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Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts Helping to Raise the Next Generation of Leaders, Part II

May 18th, 2007 by Halli

Read Part I here.

Given the challenges boys and young men face in our society, how can the programs of the Boy Scouts of America help train them to become our future leaders?

These programs have been specifically designed to provide safe, positive and age-appropriate adventure and risk-taking. From field trips and pocketknife skills for 8- and 9-year-olds, to fire building and hiking for 10- and 11-year olds, to camping, canoing, ropes courses, high adventure camping and world travel for older boys, and first-responder/first aid skills for all ages, the Scouting program has something for everyone. Built into the program are lessons on citizenship, service, career choice, personal responsibility, and leadership, accompanied by practical application.

Overseeing all activities are trained and vetted adult leaders – role models.

The result? Boys who participate in the Scouting program have their energy, creativity, and desire for adventure and risk directed in a positive, socially acceptable manner.

It has proven difficult to measure the positive effects of Scouting in a reliable fashion. However, several of the best studies have been commissioned by the Scouts themselves, and include Values of Scouting, Values for Americans, Volunteer Outcomes Study (which measures positive effects on adult Scout volunteers), A Year in the Life, and Summer Camp Outcomes Study. All document the positive effects of the BSA program on youth, adults, families and communities.

An additional Scout program (which has actually been conceived and implemented by the Grand Teton Council of the BSA in Bonneville County, Idaho), known as Positive Attitudes Through Scouting (PATS), has proven highly effective. This is a program for male juvenile offenders. Juvenile judges in the county have the option of “sentencing” youthful offenders to the PATS program as part of their rehabilitation. Statistics do not appear to be available online, but the program has proven over a number of years to greatly reduce repeat offenses among participants.

However, just when it is needed most, the Boy Scout program and organization have been in the cross hairs of various special interest groups. Atheists object to the “duty to God” statement in the Scout Oath. Homosexuals are firm in their belief that the “I will keep myself … morally straight” statement in the Oath should not exclude them. Feminists object to the exclusion of girls from the organization (never mind that Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder, also organized Girl Guides, the forerunner of Girl Scouts, with the help of his sister and later his wife).

Indeed, the Scout organizations of both Great Britain and Canada have essentially capitulated to the demands of these extremist groups and as a result have experienced dwindling membership and support from society. Fortunately most attempts to dilute the program here in America, and hence its effectiveness, have been deflected, often in the arena of the courts. But future attacks are sure to be launched, and the future of the BSA is not assured.

In conclusion, the United States needs Scouting. It is worth the effort and resources necessary to preserve one of the most successful organizations in training and preparing boys and young men for adulthood and leadership, readying them to help preserve our society and form of government.

Take a stand. Support the Boy Scouts of America in your community with financial contributions or your time. Help the young men in your life find a Scouting opportunity in their neighborhood. And take a minute to review the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. How do YOU measure up?

Scout Oath or Promise
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Law
A Scout is …
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,
thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, General, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Brian Westley Says:

    You might want to check the BSA’s membership; it has also been going down, ever since the Dale case was in the national news.

    And the PATS program is unconstitutional, if only kids who believe in god(s) can join. Juvenile courts can’t discriminate against atheists.

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