As the parents of multiple home-schooled children we are always looking for ways to get our kids some social activity. With that in mind we had considered Cub Scouts for our two oldest. I had a very positive impression of the organization, and expected lots of fun with campouts and survival skills being taught.
I began to have real issues with the organizations definition of ‘patriotism’. Police were brought in to give speeches on how to be a good citizen, with good citizen defined as ‘somebody who helps the police do their job’. Cops were heroes, firemen were heroes, the military were heroes, virtually anyone who wore a state uniform was lauded for their heroism. The Pledge of Allegiance was a staple in the meetings and there was a constant push towards collectivism and conformity.
I made a command decision, that the organization was teaching dangerous things, and at a high cost, and at the end of the year we would be withdrawing from the program. I cannot recommend the organization to anyone, especially anyone with a penchant for questioning what they are being told. I had endured gut-wrenching meetings for 3 years, and my children had no skills to show for it. However we still have the book, and our family this spring will be returning to the spirit of Scouting and seeing if we can learn some real skills along the way.