Are the Boy Scouts still an institution worthy of involvement in the development of young boys? Do they still teach the foundational values of individual responsibility and self-reliance?
Texas Blogger, Kent McManigal recently encountered some modern day Boy Scouts while out camping. After talking to some of these Scouts, he relates his disappointment at how few useful skills these Scouts had been taught. He offers an alternative organization to be formed- The “Browncoat Scouts.”
Reading this post inspired me to relate my own experiences as a scout, decades ago, and how over that time, my opinion of the Boy Scouts has changed.
Boy Scouts Handbook (T... Best Price: $33.51 Buy New $93.58 (as of 11:10 EDT - Details) I was an Eagle Scout back in the 1960’s. Leaving aside the God and country nonsense (serving two religions, with opposing philosophies, at once?), I have a lot of fond memories of camping experiences. Back then, we were taught some survival skills. I can even remember times where we genuinely suffered, but all for our betterment. We learned and we were toughened.
I was a scrawny, little 11-12 year old and being constantly challenged. Some of those challenges were quite scary for a kid that age:
Sleep in a tent in the middle of winter, get up out of a (sometimes) warm sleeping bag on a 20 degree morning, walk out into two feet of snow, start a fire and cook a breakfast. Challenge met.
Hike 20 miles in one day. Challenge met. SAS Survival Handbook,... Best Price: $10.99 Buy New $9.00 (as of 03:40 EDT - Details)
Swim a mile in a lake. Challenge met.
Ride a bike 50 miles in one day. Challenge met.
Jump into the water and “rescue” a “drowning” kid 6 years year older than me and 40 lbs. heavier. Challenge met (after several attempts and being nearly drowned for real).
Victorinox Swiss Army ... Buy New $19.99 (as of 01:55 EDT - Details) Hike and climb mountains for a week with a 50lb pack on my back through heat, rain, and hail. Challenge met.
Get up before dawn, be given a breakfast of nothing more that one raw egg and a single slice of bread, then work until midday performing tough, chain gang-like, manual labor in the hot summer sun. Then, after an equally puny lunch, still more tough work remains until sundown. Complain, or even speak at all, and you are sent back to your unit in shame.
The reward? A strong sense of accomplishment, a constantly renewed vigor for life, increased confidence in my abilities and judgment, and wonderful camaraderie with fellow Scouts who met those same challenges.
Nowadays, those kind of actions would be considered, by some, as “abuse,” and if experienced by a black kid- “racism.” Man Up!: 367 Classic S... Best Price: $0.99 Buy New $5.00 (as of 12:00 EDT - Details)
Today, I see kids that age (and even several years older) that can barely walk up a flight of stairs. They probably don’t even know how to start an electric stove, let alone a fire to cook on. They think food comes out of a vending machine.
Schools are useless. Their “development” goal appears to be “extended adolescence.” They teach the young only obedience to “authority” and keep them just ignorant enough to be functionally helpless, always in need of assistance and “counseling” by the state parasites posing as that “authority.” These “counselors,” of course, are nothing more than gatekeepers, charging a toll to misinform and mislead a young individual on their road to adult servitude.
Stuff Every Man Should... Best Price: $0.25 Buy New $3.98 (as of 12:20 EDT - Details) Dependency is praised as “good citizenship” and “patriotic” and independence smeared as radical rebelliousness, characteristic of the mentally unstable. Those who accept dependence are showered with accolades and awards. Those who choose independence are reprimanded and have dangerous pharmaceuticals shoved down their throats to soothe the savage sovereign.
I work a lot with teenagers and many seem virtually helpless, as if they were five year olds in a teenage body.
They seem disinterested in learning or acquiring knowledge but merely seek to be entertained and satisfying their sweet tooth. A significant number cannot even write down the street address where they live.
This helplessness seems particularly acute in urban/inner city areas where such vulnerability may threaten a young person’s outright survival.
Some of this can be blamed on their parents who baby them, coddle them, and refuse to stress the importance of being responsible for yourself. Some parents, of course, outright neglect their children. But I can also see the state’s part in keeping them clueless in their state of extended childhood, making them easier to control and manipulate in the future. What perfect, young candidates to willfully accept bloody nationalism, conformity, and collectivism. Young minds are easier to mold when they are as gooey and malleable as clay.
It’s a shame that the Boy Scouts organization contributes to this brainwashing. It seems that any useful skills a Scout may learn is not for the benefit of that Scout as an individual in pursuit of his dreams, but is instead expected to be practiced for the benefit of the state collective, particularly by way of the military or politics- commonly referred to as “serving your country.”
Having always treasured these Scouting memories and their contribution to my personal development, there was a time when the Boy Scouts were in my will. But I had to drop them when their militarist and fascist political indoctrinations increased to levels even more intense than what I experienced.
Maybe Kent’s “Browncoat” Scouts can be what the Boy Scouts used to be, but without the poisonous nationalism, without the unquestioned allegiance to an illegitimate authority, and without the reverence for the civic religion.
No only would it make Scouting a healthier and more enlightening experience but it would make it even more fun.