“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cyberscouting For Boys.

It's easy to make cheap jokes and leftist jibes about the Scout Movement but scouting has provided a vehicle for adventure and a sense of achievement for countless thousands of kids and that can be no bad thing.  Of course Scouting has had to change with the times and may now bear little resemblance to the organisation founded by Baden Powell. The interesting thing is that every time that Scouting goes through an internal crisis about long trousers, politically correct woggles or whatever, it seems to grab the attention of, not only the media, but loads of busybodies such as myself who have nothing whatever to do with Scouting but are not short of an opinion or two about the way that the movement should develop. This week came news that the modern scout is being encouraged to concentrate on developing skills in PR and IT rather than knot tying. I'm not sure that this is such a good idea. The use of cordage, and the ability to tie a secure and appropriate knot, goes back long before the dawn of recorded history. Every time that we denigrate a practical skill and consign it to the dustbin of history, only a short time afterwards it seems to me, we realise the folly of such loss and start launching national initiatives to train young people in these skills.
It may well be that we are close to a world where everything from heart surgery to bricklaying will be done by computers and practical skill are consigned to museums and heritage centres. Maybe that will be for the best, but I doubt it. A cyber society unable to tie it's own shoelaces? No thanks.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

Never had much to do with the scouts, although they always have good jumble sales.Perhaps future scouts will learn how to dock their space-craft before floating off into gravity free space having secured their lines with good old fashioned knots.
I recall the Scouts' Gang Show in the Swansea theatre during the seventies. A large cast of scouts drawing a packed audience of mums, dads, and assorted relatives from the valleys. It must have subsidised productions for the local intelligentsia who seemed to enjoy Tennessee Williams performed by actors who never compromised their Swansea accents: 'See... Blanche now, you gotta go indeed', and 'I have always relied on the kindness of strangers...see'.

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