Saving Boy Scouts (And Everyone Else) From Joy

Rest in peace, possibly, oh ye International Boy Scout Jamboree. As you may recall, readers, England’s excessive new rules require everyone who has ever even BEEN a child (or at least, everyone who may ever come in contact with one) to undergo a pedophilia background check. That being the case, the yearly jamborees that have been a staple of English scouting since the 1920s are now threatened.

Why? Well figure if you get 40,000 scouts together from a whole lot of countries, you need a whole lot of volunteers helping out. And if each of those volunteers needs to undergo a background check approved by Less-Than-Jolly Old England, we are talking about a bureaucratic nightmare.

In fact, we’ve been talking about bureaucratic nightmares alot, haven’t we? A bureaucratic ruling that throws a 6-year-old out of school for bringing a beloved eating utensil to lunch. A town that outlaws Halloween in order to save children from the non-existent danger of poisoned candy. And now a Boy Scout tradition on the rocks because the people who want to make it happen are being bureaucratically disuaded from helping out.

All these rules were ostensibly made to keep children safe. So what are they now safe from? Show and Tell. Trick or Treating. And Boy Scouts.

That’ progress! — Lenore

9 Responses

  1. I shudder to think of what our world will look like in twenty years- when we don’t have a generation of men who were allowed to cultivate their curiosity by playing with fun gadgets because they might be weapons, and didn’t get to store up a healthy sense of fun and adventure or acceptance of people not like themselves. What are these men going to have to pass on to their children? I know girls are getting a lot of grief, too. No selling cookies door-to-door, no leaving cookies for a neighbor as a sweet surprise (2005-, and the list goes on and on. I hope that they will rebel. Instead of tightening the boundaries of childhood even further, maybe they will fling the gates wide open in a generational refusal to accept their parents’ fear. I hope.

  2. I’m afraid all this “keep chidren safe” measures are a poor excuse for being a lazy, coward parent. People are baby proffing their homes so that they don´t have to teach their kids not to play with plugs or poisonous substances. They don´t let their toddlers run around because it is too tiring to pick them up and confort them every time they hurt themselves. They forbid them to “play with knives” because it takes too much time teaching them to handle them safely and watch over them the first 500 times they try. They just cancel outings because it would be too much of a bother to plan in advance what sort of inconviniencies might happen, and teach their kids what to do when faced with new situations.
    And they have the guts to tell us FR parents WE are lazy???

  3. Some people are smartening up: Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do. From TED University 2007.

  4. Tana, thanks for the link to the cookie story. Yeesh, that woman who sued sounds really hateful.

  5. Perhaps the International Boy Scout Jamboree should move to Ireland or some other country. It’s sad to lose a tradition, but there’s no reason to stop kids from experiencing it. Of course, that will probably bring a whole lot more fears to light…

  6. @Tana- thanks for the link. I wouldn’t have believed that could happen… those poor girls got punished for a “random act of kindness”?! Ridiculous. Ridiculous and stupid and mean.

  7. My 11yo is going to Australia next summer for 15 days as a student ambassador and I probably will not even meet her chaperones except at the airport right before she boards the plane. I trust that the organization hires responsible people and that is all I need to know. All this crap with keeping our kids safe really just prevents them from experiencing so much of life. I can’t imagine telling her she can’t have the opportunity to visit another country because I can’t be there to hover over her every move. People need to lighten up.

  8. @Lola…exactly!!!!! Well said!!!!! I couldn’t bear to read about the cookie gift incident. It would probably wreck my day. Heard good news on NPR about Zachary/Boyscout Utensil issue…he just got suspended for a few days or something. I still think that is ridiculous. I would sue the school district!!!

  9. Don’t you need a criminal record check to be a Boy Scout or Girl Guide/Girl Scout leader in the first place? If so, why would you need another one just to attend the Jamboree event? Wouldn’t the background check you got upon signing up to volunteer be sufficient to cover all of the activities that take place in Scouts or Guides? Also, a criminal record check takes around six weeks to complete, so the dates of the Jamboree would have to be finalized at least that long before the event, or else none of the adults could get it done in time to go.

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