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#379679 - 12/16/11 07:21 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: pufferfish]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4249
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
My experience of Scouts as an organization was mostly positive BUT my experiences with some of the individual scouts and small groups was very negative. I loved the idealism and values and sense of worth I got from achieving some of the goals and getting badges and even the corny award ceremonies. I benefitted from the skills that I learned and got some self-confidence boosts to bolster my very wounded self-image from things like completing hikes or winter camps. It was also one of the few times i was able to work as a team with other boys on projects and compete at non-sports activities cause i really sucked at anything athletic.

BUT --- there was some bad stuff that happened too. There was bullying and hazing and initiations that sometimes got out of hand. There was some sex play which to some of us was NOT fun. There was not enough responsible moral adult supervision.

When my son was the right age we BOTH joined a cub scout troop and as a leader, I was never alone with a single boy and I never let my son out of my sight with an older boy or another man. I think it was a good experience for him. When he was old enpough for the next step - actual Boy Scouts - there wasn't a convenient troop for him to join near enough so I didn't have to worry about what might happen. Just as well!


How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#379751 - 12/17/11 12:06 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: traveler]
Survivinguy Offline

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Colorado
So I saw this thread when it was first created and I thought - nope nothing to add because I was never in the Scouts. And then it dawned me - I was never in the Scouts because my pedophile of a father would always say his sons weren't allowed into the Scouts because of all the perps in it! Isn't that a laugh!? He's raping me from the time I'm around 5 till I'm 12 or 13 and professing that the Scouts are bad. I'd like to think he didn't want to share me but since he involved me in creating child pornography and sold me into a child-sex ring - that doesn't quite line up either.

And now as a father of two - my sons are in Cub Scouts and I sit in every meeting and attend every outting worrying that there are perps lurking amongst us! Why the hell do I do adopt the bullshit he taught me as truth?

In my mind - there is potential harm in every single organization for kids on the planet (Scouts, youth groups, church groups, athletic groups, you name it) but if you are careful, if you are attentive to whether older kids or adults respect boundaries, if you ensure that your kids know that their bodies are their own - then there's a chance your kids wont be that 1 boy in 6 sexually abused).

I imagine it's possible to avoid letting your kids participate in any organized group what's so ever but then at some point you might be cheating them out of a childhood - just like you were cheated of your own.

My two cents


I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

#379811 - 12/17/11 08:19 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: Survivinguy]
mike13 Offline

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Way to go Survivinguy! Our childern need the opportunity to have fun with their peers outside of the home and scouts can be a good thing but you make the point so well. Scounting is only as good as caring parents make it. A strong culture of parent partisibation can go along way to keeping things safe. Bravo for your courage

#379812 - 12/17/11 08:30 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: mike13]
FormerTexan Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12132
Loc: Denver, CO
Scouts - good or bad experience? Hm. Though life at that time in general was bad, my experience with the Scouts was not that negative. I learned a few things and carried those lessons into adult life. My perspective would likely be very different were there a perp in that part of my life, and I hate that those of you who were abused in the Scouts had that ruined by a perpetrator.

Money talks, but all it tells me is goodbye.

If I could meet myself as a boy...

#379865 - 12/17/11 10:21 PM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: learning2remember]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Just came to me
My Father was a scout leader, and although he is not a pedo, two of his friends were. One was caught and one died before he was caught. When he had passed, my dad told me that he was sad that he had died. My response to him was,"I'm glad, now he cant hurt kids any more." He got so angry, and wanted to smack me.
Again, a highlight in My life where He trusted and believed others before he would listen to me.
I hated Scouts for this reason.

Unfortunately, where you have a group devoted to the betterment of young boys, some sick shit will weasel his way in and stuff it up.

Heal well

Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#379867 - 12/17/11 10:43 PM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: whome]
roninsteve Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Victoria Australia
Scouts was just another way that it was proven that I didn't measure up.
The hazing and bullying stuff wasn't too bad, certainly not as bad as what was happening at school.
Because of the problems with my hands it was painfully obvious that I had failed when everyone else was getting merit badges and I just couldn't do it.

#379870 - 12/17/11 10:53 PM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: roninsteve]
learning2remember Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 403
Loc: Europe
roninsteve--The failure was not yours, it was the leaders who didn't measure up to Scouting. (Ironic that I still love the ideal of scouting, even though my troop didn't match up to it at all.)

"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

#379902 - 12/18/11 05:37 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: learning2remember]
Thebo Offline

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 334
Loc: NYC
I was a Boy Scout. Hated it. Many similar experiences to yours.

#379912 - 12/18/11 12:21 PM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: Thebo]
onlyakid Offline

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1577
Loc: New Jersey
I dont remember much about my experience as a Boy Scout. I don't believe there was any hazing or bullying but I dont think many of the times were happy ones. One memory I do have is of going camping at a BSA camp and not wanting to shower at the community shower. Dont remember if I did or not. Not wanting to is all I do remember. When I told my mom about the abuse before I told her who (she had to drag it out of me, it was my older brother), she thought something happened at Boy Scout camp. Not entirely sure but I believe this was during the summer before my brother abused me. Maybe something happened there, I really dont know. I do know that I never was good at sports or anything that we would have done at Boy Scout meetings.

The Boyscout Camp was located in Forestburg, NY if anyone else went there and remembers that community shower.

"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"

#380790 - 12/27/11 05:46 AM Re: Scouts--good or bad experience? [Re: onlyakid]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

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