Seems that whenever there’s a Democrat in the White House, the Boy Scouts become a target for criticism. A number of voices are joining the unfounded and totally unresearched criticism of the BSA policy against water pistols, to which Retired Spook comments:
|Right wingers tend to drift into two categories: Those who talk about The Revolution, and those who will be a part of it. The thinkers tend to spend a lot of energy in generating hot air about what the New Republic should be like, while the doers tend to not spout off a lot of stuff, but study things like emergency medicine, marksmanship, and survival tactics. For example, the doers know about how to make a garden work when you don’t have access to a Walmart, while the talkers aren’t sure why you would want a garden in the first place.
None of us really want to see a revolution, but if it does come, the doers are gonna be on the winning side, which is more than you can guarantee for the talkers.
The Czar generally agrees, and adds that the Thinkers, as Retired Spook calls them, will likely question the garden while sitting in an air-conditioned Starbucks enjoying the free wi-fi. There are a lot of untested right wingers who have made the intellectual leap toward being good libertarian conservatives, but haven’t invested themselves into the history to find out why we need it to survive as a country.
The Czar thinks the Boy Scouts of America do an excellent job of instilling patriotism and reverence into boys right at the age where they tend to lose respect for both. Find a better program and the Czar will endorse it. He’s looked. There isn’t.
Now, on an entirely different note, FOTG and heavy-hitter Kevin D. Williamson writes that more recent scouting newsthe proposed end of the long-term ban on homosexual leadersmight be a good move or not, but it is certainly being done for the wrong reasons. Williamson attributes the stuttering decision to BSA president (and former Secretary of Defense) Robert Gates’ inability to stop functioning as a DoD bureaucrat. The Czar entirely agrees that Gates seems more interesting in bowing to pressure than in seriously reviewing the policy for its effectiveness.
The reality is that Scouting is seeing a decline in membership. Talk to Boy Scout leaders, as the Czar does, and the reason isn’t their policy on admitting gay leaders. In the many years the Czar has helped out as a parent, the subject doesn’t even come up. The cause of declining membershipabout 2-4% over the last ten yearsis attributed to the lack of support of parents.
Today’s parentsmany of whom are Gen Xersdon’t see the value of scouting other than being a place to drop off the boys for a couple hours a week. The Czar’s boys are involved in a troop that is financially sustainable, growing in members, and boasts a very high morale. Yet the number of parents who stay to attend the meetings or participate in activities? About one or two. That’s it.
Opening the Scouts up to anyone who can properly lead the boys is a good thing. And if parents disagree, then they can get their butts involved tomorrow. No, you don’t need to have a scout in the organization to volunteer. And it’s easy: the Scouts have everything all prepared for you: all you need to do is present it and they do the work. And it’ll cost you nothing if you don’t want to contribute.
As we said, Muscovy enjoys a robust, active group of great guys. However, a neighboring community has a troop that’s just about dead. There are a handful of boys involved there, and they have almost no support. Their parents won’t get involved, and the sole scout leader is about done with trying to do everything himself. Wouldn’t it be great if the parents got involved and spread that load out? It would save that troop.
And if the parents don’t want to get involved, maybe they shouldn’t feign outrage when the BSA considers opening up the leadership positions. There are a lot of gay men who were excellent scouts and who would love to give back all they earned in their scouting experiences.
Look, the point is this: if parents (no matter the age!) got involved in scouting, all of these controversies would immediately end, membership would increase dramatically, and retention would be high. Scouting knows what it needs to do to survive; it’s the parents who seem to want to find other people to blame for a problem they cause.