Ranch is more than 1261 times the size of Gilwell park. Wow!!!!

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Attending the World Jamboree in England wouldn't have been difficult for me.

I was part of the team that selected who from our Area/Region could go.In fact the then Area Chair. Was a little upset with me when I said I wasn't going.

The truth is that I know it doesn't cost about $10,000 for my son and I to visit London.

There was no way I could justify spending that amount of money.

A great many of the adults who did apply to fill the Troop leadership positions were people who had attended in the past

Some of these guys had attended a good many.

Back when OJ was still a Scout we camped with a pal of mine and his Troop. OJ joined a Patrol and that was about the last I seen of him.

He had a great time and still keeps in contact with some of the Scouts he camped with via Face Book.

I was in Ireland when the Pope visited. I joined my young cousins as they waited to light the biggest fire ever to welcome him. Scouts from all over Ireland lighted fires all the way around the coast.

My cousins son in Toronto was in Scouts for a while and last I heard my sisters son had got involved in Scouts in Hong Kong. -They are moving to Australia soon, so maybe him and his sister will get involved there?

Some parts of Scouting are truly global.

The good turn each day is as far as I know just about everywhere, as is Be Prepared.

The basic idea of people living up to a value based code is also in play. The words might be different, but the basic idea is the same. Uniforms differ a lot, but the neckerchief seems to be fairly universal.

Just about all the places I've visited and seen Scouting in action have been places where the people who live there are not that different from most westerners.

I very much doubt if we were in some Muslim countries if we would be thinking about co-ed Scouting or allowing gays to join.

This doesn't make them wrong or us right. It just makes them -them??

My thinking is that it's wrong for me to try and force my views on what I think is right on them.

Right now the gay thing is big here in the states, not just in Scouting but all over.

Many of us might like to see a change in the way we go about things. I for one would welcome a local option, where the Chartering Organization can allow or not allow gays to serve.

But as of right now the BSA has stated that Avowed Homosexuals are not allowed to serve.

I think but I don't know, that maybe the BSA is under a lot of pressure from the groups that sit on the National Council, not just the LDS Church, but the R/C Church, other Churches and maybe some of the other service organizations.

This has very little to do with if Scouting is global or not.

It is what it is and it's the way things are done here.

If other places and other countries do things differently, then that's what it is there.

Every four years the Scouts of the world get together to learn from each other and at the same time see the good stuff that Scouts from every corner of the globe share.

That for me is what global Scouting is all about.

Lord Baden Powell had hoped that by bringing young people from all over the world to the table that is Scouting, that we might one day through the young have world peace.

I think he felt let down by the two great wars.

Still it's a nice step in the right direction

Eamonn.

 

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