A Scouting Alternative with Some Promise — 16 Comments

  1. You may also want to look at a group called Trail Life. This group was formed after the Scouts decision on Gays in Scouts. This group has really taken off.

    • A group that specifically for the sole purpose of excluding gay people? No I am not really interested in support them, helping them, etc.

  2. I’ve been looking for an alt to BSA since my sons charter was cancelled by a church school that retaliated against the decision based on sexual orientation by closing the group down. I was a willing leader with some slightly heartbroken sons.

    Ill have to check this out.

    • Note they have lone scout options, this means you could get them going with that and your support until such time as you develop a group, at least that is how I understand it.

  3. Good stuff.

    As someone who had to help “recharter” a cub scout unit from a public school to a local church, I can empathize.

    The school wouldn’t allow knives and many science experiments. The church was really cool about all that “dangerous” stuff, but some of the more secular folks were uncomfortable with the church setting.

    As a past leader I never had any issues relating to sexuality come up, then again the boys were 5th grade and younger.

    Let’s be totally honest – the stereotypical gay male probably isn’t all that interested in the activities usually associated with scouting. If you did the math, and figured what % of the total population had that orientation, and then within that which % wanting to go camping etc. – you could probably count them on one hand.

  4. I found the open source scouting episode highly thought provoking. As we are all looking for new ways to inspire positive change, promoting the global concept of traditional scouting seems like a good idea. I’m sure there are other small scouting groups out there but as is historically the case, big organizations with a monopoly on the market tend to make it tough for smaller ones to grow. Would love to hear from BPSA and others committed to teaching outdoor skills, self reliance and responsibility and I’ll look for traditional scouting groups in my area to offer my support.

  5. I am an Eagle scout and although I didn’t love everything we did at the time (some things weren’t “fun”), I think it was a great program. I am not currently actively involved in scouting but I have 2 sons that I planned to put in it in a few years. Unfortunately, if things like this continue I’ll have to take another route. I want my boys to grow up to be men…not big babies.

    • Interesting, can’t really see what they actually do from that site though.

  6. There is a growing earth skills and nature connection movement . More from the Tom Brown Jr perspective than BSA, with alot of other influences thrown in . I would say this movement is more decentralizes than BSA. I cannot speak for all ,but The organization I am affiliated with in Athens Ga is community driven and community focused.

  7. Thank you for exploring this subject. I actually was planning on emailing you regarding this topic to see what your view was on it. I have been looking at bpsa and Navigators USA and really liked the traditional scouting that bpsa offered but liked the flexibility of the navigators. I think I will have to look more into the lone wolf program for my son since I don’t feel I have a lot of time to put into running a group right now.

  8. Great show Jack , as a long time scouter the BSA has left a bad taste in my mouth . Right now I’m a asst scoutmaster, at one time I was a asst scoutmaster, cubmaster, , district membership chair, Weblos leader, Venturing adviser and a commissioner all volunteer positions . The problem with the BSA isn’t the volunteers , its the paid staff. As a commissioner I would hear the executive scouter for the council talk about ” the kids come first, if there’s a conflict always rule for the kids , its all about the kids, these are the same people who wouldn’t go after a adult that stole popcorn money , then shut down a pack or troop till the money was paid back. The paid Scouters put the numbers ahead of the kids One thing about the BSA , they have a great group of volunteers that try to run the best program possible for the kids.

  9. I’m also an Eagle Scout. BSA needs to split into traditional scouting and progressive scouting. Call them Red Scouts and Blue Scouts. I’m not sure how otherwise to resolve the tension. Are we supposed to change the Boy
    Scout oath (“morally straight”)?

    • BSA is only going down hill from here, remember it is the IRON law, not the clay law, the organization is too big. Again the Iron Law is,

      “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:

      First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisers in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

      Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

      The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.”

      I have now added The Spirko Cascade

      That is that in the progression explained in Pournelle’s Iron Law there is an event horizon which once crossed is never recovered from. Upon crossing this horizon the culimination of the Iron Law will doubled every 1-2 years and within 10-20 year the organization will literally become fully incapable of seeing to its mission in any meaningful way.

      Groups that have crossed the event horizon in the past 5-10 years…

      Red Cross
      Public Education
      Environmental Protection Agency
      Food and Drug Administration
      American Cancer Society

      The US Federal Government as a whole crossed over about 1936!