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.
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.
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.
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.
BSA, the national organization is 1.4 billion in assets, mostly land they use for camping. They don’t want to sell the land to pay the claims. And the $300 million only counts existing claims, who knows how many more reports there will be?
“the Donald youth will be an important service organization for finding illegals, and Democrat voters and reporting them to the proper authorities for summary execution. Or some I assume good ones, to go to the work camps.”
iirc a scoutmaster is a specific title and they may have been giving my dad shit that he was “just” a former carpenter? (similarly a lot of kids dads weren’t scoutmasters just you know, men who know the fuckin woods!)
i agree safety training is important, but when someone’s dad says hey this is an emegency situation, I vouch for my son as a former carpenter, then gets told well you can’t either because insurance or some shit, then the trip is canceled because gosh how will we stay warm… i don’t blame him for encouraging me to drop out and I am not regretful I did.
There were other weird stupid things during that trip this is the one that stuck out the most.