The adventure, back in the day, started with getting away from home, Mom, and Dad!
Yes our adventures were mostly thrifty, local adventures (hikes, campouts), but we scouts planned them and very often ventured without adults. 300ft? how about 3miles! And we didn't have cellphones; we sent a runner if anyone got hurt. Good lesson, don't get hurt. No earbuds, pay attention (situational awareness), lookout for your buddies.
In another discussion I spoke of the chaos of new scouts. They go crazy on the elixir of independence and run as fast and as far as they can waiting for someone to yell, SSSSTOP! The adventure for them is the distance to those far boundaries of boy run.
Schiff is right, adventure is really a simple thing that we seem to have turned into huge expensive treks that go around the world. Part of the problem is adults today seem to feel that scouts need to go through the right of passage of earning 1st Class. "Then" they can do the fun adventure stuff. I blame that on National's suggestion of "First Class in the First Year" promise.
I remember when our troop was young. We did a day trip to commercial climbing tower in downtown Oklahoma City where the scouts climbed for two hours. Our plan after was to eat pizza at a local restaurant about six blocks away. Without hesitating, the SM told the SPL that the adults would take the cars and meet the scouts at the restaurant. We drove off the SPL was assembling the scouts. The adults met scouts at the same time in front of the door. You would have thought that the talk of the day would have been the Climbing Tower, but it was about hiking the patrols through downtown OKC without any adults.
Making simple independent decisions that impact the lives patrol mates is adventure. Learning from those decisions is adventure. Hey, lets squeeze in a little fishing, hiking, backpacking, canoeing and bike rides in there as well and those scouts are having adventures there friends only dream about.
I had a friend who had been a SM for eight months when he called me one night. He was Wood Badge trained under the old course and would not take any advice on leading his new troop of new scouts. His simple question to me was, "my scouts are bored to death of doing advancement on campouts. What can I do to fix that?".
I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words. I'm not preaching about anti-advancement because I am very pro Eight Methods. But I think we need to train todays new adult leaders that the attraction of scouting is the active participation of new experiences. The simple adventure of hiking the last mile to a campsite at night. How about setting up camp in the dark, the rain or both.
LOL, I remember one ASM laughing at me as I hoped the rain in the distance while we drove to camp would hit us about the time we reached our camp sites. Do you realize how much confidence a boy builds by the simple act of setting up a tent in the rain? And in the Dark? It is amazing to watch. Truly! Their friends can't even imagine it.
Adventure is cooking the first meal with an older scout while he tells jokes. Adventure is chasing a rabbit or standing back as the local camp skunk walks by looking for food scraps. As I gave my SM friend a few suggestions, he was shocked to learn that our scouts have at least a couple hours of free time before preparing for supper. Free time never occurred to him because he never had free time at Wood Badge.
Imagine capture the flag after the campfire in the dark. Ah, adventure.
Some of my favorite adventure moments as a scout were the great discussions over the patrol campfire. As a eleven and twelve year old, I learned a lot about cars, fighter airplanes, girls and movies from those discussions. Funny, I knew most of the key phrases from George C. Scott in his character of Patton before I ever saw the movie. I remember thinking as I watched the movie for the first time that it wasn't as good as how my patrol mates told it. LOL
Adventure is doing something different in their patrol than if they stayed home. It's not as hard as it sounds. How can we explain that to new scout leaders?
I haven't said it in a while, but I love this scouting stuff.
Edited by Eagledad, 21 February 2017 - 10:10 AM.