What would a modern scouts be like?

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,483
497
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I've spent most of my life avoiding people who like uniforms a bit much and religion and so far I've not been touched up by any strange men so there must be something in that.
Wild horses couldn't have dragged me to the scouts but I would have been interested in doing something more like Forest School I reckon.
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,755
780
Cornwall
The problem nowadays in setting up such an organisation is the competition, kids nowadays have other things to do, in BP's days there was no TV, Internet, schools were basic, and lets face it kids were left alone to develop and use their initiative, and were probably more adventurous, nowadays kids are not even allowed to walk to school by themselves, the military discipline aspect, well it didn't do any harm did it?, it may have learnt kids the value of respect, saluting the flag, well you couldn't do that nowadays because you wouldn't have room for all the different flags.
There are organisations for kids today, the Scouts /Guides/Cubs etc, obviously, the Air Cadets and Army Cadets although the military spect of those may put todays kids off. But again there have to be rules of conduct, to avoid mayhem.

The schools today are hard pressed to teach basic skills to kids, my kids used to go to camp every year in the Lake District with the school, they loved it, but that all stopped about the same time as schools sold the playing fields off..

Then there is the other problem, kids being abused, and the effect this has had on parents who fear for the kids safety, a true shame really as it spoiled things for the kids, and closed a useful avenue in their childhood, the few spoiling it for the masses, it happens in every avenue of life nowadays.

There is a need for an organisation that would help the kids , where they could learn the importance of social skills like looking after the needy, looking after the environment, as well as building their knowledge and capabilities, and giving them confidence in themselves..

If the Organisation was PC (and I think it would have to be PC),and catered for both able and disabled kids, poor and rich kids, white and non-white etc, etc, this surely would teach the kids the importance of diversity, and give them a greater understanding of the world we live in. It would make them more tolerant of peoples weaknesses, and give them the ability to show and understand empathy.
The big trick is to get the kids interested, I mean they can't go out Kayaking every day, in bad weather they cant go out walking, so there has to be a system where even staying indoors their interest is kept at a high level.
 

Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
238
141
Devon
I did cadets in school (I'm in my early 30's), I thoroughly enjoyed it. The military aspect was great fun, we learned some basic camp/bushcraft/survival skills, we did various "military exercises" - even got flown into an "exercise" by helicopter whilst carrying all our gear and the like. I wish I could have done more with it.. I mean, naturally I toyed with the idea of being in the SAS, but figured it was probably easier just to claim I was in it instead... (kidding...)..

I would think the majority of parents these days who actually themselves have an interest in outdoorsy stuff, would accept that there is a risk of injury or death and despite being devastated, would understand that if i's were dotted and t's were crossed then sometimes s**t just happens...and maybe 99% safety is an acceptable level.

But as you guys have pointed out, it's the child abuse/molestation thing that is 100% unacceptable that cripples these organisations if/when it comes out... It doesn't matter whether all steps were taken to prevent it, it's probably the one thing parents will not accept less than 100% reassurance of prevention... And like my above posts, nothing is 100%.

If/when I ever have kids, they'll be forced to be outdoorsy, camping, kayaking, walking, just fun outdoors.. if summer camps are a thing in the future then they're going on them! If not, I'll make our own version..
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,277
1,026
Cumbria
What's interesting is the way most bubble wrapping parents come from areas more likely to have forest schools. Namely nice, well to do areas. Middle class over protective parents but happy with schools teaching them to light fires, whittle and play with bugs.

Our kid's school likes to take kids up into local woods and up the village hill. In fact some days parents have to take their kids up there with everything for the day instead of going to school.

His previous school was in the small town we lived in but it had a very big grounds with so much scope for forest school type activities. They did diddly squat. They even had a very good teacher who was half trained in forest schooling. The head fell out with her and she left/ got finished.

Like with so much of there's a will there is a way. I think there is a will for adventurous groups for kids of all ages. If there was no scouts now there would probably be something started. I like scouts but I think something better could be possible if started in modern times without competition from scouts
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,277
1,026
Cumbria
Merit badges as a record of what the done or learnt? Why not? You honestly think a modern day scouts would be against achievement? Without wanting to get political, I'm afraid to me that's like right wing scaremongering of left whingers non-competitive activities myth. In the majority the teaching profession is more left wing than right wing but I've yet to encounter a school that doesn't glorify achievement but sporting, academic and other.

I think sewing badges onto clothing seems a waste of time considering kids grow. Better I think to use a log book instead. It worked for DofE when I did it as a kid. Obviously an app would be better for these modern times.
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,755
780
Cornwall
If its all inclusive, it would not be fair to award merits, when some of the clan would be unable to gain them, let's say mountaineering, ok for most, but not for somebody paralysed. This is why they have 2 sets of Olympics, Invictus Games, everyone competing on a level playing field.
I know that may seem counter productive, but it is fair, and with kids thats what counts.
(my opinion)
 

ONE

Full Member
Nov 21, 2019
81
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52
N. Ireland
Merit badges as a record of what the done or learnt? Why not? You honestly think a modern day scouts would be against achievement?
I honestly couldn't say otherwise with any certainty. Here in NI there's currently a kerfuffle going on because one of our schools allows the top academic achievers in a year to have their study periods in the library, while the others have to use the study hall. It's discrimination allegedly?

You can put that down to slighted parents, I suppose, but my impression, from speaking to younguns (work related) is that they do indeed feel that a school rewarding academic achievement, in any fashion is wrong. Make of that what you will.
 

Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
238
141
Devon
I mentioned something about my thoughts in another thread but the same is applicable here... It seems every action has a reaction and as such, every reaction has a further reaction...

So we strive for inclusivity in this world, and really why not? Couldn't give a hoot what team you bat for, don't care about your skin colour or which set of private parts the man upstairs allocated to you.. doesn't make a bit of difference to me... However, inclusivity is reaching a point where it *SHOULD* make a difference and I should care... I shouldn't care enough that I can be negative about it, but I should care enough that I actively seek out those that are underrepresented and find ways for them to represent... But not because of their talent, but because inclusivity is so important that we must actively exclude some so that we can actively include others... It's all a little bananas now no? Especially as it's reached a point where no one is overly wrong.. or at least they've all got a good case to argue..
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,277
1,026
Cumbria
Achievements in scouts was always according to interests of the kids together with what the leaders and parents could offer. No kids were made to do anything but other kids would do everything they could and still wanted more. At least in my day but it seemed the same with my sons beavers. They were inclusive with everyone from learning difficulties through to disabled in a wheelchair across the sections. However that didn't stop some doing mountain biking or climbing or archery. Not everyone could do everything but they did what they could. That's still inclusive.

Inclusively isn't about going down to the level of the least able for what? Not upsetting someone who can't achieve everything? Inclusively is about allowing everyone to achieve what they can.

Example is our mainstream schools which have disabled, learning difficulties, dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, etc. Despite that they don't stop bright kids doing a levels because a certain number aren't academically gifted enough to go beyond a few low grade GCSEs. They don't stop sports because most of the school couldn't compete with the first team at football. However they all take part to their level. In an inclusive system.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,277
1,026
Cumbria
Realise it's older than cubs, but I did all mine in the ATC.
I did a few to show i could then my mum took over because I really wasn't interested. Tbh I suspect my mum unpicked and redid my handiwork anyway. And I did have the most badges in my cubs by a few. Coukd have got more but my arm was pretty full of them and I lost interest. I suspect a lot of others were like me in the badge thing.
 

ONE

Full Member
Nov 21, 2019
81
23
52
N. Ireland
I did a few to show i could then my mum took over because I really wasn't interested.
Ahh that's it you see, I wanted to. I wanted to put on my Leading Cadet, My RAF Marksman, My Tapes.

They were mine! I worked for them! Stiitching them on my brassard was a privelige.
 

Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
367
251
Ravenstone, Leicestershire
I think there's some people that this inclusivity is tying everyone's legs together because there's one person in a wheel chair.

From a practical side of life when we get a kid with special needs we have a look at what they CAN do, provide what support we practically can and roll with that, if the other can do more then we don't hold them back. Take for example mountain climbing, we'll find a route for the kid and support them, if we can't physically get to the peak, we'd stop short there and make a quick brew while the other's went on ahead. If we split the group we'd need more leaders but that's not the end of the world, we'll make it happen. When it comes to badges there is flexibility based on ability, the Hill Walking badge needs a minimum distance of 14km per day, If you work that out at a leisurely 3 hours walking then that's what we'd do with the special needs kids. I couldn't care less if they went 14 Km or 4, at the end of the day they put the effort in, had the experience and deserve a reward.

As for over protective parents, our unit is in quite an affluent area and the parents are far from overbearing, we did a hike around the local area at night and one of the teams was half an hour late getting back, the reaction of the parents was "oh well, the kids better scrub up on their map reading" rather than "oh dear, how could you lose my precious little cherub"

As for the Scout movement itself being risk adverse it's not our intention to wrap the kids in cotton wool, when we do a risk assessment the purpose is to look in the crystal ball and think what might go wrong and how to practically reduce the likelihood of it happening, if there is residual risk and there's nothing you can do about it well there you go, that's the risk you have to take on. I send out the risk assessments and activity paperwork to all the parents so they can see that the leaders aren't just cuffing it and they trust us that if something unforeseen happens we'll deal with it. Ultimately I think to myself "If this was my son would I be happy with what's going on?"

Back to the original idea of if we started scouting from scratch, I honestly don't think it would take off, there is so much for the kids to do today that it would be hard to get the critical mass to start a nationwide organisation, you'd end up with regional variations on a theme. Can anyone think of a nationwide youth movement that's started in the last 10 years?
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,655
880
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Wiltshire
I went into my local Games Workshop today...

Oh, I can hear you all saying, "what were you doing there? You havent got your figures painted of 30 years back..."

And guess what? there is a badge in Warhammer now.
 

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