Not-Necessarily-Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts have an opportunity, if they can seize it.

For a very long time – decades – the Girl Scouts have been an organization that has pushed a lefty agenda. The women’s movement, all those members of the "sisterhood," tried to be certain that their viewpoint has been the one that guides the malleable minds of all young girls in their formative years.

The proponents of the "women’s movement" are schooled in the methods put forth by radical leftists to promote their philosophy. Saul Alinsky, author of the activist handbook Rules For Radicals, was the guru of the radical leftists of the 70s. He was the subject of Hillary Clinton’s thesis in college, and inspired many of the violent acts of the time.  The women’s movement runs the Girl Scouts in a crypto-middle-of-the-road fashion, concealing their brainwashing efforts as much as possible.

This has all become part of the position that the Girl Scouts has held on issues having to do with the whole litany of liberal social causes that lefty women’s organizations consider their own. These are Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women (NOW), abortion, and many others. These issues have no business in the lives of Brownie Scouts, but are considered de rigueur by women’s organizations.  This is their central point and their means of recruitment

It came to our attention recently that the Boy Scouts, nationally, has affirmed a policy to begin allowing girls to join their organization. There have been several press releases and other tidbits of information which have used the usual generalities as reasons for the recent position that the Boy Scouts has decided to take.

But the Boy Scouts may be attempting to provide young girls with an alternative to all the far-lefty feminist bias. Alas, the Boy Scouts themselves have become a much more "nuanced" organization, and now have made provisions to accommodate many of the aberrations that have become socially acceptable – transgender, homosexuality, etc.

These are often cast as political issues, but really they are social issues. It’s hard to imagine, but perfectly consistent, to be a transgender, post-op Republican - Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner is one of those.

There are signs that the leftist hold that has been maintained on the training of so many of our young people is beginning to crack. The change to allow admission of young girls into the Cub Scouts may be a sign that the decades-long effort to corrupt future women is coming to an end. The Boy Scouts may offer an alternative to the left-liberal doctrinaires of the Girl Scouts; let’s hope that's so, and that it works.

Perespectives of the Past

This writer is an Eagle Scout who achieved that position just before his 14th birthday, which conferred upon him the status of the youngest Boy Scout to be accorded that rank in Memphis, Tennessee as of August 1959. He also obtained a God and Country Award the same year; the Order of the Arrow followed the next year. These are the triumvirate of the apex of achievement in that organization: he was a busy boy!

The point could be made that this writer's viewpoint is a result of conservative brainwashing during the 1950s. The retort would be that it was because of a nationally held opinion that the outlook he holds is one that provides the best results and is consistent with the inclusive philosophy of America's founding documents.

What's more, many of the tenets that he held back then were subject to change as the times revealed better ways – racial relations, for instance.  America is better off today compared to the 1950s, for consigning Jim Crow to the dustbin of history where it belongs.  There is no requirement in conservatism for intolerance of people – only for ideas that fail to pass muster.

A recent review of the requirements for rank attainment and a few merit badges indicates that the seat-of-the-pants, leave-it-to-the-scoutmaster method of advancement and merit badge acquisition has been supplanted by a more structured approach. This follows the natural progression of bureaucracy in any organization, and it is not without its benefits.

The Boy Scouts is an organization that is probably much more consistent these days than it was in time of this writer. This is true of nearly every organization that was in existence back in the day.

What we have lost, though, are those days when children were free of adult concerns. At the time that the Eagle badge was pinned upon this author by his scoutmaster, the adult world was a shrouded mystery to which high school was not even an entrée. There may be some children who can handle adult knowledge and decision making, but the vast majority of them are not ready for those relatively straightforward topics. Then add to that already daunting task the subjects of maturation and sex and the dilemma becomes compounded to the point of near insurmountability.

The fact of modern societies is that the door has been flung open to reveal the horrors of adulthood to children much too young to handle the responsibilities that are imposed by this knowledge. Additionally, the standards of society have slipped. There is much more tolerance for deviation from expected norms in today’s world. In fact, expected norms don’t mean very much anymore.

It’s now more about what you can get away with rather than how you adhere to rules and regulations. This attitude extends to the imposition of societies’ morès; gone is the time when clear-cut rules were obeyed.

Most Americans once agreed that our young should not be indoctrinated in any particular viewpoint. The variety of ideas and the selection of concepts to live by is a hallmark of a liberal (in the classic sense) education.

This is for good reason: children are highly susceptible to propaganda. They have not developed the sophistication to reject bad ideas disguised in appealing terms. Their natural task is to absorb all knowledge without regard to its status: true or not, fantastic or mundane. When a trusted adult figure intentionally adds a value judgment to the equation, it guides a young open mind into blind acceptance without regard to the validity of the position.

This was the foundational basis for the Hitler Youth (the writer is a conservative, therefore this is the de rigueur Hitler reference) and stands as the preferred means of indoctrination of the young into "acceptable" behavior. In today’s world, political correctness is the operative term.

The leadership of the Boy Scouts is aware, certainly, that the Girl Scouts have lefty tendencies and goals. Many women leaders flaunt them.

There have been withdrawals of support from the Boy Scouts by major churches in the recent past (the Mormons for one), and the whole scouting movement, both girl and boy, has suffered reduced membership, as much as 25% since 2010 in the Girl Scouts. That organization has turned into a cookie marketing activity with little else to recommend it.

But both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have become afflicted with political correctness to a degree that was previously unimaginable. Generations of Boy Scouts were far more interested in camping skills like cooking over open fires, hiking through national forests, or observing cedar wax wings or red foxes than in worrying endlessly whether an environmental impact statement was properly filled out. Regardless of their success in recruiting girls into their organization, Boy Scouts face a daunting task in simply maintaining the goals of their organization.

Kids are adaptable, they are ready for just about anything we throw at them. Because they are kids, they do not have the capability that adults do of making the proper selection from a large number of alternatives. And they do not have the philosophical basis for difficult choices.

Kids need standards. These are landmarks to compare themselves to, and a means for knowing that they have made progress. We have an opportunity to offer the next generation a revamped Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts have made themselves irrelevant, and the opportunity is there to teach both boys and girls who are coming of age a lot of things that they will not learn in school.

Boy Scouting has had a long history of doing that. The Boy Scouts has the potential to recover their status as the molder of men, and can add a new capability of molding women, too - if the leadership is sufficiently determined to make that happen over the screams of offended leftists.

Let’s hope that happens.

Thomas Anderson is a multi-state registered architect and an ex-Air Force electronic technician, who is a keen observer of the human condition.  Read other articles by Thomas Anderson or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Great article. This and all other "social justice" movements are made to indoctrinate the young and the ignorant, which is becoming easier due to the lack of objectivity (truth- teaching facts even though one disagrees) in the educational system.
But what if all the boys joined the Girl Scouts and all the girls joined the Boy Scouts? Or just half and half in each organization? I heard the reason is that the Girl Scouts does not have an Eagle Scout program. Well, isn't easier to start that program in the Girl Scouts?
BTW, I used to buy copious quantities of Girl Scout cookies to support them. I gave them away, as I don't eat cookies. However, since they gave up God and womanhood, I no longer support them, even though I see the young, innocent girls trying to sell them.

October 19, 2017 9:14 AM

As a big proponent of the Scouting Movement, I can see there is a lot of misunderstanding out there. Full disclosure - I am an Eagle Scout and I have a son who is an Eagle and another who achieved the Life rank. I have served on Troop Committees. I am a Constitutional Liberatian and mostly conservative in outlook.

First, the Girl Scouts do have an Eagle award equivalent. It is called the Gold Star. It is every bit as coveted, lesser known than the Eagle award.

Second, local organizations, such as a Girl Scout troop, have a high degree of autonomy. They are not political cadres. In fact, most leaders are likely to come from the ranks of mostly conservative moms, many of them are "stay-at-home". They are not the "Women's Liberation Army" and they don't burn their bras at troop meetings. The program does encourage self-empowerment and self-reliance, but in a positive sense. There is nothing wrong with that.

The girls I have met who are or were girl scouts tend to be the kind you hope your son might bring home one day. They are high achievers in the classroom and on the athletic fields. The Girl Scout movement roughly parallels the Boy Scout movement in terms of its appeal. It is most popular with girls until they get a driver's licence, discover boys, athletics and the other aspects of high school just boys discover gasoline, perfume and sports. Today's children have many more distractions and increased pressure to mature earlier. Think video games, travel sports, current television programming and advanced academic courses, in and outside the classroom.

The Boy Scouts have been highly adaptive over the years in recognizing societal change. They admitted women as leaders a long time ago. In the younger branch, the Cub Scouts, you met in the home of a Den Mother. In Boy Scouts the leaders were once exclusively male - a 1950's and earlier concept of the role of the two sexes. For some years now, as many households are single parent, women have been admitted as leaders. There is tremendous training available from the National. You don't have to have earned earned the Silver Beaver award to know that. As sports became a major focus for younger and younger boys, the Varsity program was introduced, largely unsuccessful from my viewpoint. It also allowed girls into the Venture program - the successor to Explorers - the program for high schoolers which recognizes the need for more independence, more challenging outdoor activities, the need to teach young men to better respect women as they are often just as capable as men. I would much rather have my son encounter women on a rafting trip than drinking beer and seeing them as sexual objects in someone's basement. The admittance of women into regular troops is a furtherance of that idea. It is also a subliminal way to perhaps "merge" groups with similar values in the face of declining inerest at both the high school level and in general. The Boy Scouts also introduced the concept of "two-deep leadership", with separate training for both youth and adults as a way to deal with the threats or accusations of sexual abuse. Over time the Movement, like society as a whole, has come to better understand the complexities of human sexuality and realized that it is perhaps not as binary, nor necessarily makes one more susceptible to depravity as once (and still is, in some quarters) thought.

I could go on about the Boy Scouts and perhaps do more research on the Girl Scouts. Instead, I call one the author to cite evidence to support his opinions about the Girl Scouts.

October 19, 2017 11:48 AM

PS : I apologize for the several spelling and grammatical mistakes in my comments. Unfortunately, I accidently submitted them before rereading them and there doesn't seem to be a way to edit them.

Also, I earned my Eagle in May 1968 at age 15 when I saw high school football and girls entering my life, although that didn't stop me from being a camp counselor and going canoeing up in Canada. That year was also the first year Scounting required the Community Service project and when I earned the Atomic Energy merit badge - further proof that Scouting adapts, just like no longer requiring one to learn Morse Code ( I still know it - --- -.. .- -.-- (today)!

And I still buy popcorn from boy scouts and cookies from girl scouts, but only if they approach me and give a sales spiel. Both items have the risk of just being exloiative marketing channels, but can teach young people how to interact with unfamiliar adults.

October 19, 2017 12:03 PM
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