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Mike Rowe on the demise of the Boy Scouts Login/Join 
Resident Rogue and Blackguard
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quote:
Originally posted by Outnumbered:
That was a great read, thanks for posting it!


Exactly. Totally enjoyed reading this to start my day. Thanks!


Save the whales. Redeem them for valuable prizes...
 
Posts: 1460 | Location: Missing New England everyday | Registered: March 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
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quote:
Originally posted by FPNunes:
quote:
Originally posted by Outnumbered:
That was a great read, thanks for posting it!


Exactly. Totally enjoyed reading this to start my day. Thanks!


Same here. Brought back days/times when I was a scout.

We need a LOT more men like Mike today, more than ever before.


Elk

There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)

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FBHO!!!



The Idaho Elk Hunter
 
Posts: 24758 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great article. I remember that during my time as an active Scout, the controversy was the focus on "urbanizing" the program.

I also have my Grandfather\s BSA handbook from the early 1900's. It's amazing the contrast to even the one from my time.




I have my own style of humor. I call it Snarkasm.
 
Posts: 17936 | Location: Virginia | Registered: June 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
chickenshit
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Mr. Rowe's writing resonates with me as well. My son is a Scout (First Class nearing Star) and our troop is well established and has many excellent qualities. As an assistant scoutmaster and merit badge counselor I see my share of the inner working of our troop and Mike is correct.

In our own troop we "fight" to create the environment where the young men are allowed to compete so they may recognize their shortcomings and work to strengthen them, the boys are allowed a measure of latitude to fail, to suffer (within reason), and to succeed when they've earned success.

The safe space mentality is pervasive and it is one of the main reasons we "lose" new scouts. Parents are unwilling to allow competition for fear of failure. It is as though failing at anything; even down to a simple game, will create some horrible scar that will haunt a child forever. Some parents find it unconscionable that we would allow a child who has forgotten a jacket to be uncomfortable on a campout, or a patrol to be hungry if they've neglected to prepare their patrol box. Rather than seeing some discomfort or small hunger pangs as great teachers and strong reminders they only see suffering. The "safe spacers" cannot see the value in overcoming an obstacle. They don't hear the adult leadership telling the scouts, "You can figure this out, you can overcome this roadblock." they only see some desperate situation from which their "baby" must be rescued.

I enjoy seeing the pride in a scout when he has overcome adversity. I have had the pleasure of attending many Eagle Court of Honor ceremonies. Listening to the Eagle Scout recall funny situations, lessons learned, and those to whom he owes gratitude inspires the other scouts and fills the "scouters" (Adult scouting participants like me) with pride.


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Posts: 6952 | Location: East Central FL | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's kind of interesting. He is simply stating that inclusion is not the problem but relevance. Why did they need to include girls? That is a solution for the wrong problem. And it wont fix the problem. I like how he points out that they are perceived to have gone soft.

And that perception, true or not, becomes reality.



This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it. -Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Joshua Painter Played by Senator Fred Thompson
 
Posts: 2577 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think this is a good article. BSA is applying a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

In our own LDS troop, I noticed over the past 20 years the watering down of activities to match the interest and skills of the weakest boy. As an LDS troop, many of our leaders were voluntold to be there and many didn't have a strong Scouting background or interest. Consequently our activities and campouts can often be lame.

However, we are going to Yosemite at the end of June for a week of back country hiking and a trip to Half Dome.

I also think we have a generation of "momma bear" parents who call, text or email at the slightest offense that poor little Billy is forced to endure.


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Posts: 2860 | Location: Sacramento, CA | Registered: November 21, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ59:
I think this is a good article. BSA is applying a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

In our own LDS troop, I noticed over the past 20 years the watering down of activities to match the interest and skills of the weakest boy. As an LDS troop, many of our leaders were voluntold to be there and many didn't have a strong Scouting background or interest. Consequently our activities and campouts can often be lame.

However, we are going to Yosemite at the end of June for a week of back country hiking and a trip to Half Dome.

I also think we have a generation of "momma bear" parents who call, text or email at the slightest offense that poor little Billy is forced to endure.

Good write-up, I like Rowe, however, I think it dances around an issue.
I was speaking with a number of parents and friends who have kids that are apart of the Scouting program...a lot of the fathers there (there weren't many) lament the fact that the other father's are either: Not apart of the kids lives (just about every kid comes from a divided home), have no interest in participating (selfish, f-the mother, are cynical about Scouting), have no outdoor background or, all of the above. I went to one troop meeting (My sister's bf son) just to observe, there was more mother's and little sisters 'hanging around' than father's.

I get what BSA is doing, they're trying to survive, I don't like it, but the bigger issue I think is the lack of involved fathers. There's a lot of dancing around the issue that BSA relies on the core family dynamic and engaged parents. There's a bunch of exceptions out there but, mother's can only do so much when raising boys.

As the parents in the troop I grew up in would say, Scouting may be boy led, but it's parent driven.
 
Posts: 9486 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rowe is right. The Boy Scouts aren’t any more relevant to kids these days than playing cowboys and Indians. Kids used to find it fun to learn to tie knots and repeat faux Native American tribal stories. Sixty years ago.

Now, kids interact with “friends” on the Internet from all over the world, play video games, and sometimes even write code.

The lack of interest in Scouts doesn’t have anything to do with wanting to be “safe”.... it has to do with not giving a shit about sleeping in a tent.

The special snowflake, safe space, crying closet is a real problem. A big problem. A sickening problem.

But tying this to the decline of the BSA is missing the point. Scouts are declining for the same reason hoopla hoops declined. Out of style.

Nothing more, nothing less.
 
Posts: 1318 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: April 24, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PeterGV:
Rowe is right. The Boy Scouts aren’t any more relevant to kids these days than playing cowboys and Indians. Kids used to find it fun to learn to tie knots and repeat faux Native American tribal stories. Sixty years ago.

Now, kids interact with “friends” on the Internet from all over the world, play video games, and sometimes even write code.

The lack of interest in Scouts doesn’t have anything to do with wanting to be “safe”.... it has to do with not giving a shit about sleeping in a tent.

The special snowflake, safe space, crying closet is a real problem. A big problem. A sickening problem.

But tying this to the decline of the BSA is missing the point. Scouts are declining for the same reason hoopla hoops declined. Out of style.

Nothing more, nothing less.


I can’t agree. It may be that there is less interest in Indian camps, teepees, wood craft, but the lessons of Boy Scouts were never limited to that. It was about the Boy Scout Law, Be Prepared, being thrifty, brave, clean and reverent, learning your limits, useful experiences, working with others in a variety of contexts, some skills, attitudes to transition from boyhood to adult manhood, doing so while engaged in activities designed to reinforce those traits.

Remember your military training, boot camp, OCS? There were all these tasks with had to be done perfectly while some wild man was hollering, or otherwise making things unpleasant, stressful, tucking your shirt, making your rack or bunk, cleaning your rifle, barracks inspections, organizing your locker, keeping it locked due to “security.”

Nobody gave a crap really about doing those things. There were no security implications in that code book or ancient rifle. All that was done to get you used to attention to detail under pressure, and similar objectives.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 48369 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree, JALLEN.

I'm a current Scoutmaster and also an Eagle Scout. Been doing this for almost 10 years between being a Cub Scout Den leader and BS ASM and them SM.

Boy Scouts builds men. Failure IS an option, and as others have said - overcoming failures is a *learned* behavior, and boys can learn it in a supportive environment in Boy Scouts.

In the 7 years our Troop has been in existence we've generated 12 Eagle Scouts. Many more in the pipeline. IMO these boys are superior to their peers in being ready for the world. Young men who have 'helicopter' parents, mostly moms, find out quickly that once the boy reaches First Class we will no longer deal with his parents as it regards his Scouting journey - the young man has to stand on his own two feet. OR, the boy (parent) finds a Troop that will allow them to hover, protect, save them from their failures or lack of preparation.

In town we are known as the 'militant' Troop simply because we have rules, won't abide chaos, and the Troop is 'boy lead' - we're trying to do right by these young men and help them achieve their goals and grow up to live by the Oath and Law, and become self-sufficient.

Yes, the current generation has video games and other distractions - but there is still plenty of interest in Scouting, that's my experience. Still plenty of young men who are interested in what Scouting has to offer.

Now, girls in the Boy Scouts? Blasphemy. If the girls don't like what the GSA is offering let them fix their own problems. FYI, interest in girl scouting is WAY down, their membership numbers are way down and they're selling off GS camps because they don't want to (can't?) afford to keep the doors open, from what I'm being told.

This was the *one* thing that boys still had to themselves, up to and including Eagle Scout - and the Progs/Libs couldn't *stand* it. The BSA line, if you believe it (I don't) is that they were spending millions of dollars defending themselves in court against groups that were trying to force them to accept gay boys and leaders, and ultimately girls. Again, the company line is that they capitulated to stop the bleeding from the lawsuits as well as to 'welcome the families', i.e. the girls who were attending Den and Pack meetings with parents because their brothers were involved in the program and they 'had to be there anyway'. The BSA line is that there was a pent-up demand from girls who wanted to join the program - I don't believe it.

The important point here, from my perspective - is that BSA membership numbers are down....the BSA is, at the end of the day, a BUSINESS....and they saw an opportunity to add more members to the rolls and bring in more $$. Period. They are still realizing the fallout from their decisions to include gay boys and leaders, and are now suffering fallout from allowing girls in the program. They just can't seem to get out of their own way.

Finally, a correction - *as of right now*, subject to change - because this is the 'camel's nose under the tent', like anything else - the official BSA policy is that there will be no co-ed Troops; a Troop of girls can be chartered by an organization and they will be all girls, with female leaders. As far as Cubs goes there can be girl-only Dens within a Cub Pack, but no co-ed Dens. Also, charter orgs, *as of today*, can choose whether or not to charter a Girl Troop or allow girls into their existing Cub Pack (in their own Den), or not...

The question I ask myself now, is - if/when I'm ever a grandfather, with me and my oldest boy being Eagle Scouts, and my youngest on the doorstep having just completed his Project - would I counsel my grandson(s) to join Boy Scouts? Time will tell, and right now it's not looking too good.

Other than that last correction WRT girls being allowed in boy Troops, and they're not - Mike Rowe is spot-on - as usual.


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Posts: 936 | Location: Stanley, NC | Registered: September 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it's like what we've seen wth so many other organizations and businesses; in order to attract more they abandon their core. Scouting was full of challenges, learning, proving competence, and most importantly building confidence. Merit badges and skills awards were pretty much black and white, in order to achieve the goal one had to prove competency. It didn't matter that you tried, what mattered was the end result.

For some reason that seems unpopular now. Parents have a fear of seeing their kids fail. They have a fear that they might lose their self esteem or get their feelings hurt. Some in this thread have made the point that scouting skills such as knot tying, orienteering, etc are out of fashion in our video game age. I don't think that it is the skills so much that have gone out of fashion, it's the ideals of being measured by achievements rather than feelings that has gone out of fashion. The reality is not everyone grows up to be an astronaut and not every Boy Scout becomes an Eagle Scout.

So now we have the Boy Scouts struggling with how to stay relevant, searching for ways to grow membership and they start to abandon their core policies and beliefs to do so. While trying to be more inclusive, they've managed to alienate their core supporters. Still hoping for some sanity to survive and a return to their core values.




My daughter can deflate your daughter's soccer ball.
 
Posts: 10844 | Location: Anchorage, AK | Registered: September 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This brings up a point of why I can not stand my wife or her mother sometimes. Anytime my kid falls down they rush and crowd him, and then give me the evil eye when I say leave him alone. I would be one of those people he speaks about, and I hope he would consider me hard working. But it does come from our parents. My parents didn't believe I should get a trophy for average work, I got a trophy for making A's. I was a scout, and I loved it. And so I try to teach my son the same things, that when you fall YOU pick yourself up. Daddy may be concerned, but he will not help you unless he knows you cant manage it yet.


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Posts: 780 | Location: North Ga | Registered: August 06, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Winston Churchill said that “success is moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 48369 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It may be that there is less interest in Indian camps, teepees, wood craft, but the lessons of Boy Scouts were never limited to that.
Sure, JALLEN, I get that. But what “brought ‘em in the door” so to speak, was the outdoors/wilderness/Indian thing. Which is passé.

I don’t doubt for a minute that the Scouts build good men, and good citizens. But... There are many activities that could be used to teach character and valuable life skills. Sadly, it seems fewer and fewer such organized activities exist these days for kids that are relevant to the 21st Century.

I’m not sure WHY that’s the case... Maybe joining up and membership in stuff in “the real world” is also out of style. I dunno.

Sigh.
 
Posts: 1318 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: April 24, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PeterGV:
quote:
It may be that there is less interest in Indian camps, teepees, wood craft, but the lessons of Boy Scouts were never limited to that.
Sure, JALLEN, I get that. But what “brought ‘em in the door” so to speak, was the outdoors/wilderness/Indian thing. Which is passé.

I don’t doubt for a minute that the Scouts build good men, and good citizens. But... There are many activities that could be used to teach character and valuable life skills. Sadly, it seems fewer and fewer such organized activities exist these days for kids that are relevant to the 21st Century.

I’m not sure WHY that’s the case... Maybe joining up and membership in stuff in “the real world” is also out of style. I dunno.

Sigh.


The young today are far less likely to be joiners than we or our fathers and grandfathers were.

My theory is that until WWII, folks worked together, groups, clubs, fraternal and civic organizations building the cultural and social infrastructure we knew. Elks, Eagles, Sons of Herman, Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Jaycees, among many others. Us babyboomers were less likely to join up, our children a lot less so. Our grandchildren?




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 48369 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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