Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Do Your Best

Some of my fondest memories of childhood are from my time as a Boy Scout. My parents got me into the program as a Tiger Cub (at around six years old) and I stayed until I graduated high school, earned the rank of Eagle Scout and stayed on for a while as an Assistant Scoutmaster before moving away after college. I owe my current state in life to Scouting, as a matter of fact. The principles inherent in the Scouting program are the foundation of who I am, I still do my best to live by them, I still use the skills I learned as a Scout on years of outdoor adventures and my Scoutmaster helped me get into the Navy ROTC. I hope to get my son into Scouting, too. I also hope it means as much to him as it did to me.

But the program is in trouble. Not dire straights, not in danger of disappearing, but participation is decreasing and area councils are having to decide whether to sell off camps in order to continue operating. The council in the article linked, however, is not having financial diffculty and the foundation that donated the land is pretty angry about it.

Financially, it makes sense, of course. Assets don't do much good if they're not being used, but much of the land for these camp was donated with the understanding it would never be sold or would only be used for the Boy Scouts or youth programs. I think the problem is that these places are thought of assets.

Anyway, I think it's a shame that it's come to that. I think back to some of the camps I went to, like Many Point, Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier and Philmont and think it would be a shame if they were sold. These are beautiful places that have given thousands of boys very happy experiences.


Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

My husband was an Eagle Scout and I appreciate how firmly the Boy Scouts have taken a stand on not becoming politically correct like the girl scouts.

31 January, 2006 20:16  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon bloody well said...

Lord Baden-Powell got the idea for the Boy Scouts when he lived in South Africa after the Boer War. It was very strong there when I was a kid and it was one of the most important influences on my life. I loved it. I bet it's gone to the PC dogs there by now. Oh, well.

01 February, 2006 10:20  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

I haven't been involved with the program for several years, but there were some PC aspects of it, even back then. Luckily, the organization has drawn the line in a few places - like allowing girls in the core program.

When I went to the 1989 National Jamboree, Robert, we shared a campsite with a troop of South African scouts. I still have some of the pins we traded here somewhere.

01 February, 2006 11:35  

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