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I was in Scouts all of my childhood. We had really great leaders and I learned more quality "stuff" in BSA than I ever did in public school.

I have saved lives using knowledge and skills I developed in my scouting years. Quite a few of them actually, including my own on multiple occasions

Anyone that stayed in scouts long enough to earn their merit badges had to have learned a ton of valuable skills, regardless of how lame their "troop leaders" were.

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I made it to Life Scout and almost made Eagle but had too many sports and a job going my senior year of high school to be able to finish everything. I was part of a very active troop and we camped or went on a hike at least once a month. It made me truly love the outdoors although I had always been a fan. It really made me love the mountains as I went on three 2 week trips to New Mexico to hike in the Sangre De Cristos. Really beautiful out there.

I can't say scouting made me become a better fisherman or steered me that way because I had been fishing since 3-4 years old with my grandpa.

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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I was not, but deal with lots of troops, some great, some horrible. Depends on troop leaders.

And parents. My father worked with my brother and I to help us earn our merit badges, and I have a lot of great memories of that, too.

John B

08 Skeeter SL210, 225F Yamaha

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Got my Eagle- I learned a lot in scouts- not necessarily related to the outdoors. Mostly about how to deal with bullies at scout camp and how to eat dehydrated foods. I have a bunch of good friends that I made in scouts and, while I hated wearing that stupid uniform and wasting every Monday night, I would want to put my (hypothetical) future son in scouts if it weren't for all this PC junk they are doing right now. As for fishing- I learned that from my dad and grandpa- most of my scout leaders couldn't even steer a canoe.

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Me and my brother both made it to Eagle. It was a great experience all the way around. We had a very active troop that did a lot of camping, backpacking, and canoe trips. We even had a fleet of dozen or so canoes until they got stolen from the back of the church garage. Come to think of it, we had a good sized garage that was packed to the rafters with all kinds of camping gear (dutch ovens, tents large and small, mess kits, axes, rope, fishing rods, archery stuff, you name it. It was like an Army Surplus store. I think I was into fishing before getting into scouting, but certainly scouting helped me build a passion for hiking, camping, canoeing . . . just being outdoors and checking out new places, new adventures, new ways of roughing it, how to be prepared, and lots of other things, etc.

My brother recently sent his Eagle back to BSA due to the flap about their stance on homosexuality (he's not gay by the way, not that that matters). I don't even know where my Eagle medal/pin is or my old merit badge sash . . . wish I still had it, but I wouldn't go as far as to send it back. We never talked about homosexuality, and don't even recall it being brought up once. Anyway, wandering off topic.

Scouting altered my passion and love of the outdoors, no doubt about it.

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I learned to love the outdoors dispite my scouting experance.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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It's supposed to be "not that there's anything wrong with that." Good for your brother.

I probably wouldn't be so down on the whole thing if it didn't involve "merit badges" and the stupid uniforms and all the rules and the cornballs who usually "lead" the troops. I don't get why you can't just take your kids camping and canoeing and fishing and hiking and teach him a few knots. That's what I'll be doing.

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It's supposed to be "not that there's anything wrong with that." Good for your brother.

I probably wouldn't be so down on the whole thing if it didn't involve "merit badges" and the stupid uniforms and all the rules and the cornballs who usually "lead" the troops. I don't get why you can't just take your kids camping and canoeing and fishing and hiking and teach him a few knots. That's what I'll be doing.

I was trying to remember that Seinfeld quote. Thanks, Eric.

The part where you say "I don't get why you can't just take your kids camping and canoeing . . . ." Well -- that wouldn't have been me. My parents weren't campers or outdoors types or even fishermen. Scouting brought me and my brother TO the outdoors. Whether we would've discovered it on our own eventually anyway, I don't know. But I think there was something about the MISERY of it all. Having to carry a 20 lb heavy canvas, floorless pup tent in a heavy canvas backpack, slogging through Hercules Glades on a 10 mile hike through the rain and pitching it in a chigger infested area, forced to dig a trench around the perimeter to keep the rain out, the taste of the water from an old steel canteen, the hardass scoutmaster grilling you at your board of review, the week long misery of Camp Arrowhead and having to swim to the bottom of that ice cold spring-fed swimming pool and retrieve that concrete block so you could qualify as a "blue" swimmer and not be relegated to the shallow end with the weaker kids. Did I mention the chigger bites and poison ivy?

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There are good troops, and not-so-good troops. Each kid is going to have a different take-away based a lot on that, but also on how they're wired to begin with. It gets kids outside and gives them a good alternative to sports.

John

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My dad was an Eagle Scout...but he put me in Indian Guides instead....I did join the BSA briefly because my buddies troup had an extra spot available for Philmont. I had a wonderful time on the trip...but I lost interest soon after. Guess my dad & his friends were the ones who taught me about the outdoors. We'd meet up with a buddy of his or some other families with kids and do something outside most weekends. We'd hunt, fish, hike, shoot, boat, canoe, & camp. I was pretty much on my own outside after the age of 10-12....Dad just wanted to know what I was doing, were, and when I'd be back.

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