They could maybe rebrand as The Komsomol of America?
So if I understand the issues properly, the BSA, while touting itself as a bastion of civic responsibility and moral rectitude, systematically denied and obstructed the uncovering of serious problems within the organization which were diametrically opposite to their stated purpose? At the same time they demonized and excluded potential members for being gay?
Great example, guys! Well done!
I think Trump Jugend is more likely and accurate.
Or maybe these lot.
I didn’t get bullied, but now that you mention it, when I was a Cub here in Canada (entry level Scouting) it wasn’t that different from school. I earned the badges and stuck to myself, no real connection to the other kids.
Actually, I joined up because my friend across the street joined. He moved away a couple of years later, and I didn’t stick with it much !onger. I never had an interest in moving up the ladder.
I did have a Golden Book about camping (like the chemistry book), and it certainly had Scouts front and centre, so I guess I picked up some of that from the book.
A youth organization banning agnostics and atheists? Ironic that the religious bigots ended up protecting only the “unworthy“ children!
See also: Camp Fire. It’s been co-ed for about 45 years, although after all that time, some over a certain age will probably still remember it as “Camp Fire Girls”. In my family’s experience, it is much more chill and informal than Boy Scouts, though this could have as much to do with who is running the respective Camp Fire or Boy Scout troop (and I’ve heard the same about GSUSA). In our experience there is way more emphasis on the camaraderie, and going camping together a couple times a year, than on the levels of achievement (which exist, but they seem to happen, anyway).
I’m right there with you. I loved scouting as a kid. Now as a more adultish person I’m a scout leader for my son’s cub pack. The level of support from national is laughable.
I’ve heard BSA best described as a franchise model. It’s a turnkey youth program, unfortunately as with any franchise the franchisee and their managers (volunteer leaders) are the folks that actually do the heavy lifting. For each scout that pays in $60 a year we get the benefit of being able to buy rank advancement badges and a dodgy online tracking system.
I do think Scouts BSA has moved forward with one of the best youth protection program of any of my multiple volunteer positions. And their “two deep leadership” policy will work on protecting youth in the future.
When my father was a scout (starting in, I guess, the mid 20’s) it was
a kind of gang, the clean living gang,
But I’m sure this kind of stuff happened then.
Campfire kids is also really cool. Sadly there are no groups locally (and I have neither the time nor temperament to be a group leader for other people’s spawn. Mine’s bad enough.)
As an Eagle Scout, I hate this whole thing. They had an ongoing list of over 7000 assaults, and those were just the ones that were reported. Holy Shit. All those poor kids. My experience was fantastic. Somehow we didn’t have hazing in my troop. We did have a snipe hunt once, but I knew what was up going in and it was just a good time running around in the dark. But it sounds like Scouting was hell on earth for tens of thousands of kids.
My son was not interested in Boy Scouts. My daughter tried Girl Scouts but hated it, and I’m not interested in getting her into one of the local Boy Scout troops, that I guess would be required to accept her. We’re good with family/friends camping trips and hikes.
I am hoping that Scouts rises like a Phoenix out of these ashes. There were a lot of positive aspects in there–outdoor skills, civics, responsibility to community. If they could leave behind the predation, exclusion, religion, and jingoistic nonsense. Oh, and the paramilitary stuff. If they could leave that stuff behind, it could be great! Then again, you put a bunch of young boys together in a group and all kinds of predators flock to them. Everything from pedophiles to military recruiters.
When my son entered school, we enrolled him in Cub Scouts to give him an activity to be excited about. I became a den leader, then when he was old enough to join Boy Scouts, I became an assistant scoutmaster (along with many other moms and dads.) And when he got his Eagle and left Scouting, I left also – I had joined to spend my time involved with him.
Scouting had a lot of positives. On the plus side, we never had a problem with any form of abuse in our troop (other than the very infrequent brawl between boys.) Training on two-deep leadership and watching for ‘situations’ was an annual thing, and we adults took it very seriously (as for the boys, watching an educational video was never high on their list of choices, but we made them all watch it annually.) Camping was always a fun adventure. The friendships we made were great. And watching the boys grow up and succeed was always the most rewarding aspect of all.
One big negative was the quasi-religious undertones. It was mostly a subtle thing, but it would come up once in a while. You didn’t have to believe in the Xtian™ mythos, but you had to profess a belief in some “higher power”. My son and I mumbled through a couple of oaths; if pressed I’d have said I was a Humanist.
The worst thing about Scouting in the 2000s was at that time gays and girls were still not permitted. Some fucking Mormons had bought the top of the leadership ranks in the national organization just to keep them out. I know of more than one courageous Eagle Scout who rejected his award specifically to make a highly visible statement that gays should be allowed in scouting. Some of the local district level people tried to spin propaganda, but that mostly backfired by calling them out as the bigoted shitbags they were.
I loathed the organization’s filthy leadership and political shenanigans, but we stayed in it to the end anyway. As long as we kept everything local and steered clear of the district and national organization, I wasn’t above selfishly taking advantage of Scouting as a way to stay connected with my son. I’ve been gladdened to see the changes and improvements since we left. And anything that reduces the corrosive, conservative voices at the top of that shitpile should be a good thing for everyone. But this news just made me sad.
This why my son didnt want to go to Boy scouts from Cub scouts. When we were doing troop visits there was a definite atmosphere of hazing the new kids. My boy wasnt putting up with that crap.
I think it’s been in a decline anyway. The merit badges are for trivial things (in my opinion). Back in the day scouts used to learn how to build AM radios and other complex projects. The eagle scout service projects, which used to be quite intensive, have devolved into relatively simple chores.
There are hundreds of organizations that do a better job of teaching outdoor skills and life skills. BSA is a poor organization that runs unsafe trips and teaches nonsense.
(I say this as a retired outdoor guide who had dozens of encounters with scouts ranging from rude to dangerous, and only once saw a competent leader)
((Count yourself lucky if you were in one of the few troops that were actually run well))
It was run really well! I started as a Cub Scout, and stayed in as a Boy Scout. We did the usual stuff (litter clean-up, Pinewood Derby, crafts projects, camps, hikes), but the emphasis on the badge tasks opened a lot of doors for me. I lost interest around the age of 12 or 13, but looking back, it was a good thing and have to admit I never thought the troop was well run until I saw a few troops that were not well run.
Yep. There are many orgs based around the scouting model.
My cousins were in one run by their Church which had more of a religious bent. I forget the denomination, but they lived in Columbus, OH.
A US lawyer may not realize that there is a Catholic Church outside the USA /sarc.
There certainly are some that are done well but most of them are awful. Overall they have minimal requirements on their leaders or training so you don’t have good odds of getting a good one. As an organization, that lack of quality control makes them pretty bad.
Me too 'cause it reminds me of: