Boy Scouts 100 years ago vs. now: What’s changed?


csmonitor.com

Boy Scouts 100 years ago vs. now: What’s changed?

The Christian Science Monitor

Today marks a little-known yet significant occasion for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA): the 100th anniversary of the organization receiving federal recognition from the US government.

On June 15, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a unanimously approved Congressional charter that allowed the group to be recognized under Title 36 as a “patriotic and national” organization. This charter, which came approximately six years after the Scouts were founded in 1910, established the group as America’s one “true” scouting organization, providing the BSA with a national platform to recruit and eliminating the need to seek incorporation on a state-by-state basis.

The charter is still in place, but today’s BSA has since undergone a century’s worth of cultural and political changes, forcing leaders to adapt in an effort to fight steadily declining membership rates. While Scouts certainly still have a strong presence in the United States – there were 2.4 million members in 2014 – that number reflects a 7.4 percent decline since the previous year.

“It’s not cool,” David C. Scott, who has authored four books on scouting, offers as one simple explanation for the relatively low recruitment numbers. “Boy Scouts aren’t perceived as cool, they’re perceived as goody-goody,” he tells The Christian Science Monitor. “There’s the traditional image of the Boy Scout walking a grandmother across the street, and that will probably always be here.”

 

Recruitment challenges lie not only in attracting young people, but in attracting the parents of young boys as well. This can be especially challenging in communities with large minority populations, where very few parents were involved in scouting themselves, who may also be put off by the cost and language and transportation barriers, according to BSA leaders.

That’s where Scoutreach, a program that spreads Scouting into low-income neighborhoods, comes in. Through coordination with public schools, local BSA divisions offer after-school scouting programs led by trained teachers. Good behavior is rewarded with “points” that can be traded in for things such as uniforms, backpacks, or camping trips.

“We’ve had some really great successes,” Alana Hylton, urban coordinator for Scoutreach in Boston, told The Boston Globe. The program also provides incentives for parents to get involved, The Globe reports, as their involvement earns points for their children.

But parental engagement, crucial to the BSA’s success, is dwindling overall for modern-day Boy Scout troops, says Don Sachs, development director for the Minsi Trails Council in Pennsylvania.

“Parents just don’t have the time they used to have. People’s lives are too busy,” Mr. Sachs told The Atlantic. While the council still gets “amazing good financial support … from families,” it’s increasingly difficult “to get parents to devote time.”

Parents’ relationships to the BSA have been something of a roller coaster over the past 10 years, as the group suffered membership losses first from parents unhappy about policies that excluded gay Scouts and leaders, then from others unhappy with changes made in 2013 and 2015 to include them.

It’s a challenge for the Boy Scouts to “continue to survive and adapt to the social standards that they have to deal with in order to maintain membership, without sacrificing their values and morals,” says Mr. Scott.

In 2007, in reaction to the BSA’s ban on gay Scouts, father David Atchley of Missouri started the first US chapter of Europe’s Baden-Powell Service Association, the scouting model on which the BSA was founded nearly a hundred years earlier.

His troop welcomed gay and female participants, but, as Mr. Atchley told the website Good, his program’s true focus was bringing back “traditional scouting.” This meant eliminating merit badges for technology-based activities such “programming” and “computer game design,” and making a return to the basics of outdoor survival and navigation.

“Scouting is supposed to be focused on two things: outdoor skills and public service,” Atchley said. “These seem to have been forgotten over the years.”

The question of how to adapt Scouting to a rapidly changing, increasingly technology-dependent world is one that’s still being debated among BSA leaders. Some argue that in order to remain relevant, Scouting should cut down on its focus on physical activity and time in the wilderness; others worry that straying too far from traditional activities will diminish the effect of Scouting.

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What’s important to remember, Scott says, is that the point of Boy Scouts is to give young men goals and to “build character.” The merit badges are simply a means for participants to learn the values of the BSA.

“Scouting should accept a changed culture as a challenge to implement its unique program in the best way, but the program itself is still relevant and should not change,” Eagle Scout Enoch Heise writes in his blog, Scouting Rediscovered. “The only way the Scouting Movement will lose its relevance is by ceasing to strive for a higher standard.”

Continue reading “Boy Scouts 100 years ago vs. now: What’s changed?”

Review of “Selling America: The Boy Scouts of America in the Progressive Era, 1910-1921”


University of Maine graduate student John Phillips wrote this examination of B.S.A. Inc.’s history of self-conscious commercialism at its founding, which corresponded with the Progressive Era.  He brings many facts, trends and anecdotes to B.S.A.’s self-induced implosion, the result of abandoning the very middle-class values it championed from the start.

Download it here and read the whole thing:

Phillips, John, “Selling America: The Boy Scouts of America in the Progressive Era, 1910-1921” (2001). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 205.

Abstract

Created in 1910 during the Progressive Era the Boy Scouts of America was a civic reform, middle-class, professional organization intent on building the characters of America’s juvenile boys, believing that America’s transformation from a rural and small town culture to an ban society had removed some of the traditional character building opportunities from the boy’s normal daily routine. The BSA was mass-oriented and commercial in nature, utilizing a sophisticated advertising program through which it sold itself as the nation’s premiere patriotic character building organization and communicated a nationalistic political mythology. The BSA’s emphasis on advertising, not just as a method of promotion but as an important segment of scout training, as well as the interest the business community took in the BSA, combined to give the organization a commercial makeup. This paper will show that the BSA was a commercial effort created to deal with the problems of twentieth-century urbanization.

Conclusion
THE BSA AS A CORPORATE ORGANIZATION

This paper has examined the BSA as a commercial Progressive Era character building agency designed to counter the ill effects of urbanization, which itself was a symptom of the corporate capitalist restructuring of America’s economy and culture.

The BSA’s program was one of many Progressive Era reform efforts that sought to allay some of the discontent brought on by corporate capitalism. The BSA was a modem civic reform organization, middle-class and professional. The agency utilized scientific management and aimed its message at a mass audience with the intention of creating a
national community of boys. The BSA was officially non-partisan yet embraced conservative politics. In this vein, the BSA favored Americanization and communicated a propagandistic political mythology to its scouts and scouters. Continue reading “Review of “Selling America: The Boy Scouts of America in the Progressive Era, 1910-1921””

UK: First they came for the boy scouts . . .


I wish this was a joke but it is not. The UK armed services have taken leave of their senses and deserves the invasion and conquering that waits for it.

The Royal Boy Scouts Association was destroyed ca 1968 and girls were forced on it without consulting the British public. Within a few years, British “scouting” membership plummeted.

 

Of note, the single-sex Girl Guides stabilized and avoided the worst of the post-war Baby Bust years.

But the effect on British manhood was the final straw. Two world wars literally decimated two generations of men, sacrificing the best and brightest before they could produce children. The remaining K-Selected boys of Britain in the post-war years we able to learn masculinity in the boy scouts. But since the Seventies there has been no actual boy scouting in Britain.

What’s a red blooded Englishman to do?  Join the service?

Hell no.

BEND OVER, LIMEY. HERE IT COMES AGAIN.

Not A Parody – British Army Recruitment Posters Reflect How Far the U.K. Has Fallen…

Former British Prime Minister Winston S Churchill famously said: “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”  Perhaps, in an ironic way, that is exactly what the British Army are doing as they reveal an ad campaign to recruit the finest young men and women the U.K. has for military service:

This is not a parody; these recruitment posters are very real. The stereotypical traits of British Millennials are accepted as the standard and re-branded as strengths.

The indulgent trait of self-centeredness becomes “self-belief;” the generational obsession with phones and gadgets becomes “focus”; and those with a propensity for compulsive selfie-taking are now cast with internal “confidence.”

Yes, the British Army have officially accepted that a generation where everyone deserves a trophy is now the first line of national defense; and thus recruitment efforts need to be modified accordingly.

Despite my notation promising this is not a parody, I am quite sure there are reasonably grounded people reviewing this who would nevertheless believe this has to be a joke.

It’s not.

Swear.

This is very, very, disturbingly real. [See Daily Mail]  There’s even a highly produced set of broadcast commercials to support the recruitment campaign.

Great Britain has come a long way from Winston Churchill…

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

— Winston S. Churchill

Unsexing the Boy Scouts: 1977 Report on Sex Bias in the U.S. Code by Ruth Bader Ginsburg


 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Columbia School of Law in the 1970s

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe topful
Of direst cruelty! — Macbeth Act 1, scene 5, 38–43

Many current scouters and parents of boy scouts, fathers as well as mothers, genuinely do not understand why many Americans are aghast at the unsexing of American society, particularly of the Boy Scouts of America.

Firstly, B.S.A. Inc imposed females on us with 1972’s “Improved Scouting Program” that nearly killed boy scouting if not for a superficial pull-back in 1979.

(It is important to notice the underlying damage of ISP was not undone with the return of Green Bar Bill’s traditionalist handbook. The revisionist manipulation of the Boy Scout Oath and Law remained and most adult boy scout alumni never experienced actual boy scouting. They know only “improved” boy scouting — a shadow of the real thing!)

But where did the madness begin? WHY?

Continue reading “Unsexing the Boy Scouts: 1977 Report on Sex Bias in the U.S. Code by Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

“Die Partei hat immer recht” song of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany


Die Partei, die Partei, die hat immer recht

In case you wondered why the B.S.A. Inc. had to uproot 100 years of tradition because globohomo spies like Gates and flyover yahoos like Randall Stephenson, Rex Tillerson, and Mike Surbaugh cried about “muh rights” . . .

Check out this old gem from the Socialist Unity Party of Germany:

Flashback: Romney Says Boy Scouts Should Admit Homosexuals


Notice the deliberate lies by the B.S.A. Inc. spokesscout. One marvels at the sheer talent of deception and misdirection employed by Our Betters.

“Contrary to media reports, the Boy Scouts of America has no plans to change its membership policy. The introduction of a resolution does not indicate the organization is ‘reviewing’ a policy or signal a change in direction,” according to an official statement from the Boy Scouts of America national office on June 7.

From CNS News

By Patrick Burke | August 9, 2012 | 7:01 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney this week reiterated his view that the Boy Scouts of America should admit homosexuals as Scouts and Scout leaders. He also supports the right of the Scouts to decide their own policies.

Currently, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) does not admit homosexuals as Scouts or Scout leaders.

Romney first expressed his view that the Boy Scouts should admit homosexuals in 1994. When Romney was running for the U.S. Senate that year against Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy, he said “all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Continue reading “Flashback: Romney Says Boy Scouts Should Admit Homosexuals”

SCOUT’S HONOR Part 6: A Scout is Courteous


This is Part 6 of a Series on the subversion of the Scout Oath and Law.

“A Scout is Courteous” – a phrase by phrase comparison

BSA Scout Law, 1911-1972 BSA Scout Law, 1972 to present
A SCOUT IS COURTEOUS. 5. A Scout is courteous.
He is polite to all, especially to women, children, old people, and the weak and helpless.  He must not take pay for being helpful or courteous. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
He is polite to all, A Scout is polite to everyone
especially to women,
children, regardless of age
and the weak and helpless.
 or position.
He must not take pay for being helpful or courteous.
He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.