So shelter in place is what most are doing or being forced to do during COVID-19. The great thing about scouting is the attitude it instills to ‘be prepared’. Any scout should be ready for the challenge ahead.
We are not talking about ‘prepping’ and being a prepper. And we’re not talking about hoarding.
Scouting teaches self-reliance, a can do attitude, and making due while whistling if need be. It only makes sense to keep a couple extra weeks food on hand, perhaps canned. Even if you don’t use it yourself, how will you help others in need should the time arise?
Thrift is a scouting virtue.
Like any hobby or interest, there is a budget to consider to participate. One thing I like to do in traditional scouting is dual use. A lot of BPSA-US members encourage the use of canvas type bags, some you see on the Quartermaster page. Since I also volunteer and train for FEMA projects, and Civil Air Patrol functions, I have contemporary ‘MOLLE’ type military bags. They’re not canvas. They are not camouflage. These bags are better, lighter and stronger, and they do not rot. In my view, less energy and waste means better for the environment, pound for pound of waste, so I go with MOLLE. And it’s dual use. In a couple cases FEMA, et al, gave me the bag(s). Why wouldn’t I use it? I can also use it as a Rover.
This leads me to the consideration of blades for scouting. For all of the hype, again, pound for pound consideration, the best scouting blades I’ve reviewed and used are old school Buck, Gerber hunting knives and K-Bar bayonet knives. Durability, abililty to keep an edge, and value (budget minded!), these blades are exceptional.
The advantage too is they’re plenty long, strong enough for the trail and camp. Usually they’re fixed blade and high grade stainless steel. A disadvantage is they do not cost less buying them used because they’re in high demand since they are that good.
Value. Again, think traditional scouting (which means thrift!! per B-P himself), and it makes sense to consider the aforementioned, instead of of the common blades sold at REI or Walmart.
More bad news for fellow scouts at BSA. Years ago they did not have precautions in place to weed out abusers like they do now. Bankruptcy now looms because a lack of safety protocol. Their drift years ago from ‘traditional scouting’ as envisioned by Lord Baden-Powell also hurt them. Demographics of the population affected BSA. Being too attached to religious institutions, that are disinterested in inclusion, is an issue now that BSA realized a need for it. Many of the church based scout groups fell away recently because of abrupt change. Further, some moved on to form their own independent, traditional, inclusive scouting organization like BPSA-US because of inclusion, not lack of it.
I am pleased to know that the BPSA-US, from the onset is a tradional scouting organization. Inclusion is important too and safety of our young scouts (and old too) is primary, not an afterthought. All of us adult Rover scouts get an annual background check.
For the sake of all the fellow scouts who could lose their leadership I hope the BSA, or Scouts BSA will persist beyond bankruptcy.
It’s on the way to me per the Quartermaster!
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.
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.
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
- A Scout’s honor is to be trusted.
- A Scout is loyal.
- A Scout’s duty is be useful and to help others.
- A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout.
- A Scout is courteous.
- A Scout is a friend to animals.
- A Scout obeys orders.
- A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
- A Scout is thrifty.
- 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.
So the Boy Scouts are now Scouts BSA. Hmm.