Jump to content
SSScout

Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, David CO said:

I think it was a big mistake for scouting to replace the name of the community (on the uniform) with the council patch.  

I agree ... We were better with <city> troop <#>

Problems ...

  • many of our troops pull from multiple cities.  Personally, I don't see it as a big issue if my kid was in a neighboring city troop.  It would be interesting ... Metropolis Troop 5.   
  • identifying troops would be harder.  Data input would be harder and would always require city and state.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, David CO said:

I think it was a big mistake for scouting to replace the name of the community (on the uniform) with the council patch.  

 

I agree, so our pack chose to rebel a bit to build community spirit. We bough custom unit patches like this (that's not our Pack/location though). The kids like them, and parents love them since their easier to sew than 3 separate numbers & veteran bar (and including the Established year instead of the veteran bar means they don't expire every 5 years). 

Pack 173 - Dover, NH

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never met an adult or youth who've complained about physical injuries haunting them later in life resulting from scouting activities.  I have met a multitude of people facing knee and shoulder injuries due to baseball and football. 

There is a relationship between sports injuries and prescription drug addictions.  In many locales, there is a toxic drug culture to be found in HS football culture.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested in hearing specific ideas that packs & troops have done that have resulted an in increased draw for Scouting.  Where have you faced losses to sports and other activities, done something to address that, and been successful?

Thanks in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2019 at 8:27 AM, SubSM said:

I would agree that it should be an and, but that's tough to accomplish when sports requires attendance at practices in order to play in games. It's an idea that I totally understand, it's very difficult to just jump in and work as a team without everyone being equally prepared. The same is true with marching band, if I don't know my part or exactly where I am supposed to be it messes up everyone else.  The very same idea holds true for scouts, lack of attendance at meetings prevents the proper preparation necessary for a successful outing.

Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance?

 

Mike

PS. I am trying to think out loud here, not be argumentative. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

I'd beg to differ here. Scouts does very much mandate participation.

All troops do require a minimal level of participation to demonstrate that they are "active."

"Active participation" is loosely defined by the BSA intentionally so that units can determine what level of participation is required. Troops vary greatly in this. Some are very strict and demanding of meeting attendance and camping participation, whereas others are more lax, but scouts who fall short of their troop's participation standards do not get the opportunity to advance, just like an athlete who does not attend practice regularly will not have the opportunity to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Onslow said:

I've never met an adult or youth who've complained about physical injuries haunting them later in life resulting from scouting activities. 

Really?  I've known quite a few.  It seems to me that, if scouting had little risk of long-term negative consequences, there would be no YP training.  It wouldn't be necessary.  YP training is necessary because there is a risk.

I think, perhaps, it is more fun and glamorous for us old folks to complain of our old football injuries.  It is a statistical fact that there are more old people of my generation who claim to have old sports injuries than there were athletes when we were young.  :unsure:  Funny how that happens.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2019 at 1:50 PM, SubSM said:

Nine years later:

I was thinking about this subject last weekend watching my niece's boys play a basketball tournament in their hometown. I watched as kids played their best and won some games and lost some games. They were excited to win, but not so happy when they lost. I also watched the parents react (in some cases very obnoxiously) to their kids paticipation. All I could think of was being in the woods trying to build a campfire, with no parents around. Noone to yell at the referee for a bad call; just wet wood, flint and steel. There is an honesty in having wet feet because a scout didn't bring boots for a rainy weekend, that can't be blamed on a third party. There is also compassion when another scout shares their fire to warm up the cold scout.

 

I have heard advertisements over and over about the benefits of youth sports on the radio. How kids learn leadership and teamwork etc. Many of these benefits can be found in scouting. 

Teamwork: Nothing helps build a team than having to get a fire going in order to cook your meal.

Leadership: The scouts are being led by one of their peers. 


Just curious what some of y'alls thoughts are.

Mike 

I appreciate where you're coming from but I do believe that scout parents can be just as aggressive and demanding - if not more so - than any sports parents ever could. 

In my own experience, as an Eagle Scout and as a parent of two Eagle Scouts who are both athletes, I have experienced some minor 'politics' in terms of their competing in sports, but that pales in comparison to the level of pettiness and egotism that I have seen displayed first hand by multiple scout leaders.

I've also heard too many similar accounts from other scout parents, as well as posts on this board, over how some troops choose to operate by adding requirements or using their own subjective, or judgmental, biases to deny rank advancement. 

I can only go by my own personal experience and I've only seen true pettiness and egotism in scouts, not in sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SSF said:

I appreciate where you're coming from but I do believe that scout parents can be just as aggressive and demanding - if not more so - than any sports parents ever could.

I appreciate your thoughts. It is good to hear a different perspective. 

My original point had less to do with parents attitudes towards sports (or scouts for that matter), and more to do with the bigger push for competing in sports over participation in scouts. I too have seen very aggressive parents in scouting. 

The question I am really looking for an answer to, is how do we as scouters help facilitate a program that draws the interest of more of today’s youth?

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, yknot said:

We can tell ourselves that it's a winning vs. service mentality, but in reality, I think it's more about the shared experience. Win or lose, if kids feel like they are more part of a team in sports than part of a patrol or troop in scouts, they are going to gravitate to the sports team instead.

Sure, but when sports teams have a few players with massive egos then some players will gravitate towards scouts. I was talking about when the activity is done right.

When I was a kid I did both. I liked both at the time. Now, I see that I liked sports for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with any goals that any adult has ever brought up. But I'm still glad I did it. Scouts was somewhat closer but I will never forget the impact a couple of those adults (and one older scout) had on me. A bit of tough love. A bit of kindness at just the right time. I can't say the same about the coaches.

My son did both. He enjoyed tennis. He wanted to play basketball but couldn't make the team. That's a problem with sports in a big school. The service aspect of scouts has stuck with him. 

Maybe different activities work better for different kids. 

19 hours ago, yknot said:

On a sports team, kids see their teammates and coaches two or three times a week and more for school teams. It builds a lot of camaraderie. 

I agree. It's also why scouts is high on the decision tree for what a kid will cut to make up for too many commitments.

On the whole, what you say is why I've pushed for new scouts to focus on teamwork. Without that patrols have no hope and leadership is really difficult. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, SubSM said:

The question I am really looking for an answer to, is how do we as scouters help facilitate a program that draws the interest of more of today’s youth?

Better training? The current training only works for those that don't need it.

Better understanding of the typical problems and good, honest, specific examples of how to solve them. Pushy or clueless parents. Scouts with challenges. Getting a troop out of a rut. Developing a program so scouts stay till they age out. 

Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SubSM said:

The question I am really looking for an answer to, is how do we as scouters help facilitate a program that draws the interest of more of today’s youth?

 

Mike

I'm a believer of sorts in the scouting program.  The most direct answer to your question is just follow the instructions in the Troop Leader Guidebook particularly in the areas of youth leadership.  Scheduling, and executing annual planning conferences, PLCs, ILST ensure a degree of youth ownership.  That being said, it is challenging to engage youth that do not possess any depth of foundational knowledge, and are apathetic and lazy.

Regarding getting newly bridged scouts excited, 10-11 year old youth will want to hang with the big boys.  Back when there were age restrictions on outpost camping and backpacking, I would tell the 11 year olds  "I'm not supposed to let you come on this trip, but since you've demonstrated sufficient fitness and maturity, I'll let you participate in the upcoming outpost camping trip".  This type conversation was worth more to the kids than giving them a Ben Franklin, and would elevate zeal and excitement for both general scouting, and the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors.  The second level of baiting can take place as a youth nears OA eligibility.  My son recently participated in the OA Northern Tier Adventure at Ely MN.  It was a very tough slog for the lad, but he came  back feeling more adult-like and just super excited about the national high adventure programs.  He endured things never thought possible, and is now a walking advertisement for scouting.  NT belts, belt buckles, shirts, water bottles, Summer Camp shirts, OA chapter shirts, OA lodge front plates are all on display at school.

These examples aside, become acquainted with the all the High Adventure programs available at your council's summer camp, and national high adventure bases.  Explain to the youth about the different paths that can be taken in the OA.  In the OA, one can become involved in Indian affairs, pursue admin positions, be a consumer of high adventure, or be a camp staffer on the council level, or a national high adventure base.  Always make youth aware of opportunities that are two steps ahead of their skill sets.  Deep down in every person's soul is vanity and ego.  Find it in your youth, and use for something positive.  Droning on about advancement and badges gets stale quickly, but be warned, box checkers who want the Eagle rank, but are reluctant to give back to the community will not respond well to what I've suggested.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2019 at 7:05 AM, Jameson76 said:

 

That pretty much sums up a great issue...SIX YEARS OF CUB SCOUTS.  The  Cubs used to be sort of the waiting room for Scouts, as that was the really good stuff.  Now it can be a 6 year slog to Scouts, parents may determine to do something new.  Also after SIX YEARS OF CUB SCOUTS many parents (can you say family scouting) expect Troops to be the same, or in many cases worry that it will be more of the same

 

I know.  Cub Scouting was three years when I was in it.  Now it has become the tail that wags the dog.  I believe there are significantly more youth members in Cub Scouts than in Scouts BSA (that name is still difficult for me to type) at any given time.  That is really where National's focus seems to be most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

I know.  Cub Scouting was three years when I was in it.  Now it has become the tail that wags the dog.  I believe there are significantly more youth members in Cub Scouts than in Scouts BSA (that name is still difficult for me to type) at any given time.  That is really where National's focus seems to be most of the time.

Some sports programs have the same problem.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, David CO said:

Some sports programs have the same problem.

You're not kidding. I mean, I have a perverse heart-warming feeling when ride by the midget football camp in the park on the North Side of town.

A fair bit of my time in both Sunday school and scouts is talking kids through their growing lack of interest in whatever sport they were involved in since they were little. Their friends as much as their family are pressuring to keep up with the soccer/baseball/football team (or, sometimes band), but they are realizing they are just not enjoying it -- even if they a pretty good at it. They've gotten bored with the game, and playing it under lights in a stadium of cheering strangers is not gonna change that.

Sometimes the conflict can be quite serious. Athletes who are "into the game" can become bullies. They and their victims sometimes need to step away from the game to realize that they can find beauty "on the outside."

This also happens in scouting. But not as often, and not as extreme. I think because there are more niches in the program that a scout can fill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×