Recently read a few unflattering pieces about Lord Baden-Powell. The least flattering and most critical was on a ‘free thinker’ site.
I understand the criticism. The problem with any hero is that it is far too easy in hindsight to see their foibles. Given enough time their alleged plagiarism and theft of ideas might outweigh apparent success.
Three Scouting pioneers: Robert Baden-Powell (seated), Ernest T. Seton (left), and Dan Beard (right). Image and caption courtesy of Wikipedia.
Some of the criticism about B-P is deserved. Certainly the BPSA-US is aware of the ‘colonial’ charges, perhaps his “authoritarianism”. Certainly Seton’s view of scouting was to see indigenous cultures as ‘noble savages’, really not much of an improvement over Lord Baden-Powell’s Edwardian attitude.
The overly harsh criticism of B-P strikes me mostly as a case of plank-eye.
BPSA-US doesn’t try to drag down the good of what scouting accomplished. ‘Traditional scouting’ is their theme. Inclusive and democratic. Religious, or not at all.
Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout
For instance, BPSA-US realizes problems persist with aspects of the Boy Scouts of America scouting model. They hope to improve it. BPSA-US did improve it. BPSA-US recognizes the good about BSA (and Girl Scouts) and sees them as fellow scouts.
What attracted me to BPSA-US was their success at improved scouting. Instead of whining about it something was done to fix it. It is back to basics. And everyone can participate! Really, everyone.
I gather that some would hope the scouts wouldn’t persist, run contrary to their values. True, B-P was no saint, however, he did provide a movement with fantastic leadership. It was his true calling. Despite his foibles, B-P is justly still the chief scout.
There will be one in Michigan. I desire to attend it and help out. Making plans!
You may have discovered that scouting isn’t all about comfort. Some are not partial to camping, for instance, too many bugs, etc., but such activities get us out of doors.
Discomfort can extend to the idea of Service. I am uncomfortable with some opportunities as of late. Relating to outdoors and Service would be best in my view.
Seeking a spot to serve in water ecology beyond a typical river clean-up does not fit into the schedule. A river clean up doesn’t either.
Where to plug in?
Call me naive but I didn’t realize there was a conflict between Leave No Trace hiking & camp ethic vs. ‘Bushcraft’. Hmm.
Gotta ask why one humanist view is ‘right’ over the other. Who says? Does a democratic vote determine one ethic over the other?
To be consistent with the Lord Baden-Powell view of scouting I presume this requires a bit of study.
“Service” is the motto of the Rover Scout.
If all goes well I should be nominated by the governor of Missouri to sit on my local Selective Service board. Yes, the ‘draft board’.
Well, somebody has to do it. Why not me?
The consensus I see forming about this hike specified in the Rover Handbook is that you should do the hike to the ‘best of your ability’.
If you can, you should carry a typical hiking load with enough gear to spend a night on the trail.
But what if a load and foothills doesn’t mix too well with your ability? Ah, that is the question. So the answer is: do your best.
The goal is to get outdoors! Enjoy nature and being a scout.
It was suggested that if weight in a pack, etc are a bit much, it would be ok to leave some of it behind. A commissioner jumped in and said physical boundaries and disabilities shouldn’t prevent somebody from earning a badge. After all, the BPSA is about inclusion. Scouting should be for everyone and is in the BPSA.