A recent article by National Geographic Traveler is titled “I Blame the Boy Scouts” — http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/unbound/boy-scouts/
A great article! I’d like to share two quotes:
- “On this, my third climb up Kilimanjaro, I already know what to expect: six nights sleeping on the ground, no bath for a week, cold wind, thin air, and maybe mild altitude sickness. I keep asking myself, “Why am I doing this, again?” Finally I come up with an answer. I blame the Boy Scouts of America. That organization stole my soul when I was a kid and planted it in the wilderness. I was too young to resist their clever sales pitch built around hiking and camping trips. And their system of rewarding accomplishments with higher ranks and colorful merit badges meant, in effect, there was always one more goal to reach, one more mountain to climb.”
- “I think back over the past 50 years and reflect on how the Boy Scouts taught us to embrace the unknown, to test our limits, to push beyond the easy. The lessons went beyond climbing mountains, digging latrines, cooking over a campfire, or securing a tent in howling sandstorms or pouring rain, all of which we did. Instead, the outdoors was our classroom for life lessons about facing challenges and learning that the best rewards sometimes require a little pain and suffering.”
Scouting is fun, but it’s much more than that — it’s a program that challenges the scouts to run the program, plan the trips, cook and clean up after themselves. Sometimes its a bit more chaotic this way, but it’s tons more valuable when the scouts “work it out” for themselves. Of course, they’re running the program under the general guidance of the adult leadership, and our job is to provide coaching, mentoring and instruction when needed.
Troop 113 meets at First Baptist Church of Hackensack on most Monday evenings from 7 to 9 PM. This Monday, we’ll be meeting at the YMCA to conduct swim tests and work on poolside advancement requirements.