I was a Cub and a Boy Scout. Troop 109, in the mid 1960s. I saw on NBC where the Boy Scouts of today are offering a merit “belt loop”(or whatever they changed the name of a merit badge to) in Video Games.
So before I go and choose-up a game of Major League Baseball or Derek Jeter Baseball on my old Playstation 2, I wanted to point out the pros and cons of this latest update to Scouting tradition, and possibly the end of boyhood as I knew it, here we go:
PRO: “a video games merit accomplishment is riding a trend that is real for the kids of today; Giving more skill in things you like to do; to give a Scout a chance to try out new activities, so that you can find new things you really like…
Con: Increases “tenderfootedness”; Bad for the legacy of Scouting as being something you do out of doors; learning how to tie various knots; camping in tents without electricity (which I think everybody should experience); marching in the Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day parades in uniform with your troop or “den”; showing-off your uniform to the neighborhood; learning how to play an instrument so that you can play it in the parade; the scouting Handbook – which will have to be rewritten with a video gaming chapter right after the “Merit Badge Program Chapter 24” In my handbook.
While talking with my Mum on the tele about her church, she commented about how the congregation has changed with the neighborhood’s demographics, and mentioned how when she brought me to join the Cub Scout troop, the other mothers “took it down to the basement” LOL In other words, they didn’t want to integrate the troop. Being that as it was, and that is a totally different post, it reminded me that the church was the home base for our Scouting troop back in the days , which I had forgotten.
My core says this is yet another example of the “dumbing-down of America”, and maybe a visit to the Merit Badge Counselor (page 421 of my Handbook) is in order.