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Thread: The Thread about Good Things in Scouting

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The Thread about Good Things in Scouting

    This is a thread for people interested in Scouting. I really think discussions about what's wrong with Scouting, including gay-related issues, while important (I care about the latter a lot and want to find a solution) belong elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, this is simply an interesting blog post. I think lots of the changes are positive or just based on common sense, but it's fascinating to see how the program has evolved.

    The Boy Scouts of America: Then and Now — A Comparison of the 1911 and Modern Handbooks and Merit Badges

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    Good things about scouting? Is this some kind of sick joke, pal?

    .....seriously, I can't come up with a single thing. Sorry.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  3. #3
    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    This should be a really short thread.

    There is nothing good about scouting.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  4. #4
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This thread will grow over time. In addition to being helpful, friendly, courteous and kind, I'm patient.

    For one thing, I have loved watching boys who've grown up in the barrio see what the night sky looks like in the Sierra, or perhaps ride a horse, for the first time. Or earn a Citizenship in the Nation merit badge and understand finally what federalism is. And so on. You communists!

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #5
    When I was a kid I loved scouting. My favorite times were going to scout camp at Camp Billy Rice at Warm Lake, Idaho or Camp Tapawingo at Payette Lakes. We did a lot of weekend campouts too. Those were some of my favorite times. I got my Life badge and then moved to Utah. Unfortunately the local troop really didn't do much and I quickly lost interest.

    I looked at the link that LA posted. It was interesting. One of the merit badges that I got was Pioneering. That one was a blast.

    Given the parameters of this thread, I will refrain from commenting on the direction that scouting has taken lately.

  6. #6
    Turk hit the nail on the head. One's experience with scouting has MUCH to do with the quality of the troop. I was fortunate to have grown up in the ideal situation for a really terrific scouting experience.

    Ours was an LDS troop in Holladay. Our ward had 20+ 12 to 14 year olds at a time, with an excellent scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster, committee chair, advancement chair, and quality merit badge counselors. We were well organized, well funded, and had the support of involved parents.

    Just after I turned 12, our scoutmaster and assistant inherited a pathetic, dead program and transformed it very quickly. Within a few weeks, kids were showing up on time in full uniform. The fact that they had surprise inspections with full sized candy bars for full uniforms didn't hurt. They made every week meaningful and fun with no hint of military heavy-handedness. We worked on really fun merit badges constantly as a group.

    In those years kids were very interested in getting outdoors to camp, hike, swim, build things, take long bicycle trips, etc. We raced with each other to quickly go through the ranks toward our Eagle awards. We worked hard every year on fundraising, and as a result we had brand new matching tents, camp gear, stoves, etc.

    Another element was being so close to the spectacular Wasatch and Uintah Moutain ranges. Our overnight camps were a blast, and our week camps were at Camp Steiner and East Fork of the Bear. Every day was wonderful, and we looked forward to camp like we did Christmas.

    I remember the first day of camp at Camp Steiner when it was announced we'd have to swim 100 yards to be able to use the rowboats and canoes for the week. The water was 38 degrees. NOBODY dared go in. After a few minutes, the scoutmaster announced: "Let me show you ladies how this is done." He stripped down to his swimsuit, dove in, and killed it. Needless to say, we couldn't be shown up by the old man, so all of us quickly followed. I have never been colder in my life before that or since.

    Every year one of the favorite overnights involved the short hike above Alta to Cecret Lake, with backpacking the next morning along the ridge to the top of the Snowbird tram. We'd then ride it down to the plaza. My first overnight was Winter Camp at Tracy Wigwam. That night included a no-holds-barred snowball fight with a neighboring troop. We prevailed. We also hiked to the top of Mount Olympus every July.

    We won numerous first place awards at our week camps, district camporees, and Scout-O-Ramas. We actually had 3 types of uniforms from full dress to matching t-shirts with jeans. There are lots of skills I retain to this day and use often as a direct result of scouting.

    Three of my best friends and I were awarded our Eagles on the same night. We were barely 14. We were able to enjoy the benefits of being Eagles while we were still having fun as young scouts. We were afforded some nice privileges as Eagles. Those were some of the best times of our young lives.

    I feel bad for kids that grow up in crappy programs. They really miss out. The kids that are forced to earn Eagle in order to get a driver's license, or get a car never have the love for it that we did. I've seen some kids shamed into it by an overzealous mom or dad, barely getting the application for Eagle in before their 18th birthday. It seems to have little meaning to them.

    As an adult, I've served in several capacities involved in scouting. I've tried hard to provide the same experience I was lucky enough to have as a kid. I've seen lots of young men really benefit from the program over the years. The most rewarding thing is to have someone thank me for it 10, 15, even 20 years later.

    Like any worthwhile endeavor, it is what you make it.

    Camp+Steiner.jpgscout_lake.jpg
    Desse jeito, não tem jeito.

  7. #7
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Well said, SDU.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #8
    Although my experiences may not have been as great as SDU but I really enjoyed scoutting as a youth. Scout camps were fun, we went to camp Lowell just outside yellowstone. We mountain biked slickrock and gemini bridges, and other trails at Moab on several occassions. The klondikes were a blast (because my dad made sure I was prepared). I never earned my eagle but definitely had a good time as a youth while scouting.

  9. #9
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    It all depends on the quality of the adult leadership. It is sad how many young men have a terrible experience because of poor leadership. LDS Scouting has many warts, and this (uneven adult leadership) is the biggest one, IMO.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I am firmly convinced that if Scouting is done right, it allows young man to learn how to do big things one step at a time. That is a very important and useful life skill.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    IMO, young men (who are LDS) can get the same thing without Scouting. I make it no secret that I think scouting is ALMOST a complete waste of time. I enjoyed the campouts. I enjoyed some of the other activities. Nothing else about scouting ever spoke to me. I think scouting is so outdated as to make it practically irrelevant for a lot of today's youth. It was a program developed for young boys in 1915 and at some point in the last 15-20 years that model got old and tired. There are some who it still works for, but I am finding that there are more and more people like me (faithful LDS) who got absolutely nothing out of it.

    Don't even get me started on the adult leaders. I have never been to any of their training sessions. But I have heard stories of Woodbadge. If those I know have experiences like others, it sounds like scouting has become a pseudo religion for some. Giving out ashes from the first campfire with that Powell dude. It just sounds like mysticism. I couldn't do it. If I was ever called into scouting I wouldn't say no, but I would make sure my bishop knew who he was calling and how much I despise certain aspects of scouting. If I went to woodbadge...I would almost certainly get kicked out or asked why I had a bad attitude.

    Didn't get my eagle. Don't have any regrets. Hate, hate, hate scouting. Did I mention that I hate scouting?
    "The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching."
    Joseph Smith, Jr.



  12. #12
    For the record, I had really well trained adult leaders in scouting. My problem is with the organization. Not with local leadership.
    "The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching."
    Joseph Smith, Jr.



  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawminator View Post
    If I was ever called into scouting I wouldn't say no, but I would make sure my bishop knew who he was calling and how much I despise certain aspects of scouting.
    I don't want to ruin LA Ute'ss thread with tangents but if you despise the calling so much why not just say no. This seems like the root of some of the lds scouting troops, leaders who just don't want to be there.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    I don't want to ruin LA Ute'ss thread with tangents but if you despise the calling so much why not just say no. This seems like the root of some of the lds scouting troops, leaders who just don't want to be there.
    Bingo!
    Desse jeito, não tem jeito.

  15. #15
    I loved my scouting experiences, but agree with what was said here, a lot of it had to do with the fact that my troop had a lot of my friends in it, and my scout leader for years was absolutely phenomenal. He was a great scientist who loved and understood the outdoors, and was also a great story teller. Most of the boys got their Eagles, but we were never pushed towards it and never really did any of the merit badge mill scout camps. We did things like backpacking across the Uintas and camping all over Southern Utah, and the merit badges and promotions just kind of followed.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    I don't want to ruin LA Ute'ss thread with tangents but if you despise the calling so much why not just say no. This seems like the root of some of the lds scouting troops, leaders who just don't want to be there.
    Fair question Sully. I don't think I would be a bad Young Men's leader. I think I would try to explain my position on scouting, the approach I would personally like to take in the role (more focus on service, camping, fellowshiping, etc. and less on wacky merit badges), and then if he tells me no, that is not how the Lord wants it done in our ward AND he still wants you to serve. Then I will comply and be the best darned scouter I could be.
    "The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching."
    Joseph Smith, Jr.



  17. #17
    I had good experiences in scouting although I found the the merit badges and rank advancements to be of little value. In my adult experiences since then, the requirements seem to have even less value. The Eagle projects approved in our area are a joke. Unfortunately, my experience was not the same as another member of my troop, who was the same age as me. He died of AIDS over 10 years ago and in a documentary about his wife and her care for him after she tested positive for HIV, he said that he was sexually abused on a scout trip as a young boy. Realizing that it would have been my troop and that I was likely on the trip where this occurred has prompted some internal questions. Scouting may have played a positive role in many lives, but IMO it may be an institution that has outlived its usefulness.

  18. #18
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Everyone has his own story to tell. I enjoyed Scouting as a kid, but don't know that it had a huge impact on me. I did learn to swim and lifesaving, and a lot of camping skills. Morse code too!

    About 30 years after my last day as a Scout my bishop called me in and said, calling me by name, "I've got a hell of a problem. I need a Scoutmaster." I was no outdoorsman and thought the idea of my being Scoutmaster was pretty funny. I accepted anyway. It so happened that new leader training was a week later and I went. It turned out I lucked out with my trainers. They were awesome.

    Long story short: I had a great time and I loved the boys in my troop - about 14 of them. I'm still on touch with them. For the next 15 years (until the present) I've been involved in the Young Men program. I've learned a lot about what not to do and what to do, and I've gained a real appreciation for what the program can do if the leaders remember it is about the boys.

    The moment I will always remember is the phone call I made to a lifelong friend who was a Scout with me when we were kids. I had just accepted the calling and called him to joke about how unlikely it was.

    Me: "Guess what my new church calling is?"

    Friend: "What?"

    Me: "Scoutmaster! Can you believe it?"

    Friend: "Sure, you'll be great. Just be sure not to be like [name of our Scoutmaster when we were kids.]"

    I was taken aback that 30 years later he still remembered that our SM as kids was a dud. I realized that the boys in my troop would always remember me as their Scoutmaster. It was pretty sobering.

    So I tried really hard and loved it. I remain convinced it's a great program, but only as good as the amount of heart the leaders put into it. When I try to train others as Scouters, I always say there are three fool-proof rules for success:

    1. Love the boys.

    2. Follow the boy-led program.

    3. Remember the first two rules!

    That's how it seems to me.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 04-19-2013 at 11:59 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  19. #19
    My scouting experience as a youth was definitely lacking, overall a miserable experience. My parents had a requirement that you had to get your Eagle to get your drivers license. So I blasted through as fast as I could and got it at 14.

    In an experience that I can only call inspiration from my mother, I got a 'job' working at Cub Country up Millcreek Canyon. My mom dropped me off the first day, met the camp director and pulled me aside immediately. She told me that she felt like there wasn't something right with the guy and that I was never to be alone with him and to leave immediately if that situation ever came up. I listened to my mom and made sure I wasn't, and she eventually made me quit after about two weeks.

    I never saw anything inappropriate, but the guy was a definite weirdo. A year or two later he was arrested for having molested a number of scouts. Thank goodness for my mom.

    Shortly after getting married I got called to be a Scoutmaster. I lived in a ward with some über scouters who had made it a career. A lot of funny stories about them I could tell. For the husband scouting was a replacement for his military service.

    My goal was that the kids wouldn't have an experience like I did. No merit badge mills, fun activities, focusing on the good principles taught and mixing some of the more rote parts of scouting in with the good (like memorizing oaths, etc).

    The other goal was that every eligible kid in the area, Mormon or not felt welcome, so I went out and got them all involved and reduced most barriers to entry like being hardcore on requiring uniforms.

    I also felt strongly that it was about teaching kids practical outdoor skills and civic responsibilities. So I would rather teach them how to camp with no impact or fires than clanking around Dutch ovens.

    So we had a lot of fun, I loved the kids and I think they thought I was alright too (they still give me a call every now and them despite being grown). We had every kid in the neighborhood involved and coming, taking the troop from about 4 regulars to 20.

    But what made it miserable were the über scouters. The harassed me endlessly. One time he showed up to a troop meeting, some of the kids didn't have uniforms and he came unglued and was yelling at the kids. I took him outside and I can't remember all I said to him other than shouting at him, "WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT UNIFORMS? THEY ARE ALL HERE!!"

    Another source of contention with them is I wouldn't require my scouts to do the scout-o-Rama fundraisers, or pump money into those weekend merit badge mills. That really pissed them off.

    It was endless stuff like that with them, I got to the point where I was getting weekly complaints from them. So did the bishop. The funny thing is I wasn't breaking any of the rules other than the uniform requirement, but I wasn't toeing the line.

    So after about two years of misery I resigned, but waited until the core group of guys had their eagles. I bribed the rest with a dinner with their best friend and me at any restaurant of their choosing. I took one kid to La Caille where he found out he didn't like rich people food (but really it was because La Caille wasn't that good of a restaurant). Most kids at that age biggest dream was Sizzler.

    They got their hand picked guy, and the troop dwindled back to 4 or 5 kids, but thank heavens they wore their uniforms and did their pointless fundraisers and got masses of merit badges they didn't understand!

    I've come to realize the Scouting program is filled with guys like that. Not to mention grossly overpaid administrators that are a glut on the program.

    I think the principles behind scouting have potential to be great, but as general practiced (as evidenced in many of the above posts) it has problems.

  20. #20
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Rocker, I know what you mean. For a few years I ended up being a member of our local council's board. It was kind of an assignment from our stake president. Anyway, those are the uber scouters of uber scouters. I really couldn't stand it. After a few years I slipped away. I hate it when people see scouting as a paramilitary organization.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Rocker, I know what you mean. For a few years I ended up being a member of our local council's board. It was kind of an assignment from our stake president. Anyway, those are the uber scouters of uber scouters. I really couldn't stand it. After a few years I slipped away. I hate it when people see scouting as a paramilitary organization.
    Yup, they all seem to gravitate there don't they? I was overly negative, but I really did love working with the kids and we had a blast in that respect. I think we proved scouting didn't have to be awful but could be really cool, but those guys tamped that notion down pretty quick.

    One thing I really encouraged them to do was to get their Eagles by 14 because I told them the last thing they wanted to be doing before their 18th birthday was an eagle project. I told them the adventure part of scouting really could happen after they had their eagles and were 16. However, I think the Venture and Explorer aspects of Scouting largely get ignored by troops backed by the church, which is too bad... That is the coolest stuff.

  22. #22
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Today, I generally characterize myself as pro-camping, anti-scouting

    But one of my favorite possessions is a Boy Scout Handbook from 1913.

    Besides acting as a treasure-trove of information about America's progressive movement, it's got quite a bit of interesting information about animal identification, story-telling technique, health & wellness, US history and freedom, etc., not to mention proper marshmallow-roasting technique ("Oh, the deliciousness of it! Ever tasted one?")

    But my favorite section is the merit-badge section.

    Here are some of the merit-badges (and some of the more entertaining requirements) available for boys in 1913:

    Automobiling (includes requirements to know how to safely start an engine, and how to put out burning gasoline)
    Blacksmithing
    Dairying
    First Aid to Animals (must be able to treat a horse for colic)
    Invention (requirement: invent something and patent it)
    Mining (know and name fifty minerals; describe practices for proper mine ventilation)
    Pathfinding
    Poultry Farming
    Stalking
    Taxidermy

    I wonder how many young men today would like the opportunity to work on their Stalking Merit Badge.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  23. #23
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Hey, guys, if you want to start a separate "I really dislike Scouting" thread, please feel free.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #24
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Hey, guys, if you want to start a separate "I really dislike Scouting" thread, please feel free.
    ?????
    Are you referring to my post?
    I thought both friends and foes of scouting would get a kick out of that.

    Let me know when you want to work on identifying the tracks of the meadow mouse and I'll send you those pages.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawminator View Post
    I don't think I would be a bad Young Men's leader. I think I would try to explain my position on scouting, the approach I would personally like to take in the role (more focus on service, camping, fellowshiping, etc. and less on wacky merit badges), and then if he tells me no, that is not how the Lord wants it done in our ward AND he still wants you to serve. Then I will comply and be the best darned scouter I could be.
    This explains my current situation. I am "assistant" to the deacon's quorom advisor. I teach the youth once a week but apparently part of my calling is to help out with the scouts. I hate the scouting program.

    For me, it wasn't necessarily just bad leaders (my ward embraced the military style leadership where fun was not to be had). I've never been an outdoorsy kid, I love sports but despise camping, and hiking, hunting, fishing etc aren't really in my interests. I haven't outright explained my feelings on scouting to the bishop (although maybe I should). When he interviewed me for the calling, I mentioned to him that since I have a toddler and a wife who works nights and weekends, I likely won't be able to help out much with scouts.

    We have scouts on Wed nights, when I think I can manage the activity with my toddler, I'll go, Otherwise I bow out. This past weekend they asked if I'd be able to attend an overnighter since one of the leaders was unable to attend. I skirted the issue a bit and they ended up finding someone else to go, but I sensed a little animousity from the scout leader when I told him I wasn't able to attend.

    I'm with Dawminator, I feel that scouts is dated and seems out of touch with the youth of today. I don't feel that it is an inspired program and I can have no testimony of scouting and not have it affect my testimony of the church.


    EDIT. I replied before getting to the very bottom of the thread. Please see fit to delete/move my post if it offends. I don't mean to put a damper on those who just want to discuss the good of scouts. My apologies.
    Last edited by utebehindenemylines; 04-24-2013 at 02:28 PM.

  26. #26
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    ?????
    Are you referring to my post?
    Nope!

    I thought both friends and foes of scouting would get a kick out of that.
    I did. I was griping about posts from people who want to share their favorite gripe about Scouting as they experienced it. Hey, I didn't like a lot of it either when I was a kid!

    Let me know when you want to work on identifying the tracks of the meadow mouse and I'll send you those pages.
    A great example of what's right with Scouting. When I was Scoutmaster every year at summer camp we set up a tracking pit near our camp site. The boys always loved it. There's nothing like the look in the eyes of a 12 year-old boy who's never seen a raccoon or heard an owl, but who's just seen animal tracks 10 feet from his tent in the morning while a woodpecker hammers away just above his head. That's what I'm talking about!

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #27
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Nope!



    I did. I was griping about posts from people who want to share their favorite gripe about Scouting as they experienced it. Hey, I didn't like a lot of it either when I was a kid!



    A great example of what's right with Scouting. When I was Scoutmaster every year at summer camp we set up a tracking pit near our camp site. The boys always loved it. There's nothing like the look in the eyes of a 12 year-old boy who's never seen a raccoon or heard an owl, but who's just seen animal tracks 10 feet from his tent in the morning while a woodpecker hammers away just above his head. That's what I'm talking about!
    Whew!

    I think we who grew up in Utah or out west sometimes take the outdoorsy stuff for granted.
    When I was a graduate student studying in Greece, I was surprised at all of the East-Coast Mamby-Pambies in my class who had never been hiking, never slept outside, never carried their own water over long distances, never climbed a mountain or washed their clothes in a river (we spent a decent amount of time on archaeological sites with few facilities; it was pretty much camping with extra dirt).

    The outdoorsy part of scouting is a great part of being a kid out west, but it's not quite the same to hike the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and to cross major highways or to skirt fenced cabins as you go along.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  28. #28
    I had a blast in scouting. A friend of mine at school had joined, and he invited me to go with him one week. That was the start of a few years of really good times with camping, etc. It wasn't an LDS troop; it was a community troop with adult leaders who had sons in the program and really wanted to volunteer. They were good examples to me in many ways.

  29. #29
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  30. #30
    My best experience in scouting was when I was 12 and ditched scouts/YM for the first time (I was NOT a rebellious kid at all). We all piled in the car of the one non-Mormon kid in the troop. He was the nicest kid in the troop and had Jesus hair. He put a tape in the cassette deck and I heard Nirvana for the first time. I looked forward to skipping scouts from then on. I thankfully missed what followed. The topic of scouting came up with my dad about 20 years later, and he broke down in tears over the guilt that he, as a long time member of the bishopric, felt for how few boys in my youth cohort stayed with the church. I knew the guy who was scout master was a jerk, but I didn't know the magnitude of how bad it was until that discussion.

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