The Boy Scouts and My New Thoughts on a Younger Me.



A little bit ago I got into a discussion with a friend of mine on the Boy Scouts. This has been a tireless argument for me as I am an Eagle Scout from a fairly liberal troop. And As my father left when I was young and was pretty much a useless POS for years afterward, I liked having a father figure I could look up to, which I found in my BSA Troop.

But over time, after having these arguments over the BSA vs the microcosm that was my troop, I started to think back fondly over those events, and it appears that I may have been a little jaded. The troop was special. That is for sure.

I joined Boy Scout Troop 301 of San Carlos/Belmont Ca, after successfully crossing the bridge from Webelos. Kind of like junior high school. Between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

I was going to join one of two Boy Scout Troops. They were both going on the same campout at Point Reyes lighthouse. The forecast called for heavy rain, and one troop canceled. I went with the one that did not.

I was so proud. I had achieved many things. My mom was there throughout it all. I hope she was proud too. I was sorted into my House, I mean Patrol. :), and then we were Boy Scouts.

As time went on I realized that the troop had a caste system, the parents and troop leaders basically kept to themselves and planned out the budgets and campouts. The Leadership Corp lead the troop in all the activities. These kids were usually in high school. They seemed really old to me. They were probably 15 or 16. Then there were the Patrol Leaders, then kept their individual scouts in line and paying attention. Then there were the patrols. 8 to 10 or so groups of like-minded kids trying to be social, have a good time, and misbehave. If you follow that organization flow, you might have noticed we were at the bottom of the ladder.

Bullies. That is what my troop bred. From the top down. The Leadership Corps and the Patrol leaders basically harassed and tortured the younger scouts. From name calling to actual violet games to threats, and even beatings. Away from home and the weekly troop meetings things got worse. These kids were like wild animals and the racist, misogynistic words that flowed out of their mouths disgusted me. The violence that emanated from them was staggering. Yeah, they looked and played the part of young leaders while the "adult supervision" was around, but as soon as they were on their own, watch out.

But we all still wanted to move up the ladder to the Leadership Corp. They were the cool kids. And it was a popularity contest. As time went on, we went on many adventures and we all moved up the ladder and some of us made it into the vaulted Leadership Corp.

And then it happened. We started to behave like those before us. 

I tried to take it all lightly. I was a softer soul. But I still had fun at other kids expense. I tried to make sure that it did not go too far, and to be fair, the Leadership Corp of which I was a part of was a LOT less mean and violent than the ones that came before us. But, by that time most of them were into drugs and drinking and less interested in torturing little kids. But we still yelled and harassed them. We were supposed to. That is what we were taught.

So, am I glad that the Boy Scouts are "merging" with the Girl Scouts? No. Do I think that most scouts have failed in their adherence to the Scout Law? Most definitely. Do I think the Boy Scouts might be outdated and overdue for disbandment entirely? Not entirely. There are many kids who get quite a lot out of the Boy Scouts, and up until recently most Girl Scout troops(GSA Accepts boys), have had very little to compare to the types of adventures that the BSA offers.

I think what I would really like, now that I have spent a lot of time thinking and remembering, is for the Girl Scouts to completely take over the Boy Scouts and overhaul the entirety of both organizations into one equal program. Then maybe the bullying would stop, because girls do not bully right?

I do not know what is best for either organization, but I do know, that I wish it had been more fun for me and less frightening sometimes.

The Scout Law
A Scout is
Trustworthy
Loyal
Helpful
Friendly
Courteous
Kind
Obedient
Cheerful
Thrifty
Brave
Clean
and Reverant

How many today can say they prescribe to this 100%?

But That's Just Me...Walking My Mind





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