Scouting: Fighting for relevance | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Scouting: Fighting for relevance

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 8:10 AM

AT THE JAMBOREE: Boy Scouts assemble.
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • AT THE JAMBOREE: Boy Scouts assemble.

The National Scout Jamboree provides an occasion for the New York Times to review the Boy Scouts, whose numbers have declined sharply. Its exclusionary policies — gay youths, atheists, girls (except at the Explorer level) aren't allowed — give some pause. Its problems with predatory leaders, though relatively small in number, undoubtedly factor into parents' evaluations. I suspect changing times and interests play the biggest role in declining numbers.

I was a Boy Scout. An Eagle Scout even. I pushed my son into trying Scouting, but he was unenthusiastic and I found myself unable to argue the point. In retrospect, I couldn't remember what held me in Scouting so long; maybe lack of anything else to do. I know some true believers, too (at least one of whom is on duty at the jamboree currently.)

I guess I'm kind of conflicted. I'm curious what others might think. It might be that a lack of interest is the dominant theme, which would say a lot.

It's Saturday. Fire away.

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