Getting away from Scouting

I posted a response to a post that my good friend Adam wrote on his blog.  Check out his blog here.  In his post, and many other posts of his and not surprisingly other Scouting bloggers out there is a recurring theme of separation between the “Scouting life” and the “Normal or Family Life”.  That amazes me.
I can not figure out for the life of me why anyone would want to separate the two.  And if in fact you are a Scouter that actually believes in the program that is offered.. well.. you simply can not create a chasm between the two.
Scouting provides a set of rules for life, values that are timeless and all of which makes families stronger.  Scouting introduces skills and interests that move people to explore their lives and the world around them.  Why on earth would I tuck that away and not make that a part of raising children?
Doing our best to live the Scout Oath and Law in our Daily lives provide for the best example of parenting.  That simply is a no brainer.
Does this mean you have to be a stick in the mud?  My goodness I hope not… After all, we do Scouting because we love it, believe in it, and find value in the program.  I am no stick in the mud by any stretch.. but I can have my Scouting cake and eat it too.
So why would we want to go out of our way to separate these two parts of our lives?  Why? 
I went on a hike today with my wife and another couple.  It was a non Troop event.. just the four of us out on the Eagle Creek trail.  I did not wear my uniform or anything else that would identify me as a Scouter.
I yielded the right of way on the trail to climbers and those with animals.. this is something we teach in Scouting.
I carried my ten essentials because it is a smart thing to do.. and had to use the first aid kit on a blister and a minor cut.
I carried my water purification pump.. I wanted to be prepared.
We left no trace and was courteous to other hikers.
All of these things are part of Scouting…. and my life.  There can be no separation.
When my family camps, we have fun, the adults have a few drinks, and relax.. that’s why we camp right?  But we don’t turn off our Scouting values, skills, and practices just because we are not wearing tan shirts.  It is a part of our family and that is how we are raising our kids.. not to run around with a Fleur De Leis tattooed to their forehead.. but to be good people.  Is that not a part of Scouting.
Citizenship, Character, and Fitness.  Goals in Scouting and goals in our family.
“Getting away from Scouting” ???  Why?

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. I agree that if you do believe in Scouting that you will always follow the lessons you learn in the program. But every so often you need a vacation from the role you have in the program. I would not want any of my scouts to see me having an adult beverage on a campout even though it is not a scout outing. So if I wanted to have an adult beverage on a campout I would go to extremes to make sure a scout that knows I am a scoutmaster would not see me. There are also times I need to escape from Tommy Tenderfoot’s mom and Clarence Committee Chairman and devote some quality time with the family away from the scouter role. And just like a vacation from that job that pays the bills I will come back refreshed and a week behind.


  2. Common’ Jerry, you know what this issue is about. We both know scouters out there who spend more time on their scouting “career” than they do with their families. They become workaholics, only they do it with scouting rather than their jobs. And it is fairly easy to do. A guy can start volunteering for unit and district events and pretty soon find that every available moment is spent on scouting. You can plunge in whole heartily into troop meetings and troop camp outs, troop service projects, troop visits to packs and crews, and district events like camporee, fall festival, webelos woods, district merit badge fair, district round table, district committee meetings, district advancement committee meetings, OA monthly meetings, OA service Saturdays once per month, OA conclave, council Philmont crew, Council Jamboree contingent, Unit Commissioner, training team for Intro to outdoor leader skills, instructor for Scoutmaster Specific training, woodbadge instructor, and on and on.

    If you can bring your spouse along to do some of it with you, that is great. But most wives will not see scouting as a “calling”, and will demand that you cut back. My wife is jealous of my time with my troop activities. I could just imagine telling her I want to be a district BSA lifeguard instructor, or a district Weblos to Scout transition commissioner.

    So, the problem is not that you believe in the ideals and values of Scouting. I bet the majority of our society does. But you cannot let scouting take away from a higher calling: your own family.


  3. Allan, (all)
    Yes I agree that we all need a break.. Lord knows that I take my breaks also.
    I suppose there are two points here. I was addressing the point (which by the by was not Adams point) of creating two lives which are separate.
    This is a theme that is floating around in our District in conversation. A point I can not agree with.
    In so far as having a beer or “adult beverage”.. first of all I don’t drink that often.. and when I do have an occassional beer.. I don’t mind if a Scout see’s it. What he is seeing is responsible drinking. A beer at a sporting event or picnic.. Never on a Scouting event obviously.. but I am not afraid to show the Scouts who I am when I am not in a tan shirt. What they see is that I am pretty much the same guy.. they just see it in a different setting.
    I remember how freaked out I used to get when I would bump into a teacher at the mall or a grocery store.. teachers are not supposed to have a life out side of the class room.. at least that was how it felt when I was a young boy.
    These Scouts of ours need to see us in every day life.. and unless we carry those values and live the promise in front of them out side of Scouting they mean nothing in Scouting.
    All of this to say, Allan.. I agree with you.. I also agree with Adam.
    I have friends that do everything that they can to seperate themselves from Scouting… in need of a break, in need of family time, take it.
    Am I an active Scouter..sure.. but nothing comes before or has a higher priority than my family. The beauty is that if you do this right and find a good balance.. you can do it all and have a great life.
    Thanks for the comment.


  4. I used to have 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Facebook accounts and used to keep my LinkedIn profile scout-free. Then, I realized that all that I am is because I am involved in scouting. Call it a vocation or a calling…call it what you will, but I chose the path that I am on now, I am very pleased with making that decision so many years ago to “just sign here”…

    I deleted the personal Twitter account (all 3 followers) and merged my 2 Facebook accounts into one…

    I like to have beers, I have been known to tell an off-color joke, and guess what…I have even sworn a couple times. That is me, and that is what my scouts, my friends, my family and my co-workers see…they see a regular guy, that loves Scouting and at the end of the day, does the right thing, and tries to instill in others to do the same.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s