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Re: [at-l] Scouting and Growing Spirit in a Young Boy--Need a White Blaze

My experience isn't with scouting ... but it was informed by its british
traditions through boarding staff who had enjoyed scouting in their youth
in the 30's, 40's, & 50's.  Which is to say, while organized group scouting
can definitely provide an effective opportunity for kids, you need not
depend on such organizations. I've read recently somewhere that scouting
the USofA has undergone a substantial change from its out-door roots, so
that you need to look carefully at past activities and leaders in a group
before getting involved if one of your aims is out door experiences for the
child. I like to take young kids out on the trail on week-ends because I
get such a blast out of seeing the woods through their eyes. I offer one or
two such trips a year to kids I know at church and elsewhere and when I
take my girls, I ask them to invite a friend along.

I got my start at out door hiking/backpacking/camping as a kid at a
boarding school where we did it fairly often growing up, starting in grade
1. Trips became considerably more challenging as we got older. I left it
when I entered a career and when my kids were younger. My daughter asked me
to take her last year to Cumberland Island's backcountry for her 14th
birthday gift from me. We didn't have the gear, but I took her anyway. She
loved it and the trip rekindled my old memories. So now I go whenever I get
the chance.

These are good activities for kids. One warning: you'll want to plan a
"first" trip on an easy route in good weather. Plan one or two "rain dates"
so you don't take him out into something too uncomfortable. Some kids get
turned off if the trip is too difficult, too cold, or too wet. Introduce
them to those joys slowly.

> From: HikingHope@aol.com
> To: at-l@backcountry.net
> Subject: [at-l] Scouting and Growing Spirit in a Young Boy--Need a White
> Date: Monday, August 02, 1999 1:20 PM
> This is a day of great confusion for me.  I do not know which path to
> and I feel that I need to direct my energy (still having some left) where
> can serve best.  
> My grandson is 9 years old and will be in the 4th grade.
> He has never been allowed to participate in clubs, sports, church, or any

> other activities except when he has visited me at my home 2 summers.
> The reason for this is that his parents have never given any sort of
> to such, especially since they both have held jobs most of his life and
> are both "too tired" when they get home. 
> The question I ask primarily has to do with the effect of scouting in the

> growth of so many of you who have been or wannabe AT thru-hikers or
> hikers.  It seems to me that I have read repeated accounts of how hikers
> "the vision" during their hikes as Scouts.  I have also observed on the
> that some have better woods know-how and that often, inquiry brings a 
> response that includes their experiences as Scouts in their youth.
> I am considering closing down my home, where I thought I'd get to be
until my 
> departure date this January, and moving to Virginia to be his "support 
> person" for this school year, hoping that it will help him and hoping
> his parents will enjoy seeing his progress enough to be able to recognize
> second-hand pleasure seeing one's offspring be happy can give.
> I've already cleared the "interfering " thing with the parents.  It's not

> that.  I just wonder if those of you who have had Scouting experiences
> them of that great value in your life today.
> Testimonials, please.
> Kinnickinic
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