A walking staff stabs the ground for support, cresting the ridge and looking out over the valley from the mountain's peak.
A reflection of our face in the glass display as we loom close to the museum artifact.
The glow of wonder as we peer into the unknown.
Adventure! From white water rafting and digging up treasures to climbing ranges and hiking overgrown trails. It is the stuff of legend, a training ground for exploration. The truth, and everything else in the universe is out there, you just have to go and find it.
The Boy Scouts were founded on it. The hungered for it.
Lord Baden Powell was asked to write an army manual for the Brits and he did. Later, he wrote a latter to the publisher to see how sales were going. "A curious thing," They wrote back. "We're sold out and we'd like to do a second edition. We made enough for the army, but someone else is also buying them up."
Turns out that someone were boys.
They looked for structure, adventure, how to live off the land, survive. They were cobbling uniforms together and having the time of their lives. Powell then organized them and showed them how to get things done. Started them on the path to wonder and discovery.
And they did.
Now, a hundred years later, it flounders in mediocrity and quotidian, terrified to draw outside the lines. The drown in broken bureaucracy and strangle themselves in clauses of Catch 22.
"Captain? Why do you have that wheel on your pants?"
"Ah! It's driving me nuts!"
Boy Scouts want Ventures. They invite us to camp and promise us classes and training. When we get there it's nothing. Same routine for the Boy Scouts except now we call it Venturing. Seriously. They said we'd have a venture crew weekend at camp with a Beach Party! They then took the same meal the cub scouts were eating at the chow hall and brought it down to the water front. Ooooh! Enjoy the party!
Come on guys! How about a radio? A Funichello look a like contest. Limbo? Virgin Pina-Colatas and burgers? No, they served cold noodles with tomato sauce and chocolate cake. Really?
So, I go to sign up for summer camp and the director says, "Well, you can just use the website. Here, I'll do it for you." His face sags with confusion. "Huh, it just goes to a dead end."
Yeah, news flash, chief. Camp is 2 weeks away and there is zero info on the web. I sent four e-mails to council and all I got was you telling me to use the web site.
He did prove to be helpful, as all good scouts are. But that brings me to my point.
We have been circumventing the system so long that we don't know the system any more. It is natural for everyone to just go around everything that the system is broken at best.
I don't have the time to fix it. We have great people who are working hard but the Boy Scouts as an organization is doing little if anything to hold up their end of the bargain. We're all doing it for the youth, but if the Scouts don't get their act together, there won't be a bi-centenial.