Skip to comments.Raising Men: 100 Years of the Boy Scouts of America
Posted on 11/28/2010 2:13:18 PM PST by NYer
"On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
These are the words of the Boy Scout oath. Recited at scout meetings across the nation, every week for the past 100 years, this is an important moment when boys aged 10 to 13 raise their right hands and promise to serve both God and country. I was a scout myself and believe that the Boy Scouts is the only place where young men can practice becoming adults.
The Boy Scouts of America teach independence, self-reliance, and teamwork -- all while having fun. If a young man chooses to do so, he can rise up through the ranks, along the way learning principles that he can apply throughout his life. He may not be good enough to play in a sport (beyond sitting on the bench), but as a scout he is part of a team, and he contributes to everyone's success.
The first time I brushed my teeth without being told to do so by my mother was at scout camp. I was eleven years old. The senior patrol leader was Richie Crocco, a big 16-year-old guy who shaved. Everyone knew you didn't mess with Richie. He woke the whole troop up at 6:30 a.m. to march us down to the latrine so we could wash up, brush our teeth, and comb our hair in time to return for morning flag raising 15 minutes later. Everybody went to latrine, no questions asked. When I saw Richie drag a kid out of his bunk and leave him in the middle of the campsite, I felt the fear of God.
God bless Richie Crocco. After six days, I had learned the routine, and when I returned home from camp, my mother was amazed at my new habits. She never had to tell me again to brush my teeth.
There aren't many places where good character is ingrained in a young man. In addition to the scout oath, which we said at every meeting, we also recited the scout law: "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."
Once during a motivational talk to a crowd of about 250, I was asked, "What do you look for in a salesman?" Without realizing it, I started to say, "I look for a person who is trustworthy, loyal, helpful . . ." Some wise guy in the front row cracked, "What are you looking for? A Boy Scout?" I looked at him squarely and replied, "Why would you settle for anyone else to represent your company?"
We should all aspire to keep the promises made in the scout oath. Having salespeople who exemplify these qualities would bring any business owner peace of mind because those in sales are the face of the company. They are out in the field day after day representing the organization.
Another great thing happens in Boy Scouts. Before a youth advances in rank -- completing the qualifications to move up from Tenderfoot to Second Class, then First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle -- he has to sit down with the head of the troop committee and the scout master or assistant scout master and have what used to be called a Board of Review. (Today it's known as a Personal Growth and Development Conference, but I prefer "Board of Review" because it sounds less intimidating.) The benefit of this evaluation is that the boy is asked, "Since the last time you advanced, how have you lived up to the scout oath and all the principles in the scout law?" He actually has to reflect upon the promises he has made week after week as a scout and then evaluate whether he has lived up to those promises.
The demand of such self-examination at so young an age is rare in this culture. Nowadays, no one is told he has failed; no one is asked to look in the mirror and find himself wanting. Success in the Boy Scouts means that, at every step along the way to the rank of Eagle Scout, a young man has to answer the question, "Am I doing the job?"
Three cheers and congratulations to the Boy Scouts of America on 100 years of helping to raise our young men into adulthood. And thanks, too, to the countless good men who dedicate their time and resources to help train the future fathers and leaders of America.
I was a scout, the best thing that happened to me back then.
What a shame that the American progressives/lefties have rendered the Scouts as meaningless in our nation today. Most people I know think it’s an archaic, bygone thing. Too bad. We need institutions like this.
The scout oath, that’s right up there with a cross or bible to the vampire left. Everything good is bad and wholesome is corrupt.
One of my grandchildren is in the last stages of earning his badge as an Eagle Scout, and his younger brother is doing well, too. I wish all my grandchildren were involved in scouting.
“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
If you say your prayers every morning before starting your day, you could do worse than to include this, no matter how old you are.
And I have had the pleasure of watching boys from my dens and troops grow to be succesful men in their own right. One even owns a house right across the street that isn't in danger of foreclosure.
>>What a shame that the American progressives/lefties have rendered the Scouts as meaningless in our nation today.
The troops that serve a “Eagle Factories” have done more to damage scouting than the liberals. The ones that boast “we’ll make your son an Eagle in x years” have lost the point of the whole thing. The author of this article understands when he says that a boy can advance in rank and responsibility or just be a part of the team. Either way, the boy is learning to be man, especially the part about how you have to work for what you want and be content with what you’ve earned.
These “Eagle Factories” sound like the companies that get people to the top of Everest, even if they have to carry them on the back of a Sherpa guide.
I spent three years in The Boy Scouts, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned a lot from it.
I couldn’t disagree with you more. I live in a heavily immigrant community. Roughly 80% of my neighbors are either Indian or Asian. These are people who haven’t grown up with Scouts as an institution. Yet we have a large number of scouts in our area. I’m the scout master for one such unit. We have every major world religion represented in the troop. All of these boys are learning leadership, responsibility, and citizenship. Their parents agree that these are things worth learning.
So scouting is considered relevant in my neighborhood!
(note the handshake...:)
The recent legal actions against the BS, the lack of support by a President and many other politicians as well as government agencies turning their back on the BS’s is very revealing about our society.
What they stand for hasn’t changed in 100 years, and what is happening with the BS in this country in reality is nothing more than another indicator of a society that is turning its back on morals, where men are emasculated, where there is a complete disconnect between people and nature (although the modern metro-sexual urban type wants to claim to be “natural, organic, sustainable, regenerative, green, holistic, and recycles”). Hedonism rules in a complete absence of duty, patriotism or honor. What the BS’s stands for is best captured in a Norman Rockwell painting, but of course even his art today is minimized and forgotten while we champion Robert Mapplethorpe or even use tax dollars to pay for a “Piss Christ.”
The BS’s stand for something that has little value to most nowadays and frankly some can’t even understand it, fear or are offended by the very values they hold on too. To people who were raised believing in a divided America based on race, national origin, religion and where the concept of the melting pot and fairness has been replaced with socialist egalitarianism even if it means being unfair to achieve the equal outcome, (affirmative action, hate crime laws) the basic philosophy of the BS’s is scary or offensive. The BS’s exist as a smaller subculture that is actually a portal to America’s past when it was growing in influence/power and prestige, a time when America looked to go higher, faster, further, deeper and personal culpability/responsibility ruled. It was a time where honor meant something and where ones integrity was vital in politics, business or even within the community. Today a Charles Rangle will go home and even though he’s a crook, his constituents will vote for him....... what does integrity or honor really mean today, in the age where a President purgers himself and argues the meaning of the word “is?” Today we are in a relative and secular world where it’s even considered cultured and intellectual to denounce God, to be self centered, sexually hyperactive and there in not even a concept of honor, integrity, duty, loyalty, patriotism...... Where family means as little as country and God they are the few, the type that still “cling to their guns and religion” and this is simply something that many in this country are turning their back on.
As with the views of many that marriage is superfluous, the divorce rates, the gay agenda, the falling rates of people who attend churches, the intentional childless couples, the difficulty of recruiters getting young men to join, the near complete lack of God or patriotism or family in modern art may it be paintings, sculpture, poetry, the Michael Moors and the millions like him that think they are smart, cool, and tough for actually being weak cowards............ To this society the BS’s is a joke, a bunch of irresponsible idiots that believe in God, might show a kid a rifle, that are close minded because of their views on gays........ The attacks on the BS’s is just an indicator among many within a society that has completely replaced its values and changed its perspectives. -IMHO
They haven’t rendered them meaningless, but it isn’t for lack of trying on their part...
Where do you find this?
In the middle of what is likely the most liberal county in the country (Alameda) I have a scout troop that had 5 eagles this year. We had 2 last year, and 6 the year before. Everyone of these boys earned the right to be called Eagle. The youngest turned 17 the day AFTER his board of review. Most seem to wait till the month of their 18th birthday to finish it. (Even with scouting - they procrastinate.) My son isn’t any different. He just got approval to do his Eagle project and he still has 2 merit badges to earn. He’s 18 in 6 months.
The point is that I just haven’t seen it here. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen - just not here.
Let me take a guess-
You served in the military?
There is only one thing better in Scouting that being an Eagle Scout. That is being Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 152, New River District, Blue Ridge Mountain Council, BSA.
I did when I got out of high school, and my dad served for 30 years...
I was a military brat at the time...:)
LOL, those glasses I had to wear my whole life (until I could buy my own) made it pretty darn easy to stay “morally straight”, at least when it came to the girls...:)
Cheltenham, MD...about a mile from Andrews AFB at NAVCOMMSTA Washington, DC.
Now, it is a Department of Homeland Security CounterTerrorism Facility.
Very cool. For Scouts to have a Freeper as an assistant Scoutmaster can only be a positive thing! I’ll bet you have a great troop...
He’s not the only one.
Sadly my troop has folded up and blown away. Just not enough kids to keep it running.
That, and the latest changes to the program up there did it in.
Sorry to hear that. I know that even back then, we spent a fair amount of time fundraising, and now...I can only imagine how much money and time it must take to run a troop.
Not to mention changes to the program that make it even harder.
The boys were great. The higher ups had all these progressive ideas.
The board actually voted to leave the last year I worked with them, we had 100 percent support from the families and from the kids.
The consequences meant that we were severed from the rest of the pipeline, and we knew it meant that when the last were finished, that was it for the program.
But they did have a blast that last year. So I still think it was worth it. The choice wasn’t whether it would live or die, but how you would go out.
I was a Scout for 5 years. I gained a lot from the experience too even if things didn’t end well.
Bears repeating, my FRiend...bears repeating. Sounds like you can look in the mirror every day...
Eh, that year was the most epic scouting year we ever had. So I have no regrets.
The entire city now only has one troop, and even that troop has maybe 5 kids. They used to have close to a thousand kids back in my day, and I’m not that old. It was a shocker. I know all the leaders, who were old friends of mine, but they chose to tow the line.
They asked me if I was interested in taking up the stick again, and I asked them about the regulations. They apparently have turned the dial up to 11.
Their argument is that “kids have more options than they did”. Blind as blind can be. Sure, there are fewer kids now, but the demand is still there.
We weren’t angels or model kids. But we got a gift from scouting that might have been invisible to us at the time, but I bet most, like me, see it now.
It is the gift of knowing how to accomplish things. Whether it is building a fire in the rain, teaming up with a bunch of guys to design a travois to carry all your gear several miles to the campsite, or doing a mile swim, you learned that you COULD accomplish something if you tried and gave it your best shot.
You didn’t always succeed. When we made our travois, it was a darned disaster. The wood was too heavy and already somewhat rotted, and as we dragged, over time, it just wore down and disintegrated. But we tried...it was a requirement for a jamboree we went to, and we didn’t know in advance what the challenge was going to be. So, we had to put our heads together, think of the best way to do it, and execute it. In this case we failed. But I know for a fact that if I were in a position today to have to do something like that, I could do it successfully because I failed at it once before, using my own ideas and those of others as part of a team.
(Interestingly, I saw a television program on the selection process for special forces training, and they had them do the same kind of thing, though much more advanced and a LOT harder. They gave them a full 55 gallon drum, and their team objective was to use the tools given to design (as a team) a way to transport that drum to the destination fifteen miles away in a specified time frame...their task was a LOT harder than ours, but the concept was similar. We only had to go a few miles, maybe two or three)
Proud Mom of two Eagle Scouts. The best thing I ever did for them was support them in Scouts. Loved being part of watching them and the other boys in the Troop grow into fine young men with their heads on straight.
I attended my first Eagle Scout Court of Honor yesterday. I have two boys in Scouts - one is a Wolf and the other a second year Webelo. They assisted in the ceremony with the honor guard as well as lighting of candles during the Spirit of Scouting Ceremony. I was honored that we were invited and that my boys were asked to participate. Scouting has been a wonderful asset to our family.
There always seems to be more options for succeeding generations, but I do believe that the basics don't change. Self-reliance is an option that will never go out of style.
Congratulations to you when you look at the list of successful men who were Eagle Scouts, you have to believe that it is a valuable contribution to the growth of your son.
My oldest has wanted Eagle ever since he started Scouting in first grade. Yesterday’s ceremony affirmed his determination. My husband and I both do all we can to support our boys in Scouts. Congratulations on raising two fine men!
That’s my thought as well.
But you have to experiment and stick with the experiment, no matter what happens. That’s after all the scientific method. ;)
It couldn’t be that the wise ones had something *right*.
I know troops that will make your son an Eagle in 30 months. They have merit badge workshops each month where every boy earns the same badge as a group activity. They have 14 year old Eagles serving as Assistant Patrol Leaders because they are so top-heavy.
A troop like yours that matures a boy as he rises in rank is a good troop. In the Eagle Factories, a boy that makes Eagle at age 17 is rare because the 17 year olds have been Eagles for a long time.
If you talk to the Scoutmasters of these troops, they are very proud of “their” accomplishment but it is pretty obvious that Eagle is just a participation trophy to these guys, and the parents are happy because to them, Eagle is just another ticket to be punched on the way to declaring their son’s well-ordered childhood a success.
Eagle factories produce inferior products. There is little quality control that can stand the wrath of an irate pushy mother
The resume is all that matters, not the quality of the entries
I’m glad to hear that. Perhaps my perception is skewed since I live in such a heavily democrat area. After years of the ACLU & media attacking the Scouts, painting them as “homophobes” etc I don’t know anyone with a son in the Scouts or who really even gives them a second thought. Very sad. I work in a children’s hospital & most of the kids I meet are couch potatoes who are addicted to their computers & video games. I shudder to think of what the country will be like when these kids are running the show
My father, WWII veteran and COL, USA (ret.), was a Scoutmaster, and my mother was a Cub Scout Den Mother. All three brothers in Scouting, and we all went to Service academies.
One of my regrets is not making Eagle Scout; my middle brother did, and after military service eventually became a multimillionaire entrepreneur and retired at 50. Large percentage of astronauts and other successful people attained Eagle rank.
My hero Roy Rogers also had some good rules by which boys and girls should live.
Roy Rogers Riders Club Rules
1. Be neat and clean.
2. Be courteous and polite.
3. Always obey your parents.
4. Protect the weak and help them.
5. Be brave but never take chances
6. Study hard and learn all you can.
7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
10. Always respect our flag and our country.
Once DADT falls, the left will focus like a laser beam on scouting.
I just moved to a new state. Some of us are trying to start a new troop. I’ll be Scoutmaster. I’ve been an ASM for several years, but I’m a litle nervous.
“LOL...I am the one with the BCEG device on my face (birth control eye glass)”
Very cool, thank you for the picture.
LOL I thought some of you might get a kick out of it groan how I hated those eyeglasses.
Gotta brag. Two sons, two Eagles. One a midnight Eagle. I have had the honor of serving as a Committee Member, Chair, and Scout Master. By no means am I bragging about myself. As I said, my privilege.
Trail the Eagle,
Trail the Eagle,
Climbing all the time.
First the Star and then the Life,
Will on your bosom shine.
Blaze the trail and we will follow,
Hark the Eagles’ call;
On, brothers, on Until we’re Eagles all.
Scoutmaster isn’t supposed to do anything but encourage. That’s the secret
I’m shocked, a BS that joined the military, I would have never expected that one. lol
There is the way Hollywood and the news media wishes and pretends the world were, and then there is the way it really is. In reality certain ways of thinking create certain predictable outcomes. While they’re not 100%, there are trends and statistical facts that allow one to create fairly logical deductive arguments (albeit the liberals will call this generalizing and prejudicial since it’s not in their favor- when it’s in their favor it’s OK).
Let me guess- married, kids, either in a profession or vocation but in either case a productive member of society, possibly divorced (but not proud of it), no real issues with the law, most likely a church going person (but not proud or considering himself intellectual superior over those that do if not), even if poor the living conditions are OK because of self initiative to make the best with what one has............. But we don’t want to be close minded and prejudicial, because we all know the message of hip hop is a positive one and the outcomes of those that want to follow the foot steps of TuPac are equally positive.
It’s culture that makes wealth, not wealth that makes culture. The BS teach a certain culture. Follow that blue print and the likelihood of a successful outcome goes up exponentially.
Don’t follow that blue print and the likelihood of failure, crime or disease goes up exponentially: http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/ngmHAAD2010PressRelease.html (But that’s very close minded of me)