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Teaching Kids to Tie Knots

CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
When I was young I was a cub scout. Eventually I moved on through webelos into boy scouts and earned my eagle in 1996. Since then I've thought, now and then, about getting involved in scouting again. I never did for one reason or another, but I'm thinking about it again now.

The thing is, I don't know how or what to expect.

When I was a scout my troop was sponsored by a military base (Troop 89, Ft. Jackson, SC). We met in a quonset hut in the woods near a firing range. We'd go camping every month because it was all woods for a half mile in every direction from our scout hut. We learned to shoot on the base firing range and learned survival skills from career military guys. It is my understanding that this is not the typical scouting experience. Most troops seem to be run out of churches and the past decade or so has seen a lot of controversy around the BSA's stance on homosexuality. I'm an atheist and have little to no tolerance for homophobia and gay-bashing. Would I even be welcome as a volunteer scoutmaster? Would getting involved be anything like the experience I had a boy, or was my troop an extreme outlier? I'd like to teach kids the kinds of useful, real-world skills that I learned; stuff that I've been really grateful down the years for having learned. Is that even an option in most troops?

PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian

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    grouch993grouch993 Both a man and a numberRegistered User regular
    Check with your local troop.

    In all my years in scouting, religion and sexual choice never came up. Mostly because we were tying knots, canoeing, hiking, or some other activity. We did not have special flowers that had to shout their particulars and expect everyone to respect them for it. Mostly because it was no one's business but theirs and we didn't need to hear about it when working on merit badges or performing community services.

    Depending on where you want to volunteer, there were explorer scouts, order of the arrow, boy scouts, webelos, or cub scouts. 4-H might also be an option or one of the big brother/sister programs.

    Steam Profile Origin grouchiy
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    kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    This is something I've been thinking about recently as well, but will probably hold off until have a boy of my own to regularly volunteer.

    I think the experience will depend entirely on the troop. Ours was similar to yours: we had campouts every month (usually each month was a different focus, we had adults with belay authorization, so we went rock climbing, we had a camp out where we biked to the camp grounds, cold weather camp outs, merit badge focus camp outs, spelunking camp outs), we did a yearly High Adventure trip for older scouts (Seabase, Philmont, basically week long trips), and focused on activities.

    What you should do is call your local council branch (I'm Mid America) and tell them your interested in volunteering at a local troop. They should be able to give you the appropriate numbers to call for each troop. Then call up, schedule a meeting and see which troop in your area is the best fit. Or, if you're looking for a challenge, find a troop that could use some help with things like campouts and outdoor skills and try to whip them into shape!

    I mean, if the troop leadership isn't interested, it's not really Scouting, in my opinion at least.

    PSN: the-K-flash
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Do you have kids? Did I overlook it?

    I've also thought about volunteering as a scoutmaster, but I've gotten the vibe that a random guy with no kids isn't really welcome as a scoutmaster.

    Also, your troop was totally weird. My troop refused to learn any sort of knots at all; we basically only excelled in fire building competitions. Also capture the flag.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
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    CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Nope, I am married but childless. Two of the four scoutmasters in my troop as a kid didn't have children, but I suppose that is an angle I ought to consider.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
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    grouch993grouch993 Both a man and a numberRegistered User regular
    I think if you state that you grew up with scouts and think it was one of those "pass it forward" situations that might work.

    Steam Profile Origin grouchiy
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    Your experience sounds a bit more exciting than most. Certainly more than mine and I always believed my experience in boy scouts to be fairly typical. Cub scouts and webelos, we just met at the den leader's house and did fun stuff, but nothing exciting usually. In boy scouts we met weekly at a public school in their gym. We did go camping once a month at various places - sometimes the local scout camp, sometimes at other places that allowed camping. Some were highly commercialized and barely counted as camping, some were out in the middle of nowhere and everything got cooked over open fires, etc. Every 2 (or 3? I forget)years the troop would go on a big one or two week trip like to that big scout ranch out in Nevada, I think it is, or to the boundary waters to canoe around out there. The other years we'd just go spend 1 or 2 weeks at the local scout camp during a big thing where all of the troops in the region gathered there for a week or two at a time. Things like shooting guns and whatnot were usually reserved for the scout camp weeks.

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