Publication Date


Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Zeek, Kathy

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)


Department of English


Scouting has been a huge part of my life. I’ve been in the program more years than I have out of it. I am not unique. Scouting has been a huge part of millions of lives for over a century, but times have changed. Throughout the essay I explore questions about what scouting means to me, contrasting the negative experiences that so many others have gone through. Beyond the abuse, scouting has been around a very long time so it may be time to ask: has Scouting been left behind in our developing world or is this society exactly the environment Scouting was made for? Scouting has had declining membership for the past few decades, and some think it should stay that way. They argue we should leave scouting’s cultural predation, power tripping leaders, and antiquated views on sexuality where those views belong, in the past. Others lament scouting’s slow tragic death, arguing its moral instruction is essential for training boys how to live in any time or place. In this essay I wanted to explore how that death affects me as a scout and scouting’s place in the moral makeup of American youth. As a part of this process I compared the historical ideals of scouting and why it was initially supported and then tie that to modern concerns about boyhood. Those concerns are not found only in the parents of children today, but the children themselves. Young people, including children, aren’t happy about it being forced inside either.