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Are We Raising a Generation of Wimps?

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I don't know as if I would go so far as to say wimps, but there is definitely a decline in certain skills that historically had been quite necessary.


If one is never going to leave the house, office, school, or other buildings or even vehicles, then outdoor skills are not necessary. If their idea of camping is a trailer or RV they don't need anything other skills except maybe getting the gas grill going or at least build a fire for roasting marshmallows for the kids.


However, these outdoor skills really aren't being touted as important anymore because for the most part the parents of our scouts basically are getting along without them already. Whereas there were generations of people that sat in front of TV's with their TV dinners for years until the next generation came along and are now in front of the computer with their frozen pizzas.


I never really thought too much about it until Y2k rolled around and everyone was in a total panic trying to figure out how to maintain their standard of living if the world collapsed. :) When my coworkers asked me if I had my survival kit, my food stocks, generator, etc. etc. I just smiled. I told them I was going to fill my bathtub with water for drinking, take my dutch oven off the shelf and collect firewood from the woods behind the house. I figured that would take care of just about anything that came along for about a month. When asked what I was going to do with all that frozen food when the power went out. I just said, I was going to open the door of the freezer and forget about it. I live in Wisconsin and once the temp dropped, everything would be okay.


The lack of understanding of how people survived prior to electricity was totally amazing. We have built houses to protect us from the outside world. Even bugs aren't allowed inside. Scouting is one of the last bastions of learning to survive outdoors if one is required to take a path other than from the front door to the car door and back at the end of the day. Does that make the wimps? I dunno, but it surely makes them illiterate of how to function in places that have trees and grass.



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"If one is never going to leave the house, office, school, or other buildings or even vehicles, then outdoor skills are not necessary."


until the house, office, building decides to leave you. We've had some bad tornadoes lately

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Its those ScOUTING skills that really help out when an unexpected power outage that lasts a week happens unexpectedly. Everyone bemoans the no electricity while my son and I had a ball... *laughing


There was quite a common theme at the next Troop meeting which was such cheerfulness in the face of inconvenience that was never an inconvenience... *smiles

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I know I am prepared for a week-long power outage. We'll probably have more fun than anyone on the block, too. :)


I'm always so excited to see how often it is a Scout that takes action when adults are sitting on their hands. :)

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I have found that scout skills and hurricane prep go hand in hand. Our power goes out here at a drop of rain so we get plenty of practice. So we can do OK at our house but I do miss the AC...especially after a storm.


Also it doesn't hurt to go "honey it's not a camping stove it's our hurricane stove"...


What to do if the power goes out with your stuff in the freezer? You start eating it! In order of what will spoil first. When I was a kid in South Florida there was always the traditional eating all the bacon and sausage and milk when you were on Hurricane Warning to use it up. Yum!

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When we have our new parent orientation for the Troop, we introduce our Troop tradition of the essentials pack. We ask all boys to have field pack that has the outdoor essentials, plus we add the Handbook, paper and pen, and a 6' hunk of rope. They are to bring it to every Troop event.


I then tell them the contents, and why they are necessary or useful - and not just in the wilderness.


I THEN tell them that this type of kit should be in all of their trunks for earthquakes. I sometimes go so far as to ask how many parents have an earthquake kit in their car, and also a supply at their house. About 1/3 raise hands at that meeting, and we try to get the percentages up over time.


I close by talking about the San Francisco quake. When it hit, all of us at Stanford had to move out of the housing units until they could be inspected. My fraternity had several Scouts in it, and we turned our yard into an awesome canopied shelter. We had our BBQ pit going 24/7 cooking up all of the food from our freezers, and soon had many friends crashing with us as well. Those Scout skills turned the quake inconvenience into a great party instead.

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