“co-ed” inclusive scouting

A scouting friend of mine recently used the term “co-ed” outside of a scouting discussion.  The movie Animal House immediately came to mind.  Admittedly, I found his usage a bit dated, but nonetheless correct in its context.  We’re both ‘old’ guys, so I at least got where he was going with it.

There has been a lot of talk about the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) dropping ‘boy’ from the name.  They are going co-ed, much to the chagrin of the Girl Scouts.  Personally speaking, I am mystified why in the first place as a country we didn’t do co-ed.  I suspect there was more than just religious views of the day influencing the separation of the sexes, not sure.  (Read Charles Taylor Gatto’s books for clues about this).  There is a view of why separating boys and girls works ‘better’ for learning.  I’m not sure I am on board with that for a host of reasons.  At any rate, it is good that BSA will be more inclusive going forward.  As fellow scouters I wish them well.  However, the USA Today story accurately points out that there were co-ed scouting groups even prior to BPSA-US.  They too are fellow scouters.

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Serving others and getting out and see stuff.  It’s what being a Rover Scout is all about. (Trail location – near Berea College, Berea, KY).

Originally I was attracted to BPSA-US because my daughters could participate with me  (but their participation didn’t stick).  However, BPSA-US follows the ‘traditional’ scouting model, which means that as a kid-at-heart I get to be a Rover Scout as Lord Baden-Powell intended all along.  I continue to be a Scout.  The “game of scouting” is a fun one.  I mean, in the BSA to be an adult scout you have to be an administrator (perhaps it will change?), sometimes missing out on the trail fun.  Learning by doing (and serving) is great for me somewhat due to my Aspergers.  The same Pathfinder skills expected of the children are expected of me.  Not all of those skills are so easy to learn I might add.  Try starting a fire with iron and flint and see what I mean.  (I found fellow Rovers were quite patient with me learning knots and camp craft at my Brownsea).  I mean, who wants to just be an adult administrator when camping, woodcraft, and hiking are involved?

You can’t be good at everything as as an adult.  But Rovering in scouting provides me a fun structure, be part of something bigger with like minded scouters (regardless of the hang-ups about sex, orientation, religion, etc).  I like that.  And I like that USA Today saw the value in reporting that too.

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Scout Law

It’s autumn.  It’s time for scouting.  Let us hike, make knots and figure out how to survive in the cold together! You can learn to do this by being a Scout.

Lord Baden-Powell (BP) is credited for starting the scouting movement.  The following Scout Law is taken from the 1908 edition of Scouting for Boys.  It’s important to understand that this is the traditional scouting law as envisioned by BP.

The BPSA-US is a traditional scouting organization.  And it’s inclusive; so regardless of your sex, how you identify, religious or not, or even if you’re an adult (like me – BP wanted adult Rover Scouts), you can be a Scout with BPSA-US.  But the BPSA-US improved upon the idea of ‘traditional scouting’ making it inclusive, without all the colonial and other unfriendly trappings of Victorian Era scouting.

Traditional Scout Law 

  1. A Scout’s honor is to be trusted.
  2. A Scout is loyal.
  3. A Scout’s duty is be useful and to help others.
  4. A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout.
  5. A Scout is courteous.
  6. A Scout is a friend to animals.
  7. A Scout obeys orders.
  8. A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
  9. A Scout is thrifty.
  10. A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed. 

 

The BPSA-US is not affiliated with the BSA or Girl Scouts.  Despite not being affiliated, we are all fellow scouters.

 

Grateful for autumn

Since I used to associate autumnal anxiety with school, fall was often unpleasant. No more. That is decades gone. Now it’s meant for Rover hiking and camping!

So to kick it off I am getting my Rover – 1st Lone Scouts ‘necker’ purchased and a warmer weather BPSA t-shirt from the Quartermaster. Also found a ready made woggle for my necker.

Now if the summer heat would disappear …