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100 Years of Scouting in the USA

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100 Years of Scouting in the USA

Postby SpiderSavage » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:03 pm

From the trails of the Bitterroot Mountains and peaks of North Idaho in the 1970's as a youth to the High Sierra of California as a Scoutmaster, I am now and have always been a member of of the Boy Scouts of America.

I have found that the joy and fun of life is amplified by the number of people around me having a good time. As a Scout leader I serve up huge helpings of fun in our many adventures.

In his slide show Royal Robbins credits his beginnings as an outdoorsman to Scouting.

What is your story?
Last edited by SpiderSavage on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MScholes » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:22 pm

I was big into scouting when I was in my teens. It got me into a lot of outdoor camping, long trips in the back country and helped me develop a good respect for the outdoors in general.

I would probably have continued, as would a lot of my friends had our main scout leader not have a heart attack and pass away while mowing his lawn on a weekend. He really was the driving force - and while the scout group continued, the new leadership was constantly dodging rumours and accusations about "inappropriateness" with certain younger male members.

It was just easier to bow out and do things on our own as a small group of friends. Now, in my location, they have girl guides and I've thought once or twice about maybe starting up a scout group myself and seeing where it goes, as there's certainly some interest, I still may.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:39 pm

Got my outdoor start in Scouting in Washington State. Had a great experience, got Eagle, made great friends, yadda yadda.

When reconnecting with Scouting through my kids -- in the Midwest -- I was stunned that the outdoors isn't important around here. Cub Scouts is about damned pine car derbies. Boy Scouts is about racking up merit badges at the local scout camp, which is the only outdoor destination they visit, and about 30 miles away on the prairie.

There's one Voyager crew about 40 minutes away with a reputation for backpacking, but I finally decided to take the kids out myself instead of trying to make weekly meetings that far away.

A family friend stuck it out and went backpacking once at Philmont before he quit at 17, as Eagle.

I also disapprove of Scouting's policy on gays. But that's a topic for PnP.
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Postby Autoxfil » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:00 pm

There are some great scouting groups, but they seem to be getting rarer. There was never one around me while growing up, although I did find other organizations with outdoors focus: I went winter camping and climbed some of the ADK high peaks with my church, for instance.

A huge amount of my time from 10-16 was spent outdoors with Beard's "An American Boy's Handybook", and in that (antiquated) way the Scouts had a profound impact on me.
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Postby drjohnso1182 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:08 pm

Arthur Digbee wrote:When reconnecting with Scouting through my kids -- in the Midwest -- I was stunned that the outdoors isn't important around here. Cub Scouts is about damned pine car derbies. Boy Scouts is about racking up merit badges at the local scout camp, which is the only outdoor destination they visit, and about 30 miles away on the prairie.

It's too bad you couldn't find a good troop. I got into climbing because of Scouts, and Wisconsin winter nights are still the coldest I've spent outdoors.
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Postby Aaron Johnson » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:18 pm

Thanks to Boy Scouts, I got involved in hiking and climbing (and learning to tie knots). I'm forever indebted. My pack leader would turn out to be the father of my girlfriend in High School. I don't think he ever put two and two together.

When the troop continued on its path and veered away from outdoor exploration, I stayed the course. But I'm forever grateful for this important early influence on my life.
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Postby mrh » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:53 pm

My scouting experience? I was usually in some sort of trouble. :twisted:
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Postby ktnbs » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:24 pm

My dad made a conscious effort to get me, a callow youth, into a well established and very active scout troop in which we both participated for many years. Though we were an outdoor oriented family, the scouting enhanced it much more and with the added feature of interacting with a variety of people and situations I would not have normally associated with or done.
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Postby John Duffield » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:56 pm

wow, is it already the 100th anniversary? I guess I'm getting all my news from SP these days.

haha, when I was in scouting, they had the 50th.

I have to say it got me outside probably more. Nothing like going camping with your friend when you're a kid.
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Postby woodsxc » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:32 am

Joined in 6th grade. Became an Eagle as a junior in high school and got my Bronze Palm as a senior. Thought I was done with Scouts when I graduated from high school, but here I am working as a Council employee during the year and guiding high adventure treks in the summer.

Scouts took me on my first rock climbing trip, my first backpacking trip, and first overnight canoe trip. Did a heck of a lot and grew a heck of a lot in between.
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Postby Mark Doiron » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:57 am

I was a Cub and a Boy Scout. My dad was Cubmaster. Later, I became heavily involved with my own, youngest son. He is an Eagle, and a senior at Oklahoma University. I've served in a variety of positions in Scouting with the troop, venturing crew and district, and have staffed on a number of council-level programs. I'm a Wood Badge Bobwhite, and three beader. I love the wilderness and hiking, and serve as hiking, backpacking and wilderness survival merit badge counselor. I've hiked Philmont and sailed Sea Base. I'm also an avid photographer, and shooting pic's of the boys is one of my favorite topics. I've been honored with a number of special Scouting awards (though never the true epitome of an Eagle!), including two honorable mentions (my son has also received an honorable mention) and the grand prize in Scouting magazine's biennial photo contest, and, just last night, the Silver Beaver. Tomorrow night, we hope to have Scouts, Scouters and families join us for a centennial celebration on the true birthday of the BSA--if only that snow storm will just hold off!

--mark d.
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Postby Bubba Suess » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:05 am

Mark Doiron wrote:just last night, the Silver Beaver.


I wonder if they have the awards dinner for the Silver Beaver on the same night across the country. My folks were at the one for my old council last night.

For my own scouting experience, I would say it has been one of the primary influences on my life. There was a time I wanted to drop out and just play football, but my older brother told me to persevere and I stuck with, made Eagle and have been tremendously thankful ever since. I made a few treks in Philmont, went to two National Jamborees and made countless backpacking trips around California. The most memorable was when we got accosted by pot growers in the Mayacama backcountry.

The Boy Scouts made an indelible stamp on my character and my life. I have continued in scouting as an assistant scout master and I can't wait until my 4 month old son is old enough to be a scout himself!
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Postby mconnell » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:24 pm

Started out in Cub Scouts, was awarded my Eagle a couple days after my 14th birthday, stayed active as a leader and camp counselor until I went into college. Later, was a Cubmaster and Pack Committee Chair, assistant Webelos leader, etc.

Everything I do in the outdoors originated in Scouting. We had a very active troop and did trips all over Colorado, plus other trips to Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Minnesota. We had monthly trips, a week at summer camp every year, plus at least one long (a week or more) trip per year.

The "change of focus away from the outdoors" in Scouting depends on the troop. The troop I worked with in California was very active. So much so, that the Cubmaster's son was pulled from the Troop so he didn't have to spend so much time outside. :?:
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Postby DukeJH » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:49 pm

Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster now. The camping skills I learned as a youth have been invaluable as an adult in both my scouting campiong and mountaineering. Started in Scouting in Austin, TX and took a 10 year hiatus until my son was old enough to joint Cub Scouts. Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster, Cubmaster, and Webelos Den Leader were the roles I played. I take my scouts (a troop of almost 70) to the hills every chance I get. This July we go to Switzerland!
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Postby climberslacker » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:27 pm

Senior patrol leader and Life scout in the midst of my eagle right now, Order of the arrow chapter cheif and vice president of two venturing crews. I have 4 different scout uniforms right now. Yes, scouts has taken over my life. :shock: :shock:

I love it, and i have learned a lot in my 5 years as a scout.

-CS
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