Monday, February 8, 2010

Scouting is Great Fun

BSA has stubbed its toes a few times in recent years, but as a former boy scout myself I can say it was great fun and I wish there was something like it here in Lithuania for my son, who spends way too much time in front of the computer.


  1. One of the other taxidermists I'm researching was involved with the start up of the Boy Scouts.

    There was something very militaristic about the original scouts. And there also seemed to be a good deal of support from the early eugenicists.

    But I agree -- I think it's a great idea to involve young people in the out of doors.

    I also have to comment about Smokey Bear in the photo. He is the single most successful ad campaign ever developed. The research lab I am working with right now developed the model that is used to rate the fire danger sign he now holds on the edge of most forests, so I'm going to write a little history about Smokey while I'm at it.

  2. My son's affiliation with the Boy Scouts was a positive one for the most part. Then his troop leaders decided the boys should attend a local appearance of Ann Colter. When some parents objected . . . our patriotism was questioned. My son remained in the troop for another year before losing interest.

    Many of the adults active in the troop were well meaning. Quite a few of the adult leaders, however, are now no doubt active Tea Partiers. As with virtually every community organization in the deep south, an undercurrent of racism was always present.

  3. My daughter went to several Girl Scout summer camps and on her first and only real wilderness/back country trip.

    We regularly did day hikes and camping, but nothing too strenuous. She's definitely not an athlete or, in theory, interested in being outside (although now she loves telling stories about all of our camping adventures now that they are behind her).

    But in the local Girl Scout group, there's a trip they take at 12 as a right of passage the day school gets out, regardless of the weather, which rained most of the week they were out. She was in sorry shape when she came home -- almost dangerously so -- but she did it!

    But then like your son she lost interest in the projects, etc.

    When you look at the history of the Boy Scouts, in the context of the rise of eugenics and even to some extent the rise of of the outdoor movement generally which had definite ties to that thinking, it does take a bit of the gloss off the organization.

    Plus funny to Seaton's name as the star Boy Scout. He was the star nature faker.

  4. That's sad, rick. I hate to see the Boy Scouts used this way.

  5. Ann Coulter does seem a stretch even for the most conservative of Boy Scout interpreters.

  6. Ann Coulter - racist and antiSemite. Shame on anyone who would have her address the Scouts.

  7. I'm glad you all agree that Ann Coulter was an extremely bad choice for a Boy Scout troop event. But if you had spent a few weekends camping with some of these folks, as I did, it would make sense. Some real loons masquerading as normal human beings.

  8. I just put in my order for Girl Scout cookies, though I initially resisted the pressure to do so, what I couldn't resist was quoting George Carlin who refused to support "that paramilitary organization."

    My dad dearly loved his scouting days back in the 40s, though at least one weekend camping trip in the Blue Ridge Mts. turned very scary when the troop leader joined the boys in their game of swinging over a quarry swimming hole on a rope, letting go and jumping/falling in. The rope got wrapped around the scoutmaster's arm and cut it to the bone when he went to let go. The scouts' training enabled them to get him rescued & tourniquetted, and my dad drove the scoutmaster's car/scoutmaster back through the mts. to town. In later years he would wonder how he ever did such things.

    I went to Girl Scout summer camp a couple times; my scary experience came the year I was put in a cabin with 2 girls, one who was growing boobs and wanted to show them off constantly, and another who wore her hair very short and carried a switchblade. Skinny, bookworm me got under the bunk bed to dress & (especially) undress.

    None of which says anything about scouting & Coulter, whose agent I have to wonder about, too.

  9. I like George Carlin! Although I always bought the cookies, too.....

  10. I thought all Girlscouts carried switchblades.Sounds like you were put in with the Jets from Westside.

  11. Ha, JAbel. She finally took off in the middle of one night and had scouts, counselors et al. out searching the camp, woods etc. as she hitchhiked her way home to whichever side of Richmond VA she hailed from.

  12. This looks like a pretty big stub,