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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Scouting

    I'm going with Junior tonight to the initial Cub Scout meeting. There's a bunch of paperwork they want filled out, as well as $$, and they've thoughtfully included a list of uniforms and equipment we'll need to buy if he's going to do this. He seems like he's real gung ho about it now, wanting to go to the uniform shop, go to the library to check out a Cub Scout Guide book. I also expect they'll put lots of pressure on me to be a den leader tonight....

    Something tells me that Junior's enthusiasm for scouting will wane in direct proportion to how much time, money and effort I invest in this scouting thing. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. How about you, any parents of scouts here? What do you think about scouting? Anyone ever a scout in your youth?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I'm going with Junior tonight to the initial Cub Scout meeting. There's a bunch of paperwork they want filled out, as well as $$, and they've thoughtfully included a list of uniforms and equipment we'll need to buy if he's going to do this. He seems like he's real gung ho about it now, wanting to go to the uniform shop, go to the library to check out a Cub Scout Guide book. I also expect they'll put lots of pressure on me to be a den leader tonight....

    Something tells me that Junior's enthusiasm for scouting will wane in direct proportion to how much time, money and effort I invest in this scouting thing. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. How about you, any parents of scouts here? What do you think about scouting? Anyone ever a scout in your youth?
    I was a Cub Scout. Never made it to Weblos.

    I don't remember ever being asked if I wanted to do it. My brother did, so I guess it was kind of tradition. I enjoyed it, but from what I remember, we had a small pack and the den leaders just weren't that creative. I think I just got bored and stopped going.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I did Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Never made Eagle Scout. Glad I didn't at this point. Their intolerance is pretty sickening. I don't plan on having my children involved. They can learn how to camp and shoot a bow from their old man.... or some other guy that knows how to do those things.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that BSA is a great organization in terms of teaching responsibility and a combination of self reliance and interdependence with those who have a common purpose. Both of my boys are way too young at this moment, but it will be something that we will introduce them to when they are of age.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I'm going with Junior tonight to the initial Cub Scout meeting. T... Anyone ever a scout in your youth?
    We do the Girl Scouts, much better values and relevance to life than BSA, which I did as a boy.

    If we had a boy, wouldn't send my kid there, what with the homophobic stuff and the pedophilia in the news. And I'll hire a Girl Scout surely, but all the Eagle Scout projects I've managed as a planner were much more effort than they were worth.

    Lastly, our kid's enthusiasm is slightly modified by our involvement, but she'd enjoy it anyway.
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    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Forgive me for being an a-hole but I kind of think they are all drinking the kool-aid. At least for girl scouts anyway. I did it growing up and liked it, but we did a lot of field trips and crafts. My daughter was in brownies last year and it seemed they didn't do much during their meetings and all field trips had costs associated with them outside the normal costs - like $30 average just for the kid and then I would have to pay that for me as well. Then there were a handful of cookie power rallies the kids could go to to learn tips and techniques to sell cookies. We've never said anything bad about it and left it totally up to her and she decided the the week before the first meeting that she wants to "take a break" from it, which I was completely ok with.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I did Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Never made Eagle Scout. Glad I didn't at this point. Their intolerance is pretty sickening. I don't plan on having my children involved. They can learn how to camp and shoot a bow from their old man.... or some other guy that knows how to do those things.
    I feel the same way about the intolerance issue, and if I had a boy would be reluctant to encourage the scouts.

    As a side note, there is a church in town that has a basketball program. Up until a few years ago it was only for boys and the girls could only participate by being cheerleaders Needless to say even though it's different I wouldn't want my kid playing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I was in Cub Scouts when I was in about 3rd or 4th grade. I enjoyed it for about 2 weeks and then thought it was pretty boring. However, I lived in the country on a dairy farm and already spent all of my time outdoors. The Cub Scouts had very little to offer me.

    I would have quit it altogether right after those initial meetings but all of the meetings were at my house and my mom was the den mother. She put quite a bit of effort into it, and the rest of the kids in our den seemed to enjoy it (and a few of them stayed in scouting all through high school), but they were all city kids so they were pretty easily amused.

    My wife was in Girl Scouts from the time she was young all through high school and still talks about it ad nauseum.

    These days, you can chalk me up as another one who doesn't care for the way the Boy Scouts fight so hard to keep out homosexuals and the overall intolerance and if I had a son I would definitely not be pushing him towards scouting. However, if he were to suggested trying it out, I would not stand in his way (I don't know how actively involved I would get with it though).
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I admit the intolerance thing is troubling to me too. To be honest I had quite forgotten about that.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I did Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Never made Eagle Scout. Glad I didn't at this point. Their intolerance is pretty sickening. I don't plan on having my children involved. They can learn how to camp and shoot a bow from their old man.... or some other guy that knows how to do those things.
    Ditto. I know the organization can do some good things but the intolerance is enough to keep me and any future children away.


    When I was you I was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout through middle school. I enjoyed it.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I was a cub scout and a boy scout for a while. There is a lot of good stuff they teach and I don't remember anything particularly intolerant about it - but the last decade or so has made me feel differently towards them. Then of course there is the news today that they covered up tons of abuse http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1160825

    My experience with the scouts was completely positive, but if I was rasing a little guy today I would encourage him not to be a part.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I was a Brownie and then a "Junior" in elementary school. I remember it as being somewhat interesting, but the badge topics in the '60's were so much more traditional than these days.

    Being a single mom, I wanted my son to have the outdoor experiences I really didn't know how to manage. We joined Cub Scouts as soon as he was old enough, along with some of his close friends from school, in a pack that was very active, but ultimately too large to really give the experience I wanted. We had a very enthusiastic, young den leader dad (I could see M'skis in this role!) who wanted to re-start an inactive pack at the kids' school, so we broke away after two years. Between the two groups, I was an awards/recognition assistant and chair for 3 years, then a den leader.

    My son loved the scouts until the second year of Webelos when he became totally obsessed with soccer, so that was the end of scouts. I felt like both packs were led by men and women who had the boys' best interests at heart, scheduled a lot of fun activities and camping trips, and absolutely gave my son some positive role models in many ways. We made many new friends and learned a lot on many topics. It just depends on the quality of the leadership. If the leaders are good, invest a lot of time in the experience, go to every bit of training offered (yes, I used to attend the "University of Scouting" and go to specialized training for each age level), and every parent is involved and alert, it can be a rewarding experience. On the other hand, my brother and his son joined a pack in another town, and apparently it was a complete bore. Den meetings were at one house and all the kids did was play basketball while the moms gossiped.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    As a side note, there is a church in town that has a basketball program. Up until a few years ago it was only for boys and the girls could only participate by being cheerleaders Needless to say even though it's different I wouldn't want my kid playing.
    That's probably Upward basketball. I've coached in Upward before and it's a good program and should have girls bball. We did at least and they were better than the boys.

    I never was a scout or really had any desire to be one. We periodically went to Michigan and rented a cabin out in the woods, so that enough for me.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I was a Boy Scout in my youth. Thrifty, not really so brave, definitely not reverent and questionably clean. And I can’t remember any of the other things I was supposed to be.

    My scouting experience was ok, but not thrilling. I played soccer at that time in life and the camping trips (which is what I was most interested in – all the wilderness survival stuff) happened on the weekends when I had games, so I rarely got to go. But I did attend a wilderness camp in Minnesota for many years that ran extended canoe trips up into Canada and that was way beyond anything we ever would have done in scouts. Our longest trip was 19 days and we only saw one other person. So, I didn’t really feel the Boy Scouts had much in the wilderness survival realm that I wasn’t getting elsewhere. It was mainly a thing I did on Thursday nights. My father, though, was an Eagle Scout.

    I’m definitely not down with the anti-gay stance of BSA so I haven’t really talked it up to my son. But we also do a lot of camping as a family, so I know he has a chance when the Zombie Apocalypse comes...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    That's probably Upward basketball. I've coached in Upward before and it's a good program and should have girls bball. We did at least and they were better than the boys.

    I never was a scout or really had any desire to be one. We periodically went to Michigan and rented a cabin out in the woods, so that enough for me.
    I aso went hunting and fishing with my family.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I finished Cub Scouts but was asked not to become a Boy Scouts...I found most of it silly and voiced my opinion which was frowned upon in such a conformist type organization. Although I fully admit I was being a jerk.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    My girls did Girl Scouts and now only the younger one does. They enjoy the camping trips but a lot of the meetings do tend to be focused too much on making babyish crafts.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus
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    My Scouting experience is 40 yr old.
    All I (want to) remember/ what I got out of it - is the fun of camping out, canoeing, learning through achieving the ranks & merit badges, being a summer camp counselor, and that I still have a a few friends from those times. Yes I was involved/active enough to earn Eagle Scout. And my dad going with me on some camp outs and summer trips. Also my father was a merit badge counselor for motorboating, water skiing and sailing - how cool was that.

    This issue wasn't talked about or wasn't out in the open back then.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    My Scouting experience is 40 yr old.
    All I (want to) remember/ what I got out of it - is the fun of camping out, canoeing, learning through achieving the ranks & merit badges, being a summer camp counselor, and that I still have a a few friends from those times. Yes I was involved/active enough to earn Eagle Scout. And my dad going with me on some camp outs and summer trips. Also my father was a merit badge counselor for motorboating, water skiing and sailing - how cool was that.

    This issue wasn't talked about or wasn't out in the open back then.
    My experiences are of a similar age and were also mostly positive although I did drop out in the middle school years after making to First Class. Less than coincidentally, I also discovered about that time that I had more interest in scouting for girls than scouting with boys. I am saddened that all the positives of learning leadership and outdoor skills are being discredited over what are primarily adult issues but organizations do need to change with the times or risk becoming obsolete.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  19. #19
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I was in from Tiger Cub all the way up to Eagle Scout. I participated prior to the BSA dealing with the issues of religious & LGBT intolerance. I enjoyed the camping experience and learned some fun stuff along the way (I'm a bit of an expert on tying knots now, though Mrs. 'Burb Fixer refuses to let me have my fun ).

    Since then, you will not find any scout stuff on display in my house. It is not the same organization that it was, or perhaps it has simply become open about issues it was historically silent on. I've sent letters to BSA about it, and have even come close to sending my Eagle award back to them--the only thing that stops me is that I worked too damn hard for it. Three guys in my troop turned-out to be gay. One of them is an Eagle, and he sent his medal back.

    I'm not sure what I'll do if a future son of mine has an interest in scouting. Right now, I'm watching a gay couple in our neighborhood grapple with this--their son has asked them why they can't be a leader in scouts like the other kids' parents. My guess is that I'll get to have a conversation with him about conformity and the importance of getting along with people & participating even if you don't agree with what is being taught. That is a lesson that has to be taught at some point, but I'd rather it not be in regards to religious & sexual orientation relative to the Boy Scouts. I'm really hoping that another organization of some kind steps in with a better reputation for tolerance, or that BSA gets its shit together by then.

    In contrast, I'm an avid supporter of the Girl Scouts and find their programs have done an excellent job of keeping up with the times, embracing diversity and catering to the widely varied interests of the girls that participate.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I was a Brownie for a couple of years but bowed out after that since it was kind of boring. I went to summer camp every year so I got a lot of my outdoor education through that mechanism. From 1st-6th grade I did Awanas at our church, since we were a pretty large program we had a lot of activities and had weekend retreats, etc. Our middle school and high school youth groups were very active and had so many activities to do.

    With RT, she was allowed to pick one activity that she wanted to be involved in because I was single, working, and going to school all at once. It worked out for the most part and she never did Girl Scouts. She took some weekend art classes and participated in a Saturday bowling league in elementary and middle school and participated in two seasons of track & field every year in high school.

    The baby will probably follow suit.
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I am an Eagle Scout. Like a great many things, the BSA locally where you are has almost nothing to do with the National. Think APA, Any Religion, and virtually everything else you can belong to. My advice would be to check out your own area's troop or pack, be involved in your kid's experience and make your views known (as many have done) to the national organization. My brother is contemplating sending his Eagle back, as am I. I can't think of a single leader or other scout I knew in my experience who was intolerant or cruel, and I do think the organization does much more good than harm, especially on the local level. That doesn't mean they are above reproach and everything is just fine, just that they're not the only organization in the world that needs to look at it's public stances.

    My girls have done Girl Scouts and loved it, though they dropped out. My son is in Cubs right now, and enjoys it a lot. I was also the world's coolest Webelo's leader for a few years. One of the first boys that came through my den (and lives up the street still) is openly gay now as a young adult, and he still talks about that den and scouts and what it meant to him to be part of something in the community.

    It's the local that matters.
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  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I'm still conflicted internally, but after attending last night's meeting I think we are going to let Junior pursue cub scouts a while. I really really don't care for BSA Natl's intolerant views and the recent news about them trying to pull a Catholic Church over the abuse allegation sits even less well with me....but on the other hand, none of that was present with the group last night and it seems like there's so many positive things the kids do there. It would feel like throwing the baby out with the bath water if I were to prohibit him from joining. Yet again, I just know Junior is going to try to hit up people at the UU church we attend when the pocorn fundraiser sale starts and I just know this is going to cause more than a little friction there too. (sigh) He's really too young to understand the conflict at this point.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    My kid's a Bear (third year Cub) and I'm an Eagle Scout. I 100% understand the mixed emotions I see here, and the way I've dealt with it is by letting the kid participate, taking him on the campouts when I need to, and refusing to sign anything that might rope me into leadership.

    That was before the news, which is flying WAY under the radar if you ask me, of the "Perversion Files". Look up the LA Times article, trying to get it for a link bogged down my computer.
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  24. #24
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Coragus View post
    My kid's a Bear (third year Cub) and I'm an Eagle Scout. I 100% understand the mixed emotions I see here, and the way I've dealt with it is by letting the kid participate, taking him on the campouts when I need to, and refusing to sign anything that might rope me into leadership.

    That was before the news, which is flying WAY under the radar if you ask me, of the "Perversion Files". Look up the LA Times article, trying to get it for a link bogged down my computer.
    Linky for the article

    It just got picked-up on the CNN website, but it is way too under the radar. It is a travesty that the BSA is taking stands like it has about homosexuals serving in the organization because of the organization's supposed "values." I guess hiding child molesters is another value.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  25. #25
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Despite my reservations (which I admittedly did not project forcefully enough to my wife)...we went to a cub scout "recruiting" meeting last night.

    Fortunately for me, my wife (after I had shared with her the statements in the paperwork and she observed the lack of control the adults seemed to have on the kids that were there and already scouts) ended up siding with me, and we left before it was over and left the blank registration forms on a table on the way out. When we got home I shared with her the controversies and stories that are going on with the scouts. She apologized to me for not listening to me before hand, saying she thought my reservations were mostly due to my own (limited to 1 year) participation in cub scouts.

    As luck would have it, this was a front page story in my local paper this morning: http://www.concordmonitor.com/articl...ching-up-to-do

    Feel terrible for my youngest, since he really wanted to have an activity to do with some of his friends...but I think we're going to opt for a program at the Boys & Girls club where 2 of his best friends go instead.
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