"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why Boys Need Scouts and Other "Boy Only" Groups

This just in on boys...
"Boys also need to imagine themselves in heroic situations. When girls are asked about Vimy Ridge, they say, “Whew, it must have been horrific.” When boys are asked, they imagine what they would have done if they’d been there. “Our most powerful assembly is on Remembrance Day,” says Mr. Power. “Every boy is thinking to himself: How would I have measured up?”

Boys long to be part of something bigger than themselves. And the bigger and more challenging the task, the happier they are. “If you tell 10 boys you need volunteers to go downtown and work all night on a big, dirty, tough job, and you still expect them to show up at school the next day, they’ll all jump up and volunteer,” says Ms. Gauthier.
Boys love rituals, trophies and tradition. Those also make them feel part of something bigger than themselves.
But, in the modern world, boys are often treated as a problem. The dominant narrative around difficult boys – at least in the public school system – is that they’re unteachable, unreachable, disruptive and threatening. Many commentators – men as well as women – blame male culture itself for the problems with boys. In their view, what we need to do is destroy the death star of masculinity and all the evil that goes with it. What we need to do is put boys in touch with their emotions and teach them to behave more like girls."
This is one of the reasons boys need organizations like the Boy Scouts of America.  Where else do they get the opportunity to challenge their boyness?  I'm sure you can imagine how worried I was when my boy (then 12) and my husband slept outside in -12 degree weather.  They survived and he came back a different, better kid.  How about the Order of the Arrow ordeal?  I have not idea what it entails, but I'm sure it's tougher than roasting marshmallows over a campfire.  The Boy Scouts of America continue to give boys a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves, enjoy rituals, trophies and traditions.  They also push the boys to step outside their comfort zone.  They also are constantly in service to others.

My Eagle Scout husband continues to amaze me in that he still does "a good turn daily".  Last night at dinner time, he thought he'd dash out quickly to put our garbage to the curb for pickup today.  A truck pulled up in front of our house on our cul de sac street.  An older gentleman, probably in his eighties, was lost and disoriented and asked for help.  My husband skipped dinner and led the man to his destination (in his own car).  He's my hero and that is what Scouts does to a boy.  He makes a man that is willing to skip his dinner and help someone in need.

The Boy Scouts are under fire, as usual.  But here's what I think is beautiful.  Outside normal society (the messed up one that includes many schools that are failing our boys), there are still men that feel this is important.  Eddie, who is 83 this year, realized that is true.  While his boys were in Scouts in the 60's, he realized that what the Boy Scouts offered to boys is something important and he stuck with it for 50 years.  My husband is drawn to it, too, because he sees the war on boys.  Luckily, because of homeschooling, my son is not affected (as much) as his schooled peers.  I say as much, because I had no brothers and this whole "boy" business is so foreign to me.  Thank you, God, for making us different!  However, what has happened?  Why is it that we now cater to women and not men.

Go read the article and go find a way to challenge your boy.  He'll thank you for it.  Society (and his future wife) will, too.