Mike Rowe Speaks of Boy Scouting

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by eldarbeast, May 17, 2018 at 1:43 AM.

  1. eldarbeast

    eldarbeast Supporting Member

    I read this today and felt I should share it with all here:
    Off the Wall

    Sharon Freeman‎ to Mike Rowe

    Mike Rowe, I’m curious as to your opinion on the tragic death of the Boy Scouts of America?! I have several cousins that are Eagle Scouts, and I know that you are one also, so I feel you have somewhat of a vested interest in this matter. I didn’t have a problem with entire families going on Boy Scout camping trips, but to force them to become co-ed...I think that’s sad.

    Hi Sharon

    In 1974, I was a painfully shy twelve-year-old kid with an annoying stammer and a deep fear of trying anything new. I was also very awkward around girls. I dreamed of being near them, but in real life, their proximity made me sweaty and nauseous. So one evening, my father dragged me to the basement of Kenwood Presbyterian Church, where the boys of Troop 16 were in the midst of an organized brawl called British Bulldog. The rules were simple.

    One kid stood alone in the middle of the room. On the far end, 25 boys waited for the scoutmaster to blow a whistle, at which point they’d bolt to the other end. During the charge, the kid in the middle would attempt to tackle somebody and lift him in the air long enough to yell, “1,2,3, British Bulldog!” That kid, if successfully lifted, would join the other kid in the middle of the room, and together, they’d go about the business of tackling and lifting other kids during each subsequent charge. In the end, the last one to be lifted was declared the winner – the British Bulldog.

    I was immediately thrust into this pandemonium and hoisted into the air, despite my best efforts to remain grounded. Somewhere along the way I got a bloody nose. Others sustained busted lips, black eyes, and sprained fingers. Happily, the game was followed by a course in First Aid, taught by a local paramedic who showed us how to apply a tourniquet and administer CPR. It was awesome.

    In the coming weeks, I learned how to tie a sheepshank, throw a boomerang, build a fire, and make a lean-to. I was given a Boy Scout Handbook, and told to memorize the Scout Law and The Scout Oath. I did, and a week later, after another round of organized violence and hands on learning, I was summoned to the stage in the basement. There, I stood by the flag, raised my right hand, and promised to “do my duty to God and my country, obey the Scout Law, help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

    The Scout Oath was the first promise I ever made, and I tried my best to keep it. I also got busy earning Skill Awards and Merit Badges, a consistently frustrating pursuit that always seemed to highlight my chronic incompetence. The Scoutmaster, a retired Army Colonel named Mr. Huntington – often said, “I know you're uncomfortable, Mike. Might as well find a way to enjoy it.”

    In Troop 16, merit badges reflected merit. There was a boxing ring, where differences were often settled, monthly camping trips, frequent visits to the shooting range, weekly fitness tests, poetry readings from memory, and many other activities tailor-made to pull every kid out of his particular comfort zone. It was often humbling, but never humiliating. Failure was simply viewed as the most common symptom of trying. Consequently, the more I tried, the more I failed. The more I failed, the more I succeeded. The more I succeeded, the more confident I became. My grades improved in school. My stammer vanished, as did my awkwardness around girls.

    One year at summer camp, I was called upon to sing a song of my choice at the evening campfire. It was parent’s night, and several hundred people from multiple troops were on hand. None were expecting me to belt out a tune from Tom Lehrer called “Be Prepared,” but that’s precisely what I did. https://bit.ly/2wJWpjm

    If you’re not familiar with this little gem, give it a listen. It is without question the most inappropriate song a Boy Scout could ever sing in public, but I thought it was hysterical, and packed with excellent advice. Afterward, Mr. Huntington offered a general apology to the parents in attendance, and gave me latrine duty for the duration of the encampment. Later though, he pulled me aside and said, “Mike, that was the funniest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Great job!”

    Six years and two-dozen merit badges later, I was an Eagle Scout. Thirty-five years after that, I became a “Distinguished” Eagle Scout. I’m still not sure what I did to “distinguish” myself, but I accepted the award with gratitude, and I’ve tried ever since to give something back to the organization that gave me so much. Which brings us to what you've called “the tragic death" of The Boy Scouts, and the frightful prospects of “forced co-ed camping.”

    According to their official statement, https://cnn.it/2HOv7gY, the Boy Scouts are welcoming girls because that’s what the overwhelming majority of parents want. From what I can tell, no one is being “forced” to do anything. Nothing co-ed.
    In their statement talks about “co-ed” camping or even co-ed

    Profound words I thought.

    yworrydog likes this.
  2. truck

    truck Supporting Member

    That story ends abruptly just like The Boy Scouts of America did.:(

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    That's a huge amount of text not actually answering the person's question.

    That said, he's basically right. There's not actual "co-ed camping" going on unless it's a family camping event. There aren't even supposed to be co-ed Troops. It's intended to be separate troops. Salt and Pepper shakers, not a single Salt-with-Pepper shaker And there are two reasons for this decision.

    First, the BSA decision to include gender identity politics completely drove off the Mormons, which put a MASSIVE hole in BSA membership. Second, the outdoor opportunities for girls SUCK. Most Girl Scouting sucks for girls that want the same sort of stuff that BSA does; it has little-to-no outdoor or "high-adventure" and is often very highly invested in SJW politics and doing things which they think will "empower" girls but doesn't actually do so. There are a lot of other problems with GS and how activities and advancement is organized (disorganized, actually). Very often a GS "Leader" can make the difference between a GS group which is all SJW and "Girl Power!" and one which actually helps the girls grow. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of parents and girls who are fed up with GS and don't actually want that product but want a "girl version" of BSA.

    So, yes, the desire to have a "boy scouts for girls" actually is driven by parents and girls. And, yes, BSA has non-altruistic incentives for heeding this desire.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Bvhawk and eldarbeast like this.
  4. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    They did? Dang. I'm going to have to tell my son that his hiking campout tomorrow isn't real, that all of the friends he's been meeting with every Tuesday are delusions, and he's actually been getting imaginary merit badges and ranks.

    There may be a small problem. Apparently I only imagined teaching a Rifle Shooting merit badge class last summer so I guess I'm having similar hallucinations. ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
    eldarbeast likes this.
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Just caffeine. :(

    Peace favor your sword,
    eldarbeast likes this.
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Just want to point out...if a leader today did ANY of the things Mike Rowe talked about, the BSA would be leading the mob to bury him.:cool:

    Sorry...what Mike Rowe remembers or thinks of Boy Scouts has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the new Scouts BSA program.:rolleyes:

    Meanwhile, I got tagged to be the new Committee Chair in our local troop...:confused:
    We’ll see how long I can keep it together...
  7. eldarbeast

    eldarbeast Supporting Member

    Mike pointed that out, several times.

    His Boy Scouts is what I remembered in the Troop I was a member of.

  8. Littleguy1

    Littleguy1 Member

    If the girls wanted more adventure wouldn't it have been just as easy to change how the girl scouts operate?
  9. Pretty much same here. We were boys, and we acted like it. No regrets, no apologies.
    eldarbeast likes this.
  10. I doubt that's possible at this point. The way the Girl Scouts have been headed in recent years makes me think the liberal progressives are too firmly entrenched in that organization. I'm sure the BSA has it's share but I don't think they have as much control as they would like.
    eldarbeast likes this.
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    They tried. The national leadership is pretty hard to buck. Try it and let us know how that works. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Littleguy1, eldarbeast and Dad_Roman like this.
  12. I've had conversations over the years with parents who said basically just that, only it was coming from the state and local level. If they questioned anything regarding what the GSA was doing, or not doing in some instances, they were told point blank they were free to 'not be involved with the Girl Scouts', otherwise sit down and shut up.

    Could have just been a local leader with delusions of grandeur but at least two said they got the same attitude from the state level when they tried to go up the chain with their concerns.
    Littleguy1, eldarbeast and lklawson like this.