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"A Philosophy of Traditional Scouting"

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BP, I think you will find it was not a whim of the public that led to the effort to urbanize Scouting. It was "experts" who never actually polled the "sales force" or the "customers." Edsel. New Coke.

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Eagledad writes:


I dont see how we could ever go back to the good old days of the 90s much less of the 50s when the majority of the scout leaders today know little more about scouting than the youth they are leading. Its one thing to have been a youth who camped 100 yards away from the adults and understand the feeling of independence, its something different when the adult has no outdoor or scouting experience and thinks that all kids want to do is poke fires with sticks and chase each other round like Lord of the Flies. 100 yards is a science fiction fantasy.


Scouting for Boys was a "science fiction fantasy" when it was published.


It described an alien world of outdoor skills and unsupervised independence.


Then as now, boys were an indoor species. Scouting for Boys was based on Baden-Powell's success in training his "pasty white" English "parlour boys" how to outmaneuver the superior "chestnut hewed" outdoor Dutch Boers at Mafeking ("Boer" is Dutch for "farmer").


Scout leaders a hundred years ago knew little more about Scouting than the youth they were leading. No adult had Scouting experience, and no doubt they thought that all kids wanted to do was poke fire with a stick and chase each other around like Baden-Powell suggested in Scouting for Boys.


Then as now, no "hands-on" training existed to teach Patrol Leaders how to lead a Patrol into the woods.


The 50-100 yard guideline was Baden-Powell's do-it-yourself Patrol System standard long before he invented Wood Badge.


It takes the same Scoutcraft skills to set Patrols up three feet apart as it does to set them up 300 feet apart.


So the real variable is leadership.


In other words, the Beaver Patrol might by pure chance elect a mature natural leader, but six months from now when it is somebody else's "turn" to be Patrol Leader, the new PL's incompetence might cause injury in the absence of close adult supervision.


As one practical person pointed out recently: The use of Traditional Methods is not a suicide pact!


If a Patrol makes bad choices, there is NO reason that you (or the PLC) must allow them to camp at the same distance from the adults as a mature Patrol.


If you actually try Baden-Powell's minimum standard (MINIMUM standard) of "at least" 50-100 yards between Patrols, you will find that many anticipated "problems" are self-correcting.


Yours at 300 feet,




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You're preaching to the choir Kudu, but I'm sure you are only using my quote for an intro to your point.


The struggle for traditional boy run program is not the knowledgeable scout leader working against the system to reach the vision, the struggle is finding the knowledgeable adult with the traditional boy run vision.



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