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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Fri Aug 10th, 2012 4:39pm Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

Hello, I'm new here, this is my first entry. Greetings to you all.

I am female, I was a scout for 15 years and I was a leader of a group of girls and boys (yes, mixed :-)). Any official political and religious comment on behalf of the whole Scouts-Association (for the lack of a better word) was not allowed. The Scouts I joined were a registered association with a non-political and non-religious agenda. Church/Religion is for sundays and lunatics, has nothing to do with what we were doing.

There are whatever Scout-associations that are christian. Easily to identify by their names for they put the word "christian" everywhere. Those can also get money from public funds (which I think is wrong) but they have to prove that the money was used for "financing scouting" exclusevly (nobody wants moneybags send to rome).

Concerning the political orientation of the members of the association I joined you can say there was a vivid mix of anarchists (those under age 25), liberals (mostly over age 35) and socialdemocrats (the rest of us), so all politically left.

Obviously there are differences between english and german scouts. The german scouts movement developed differently from others in the whole world. Not what you might think now...though I feel that it is due to German history that german Scout associations are more concerned about getting it politically, religious and gender-wise right...
The first german Scout associations were founded shortly after Baden-Powell invented it in 1907. But there were other movements in Germany that had influence and impact on it. It became a Youth-movement. Today still any Scout association that wants to be taken seriously by the majority of other Scouts in Germany need to define themselves as such. Meaning: when you are 30 - you're TOO OLD! Youth lead by youth. That's the key in it. At least in Germany.

In 1933 all Scout associations were disbanded by the Nazis, the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was founded and everyone was forced into that. In 1945 Scouts were back (at least in the western part of Germany, the Democtratic Republic of Germany -DDR- founded the "Freie Deutsche Jugend" -FDJ- (Free German Youth) and Scouts were forbidden there until 1990 (Reunion of Germany).

You see: from my perspective Mr.Fry might accept the badge for it is never a good idea to alienate the enemy Walk through their system, make them friends, get them to trust you, then they will listen - then you strike hard and let atheism take over...

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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Nitro


Member

Posted Wed Sep 5th, 2012 1:12am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

I'm confused. In one paragraph you say there were members over thirty-five and in another that thirty was 'TOO OLD'. I have to admit, and I'm informed by my American thinking I know, that I don't think 'thirty' when I think 'scout' LOL Still, that was an interesting read and I'm glad you put it up. Danke!

Really? Wow.

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1so-Static


Member

Posted Wed Sep 5th, 2012 10:13pm Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

This is really response back to the very first post

Some people still live in Medieval England and can't move forward.

...aaaaaahhh well.

"Security isn't a dirty word, Blackadder..... CREVICE is a dirty word"
My musical project -- http://www.1so-static.co.uk/

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Frazzy


Member

Posted Sat Sep 8th, 2012 12:19am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

I guess it depends on the country? I was temporarily in scouts.. it cost too much to keep going, and I don't recall a big deal being made about the god thing, my sort-of-not-really-long-story-cousins mum was a scout leader and I don't know that she was specifically atheist, but she certainly wasn't religious, and no one ever talked about religion or lack of..
There was something about being true to whatever god we believed in in the oath thing, but other than that, and no one really gave a crap.. and it's pretty easy to be true to a god that isn't. yay, knots. yay camping on a ridiculously steep hill so we all end up sleeping on top of each other. yay begging fake-cousins mummy to sew my badges on coz my mum won't. yay laughing so hard that extremely hot noodles exit via your nose. good times.
Also other scout groups will HATE you if you get a ride through a paddock of SCARY cows who WILL NOT LET YOU PASS, on a big inter scout group trek and camping thing.
They said 'moo', damn it. how can you argue with that?


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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Fri Sep 14th, 2012 4:50am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

@ Nitro: "Youth led by youth" means that a group of 7-12 year olds are lead by people between ca.16-21 and groups of 12-16 year olds are led by themselves, being of course constantly helped, advised and supervised by people older (16-?).

The association I was a member of (or still am a member of - paying but not attending ) has "planing groups". Members of these panels are between 18-30. Only in rare cases these people are still leading an own group of younger scouts. First of all because they are in fact considered "too old" for "field duty" but also because at the age of 18/19 they finish school and attend university, in most cases that means they have to leave their hometowns.

These planing groups are responsible for "scouting education". In seminars they teach younger scouts (12-15 / 15-17) how to be a responsible leader of a group of younger or same age people. There are lessons in law, peadagogy, first aid and scouting-history / rituals.
A possible way through the organisation is: joining with other girls and boys at the age of 7 (young scout), staying in that group with the same, older leader until you are 12/13, becoming a scout then, visit a seminar that will teach you (in a very, very fun way ) how to lead your own group of same age scouts, then until the age of 15/16 you will learn to organize the weekly meetings, an older scout still being around all the time but handing over responsibilty more and more, at the age of 15/16/17, depending on your own development, you can visit another seminar in which again in a very fun way you learn how to lead a group of young scouts (age of 7-12). When you have to leave to go to university or apprenticing you are for time reasons obviously out of the weekly meeting in the afternoon, including leading a group on your own but you can join a planing group to organize camps or tours that are attendend by every member of the scout association of the federal state you are living in/are in the planing committee of or help organize seminars - these things take place in the holidays and on weekends. It's a lot to do and to be able to organize of some kind of camps and tours you need people older than 18/21 - to sign certain contracts, book flights, rent cars etc.

The concept of the association needs permanent evaluation of it's peadagogy and content in general. There has to be public relations work and fundraising. That's what's done in these planing groups - not leading a small, own group of 10 kids but leading the whole association, being a contact person for every groupleader in your section as well as contact person for public relations! Responsibility / competences are sectored in federal states, each federal state has planing groups for "scouts between 7-12", "scouts between 12-16" and "ranger&rover (16-?)" because every age group has different needs.
And there are chairmen. And these people are always over 25, most times doing it for a longer period, some of them are 35. The chairman of the whole association is 39 :-). Don't forget that scout associations are almost always registered associations and need to satisfy legal obligations. These people are scouts who are not involved in the everyday scouting but responsible for financial and legal affairs of the association.

As I already wrote I'm still a member of my scout association but not active anymore. There is the saying "once a scout, always a scout". It's different from any other hobby you can pick up as a young person. It is not the everyday sportsclub you join, it's not just something you do then come home from and forget about. You spent a great deal of time with you fellow scouts, who eventually become your clostest friends. You are away from home and your parents earlier and way more often than other kids you age, you take over responsibility for other people at a young age. Having spent three weeks in Pakistan once and having lost half our equipment on day 9 due to a massive cloudburst and following flood I think it's a fair statement that situations you have to overcome and learn to master are not the average problem that you'd propably have if you'd join a rowing team for example.

I was in a planing group responsible for all scouts between 7-12 and their groupleaders in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg & Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (three federal states of Germany). When I was 22, a student at university, I was home on 7 weekends. The rest (45 weekends) I spent on the road, giving seminars, supervising camps, tours, organizing and supervising one great journey to Estonia and of course - touring with my same age fellow scouts.

I was privileged, I know that, because Frazzy is right: it's damn expensive. But it made me what I am today, so it was money well spent
I'm 28 but I know already that when I turn 35 I will still refer to myselve as a scout! It's in my blood and it's actually one of the few things I'm proud of because it does not just happen: you have to really want it and do and give a lot in order to achieve this feeling about yourself.

There are whatever guilds of older scouts (30-???) who are still traveling together and are active in other ways. But they don't lead the actual groups of kids or teenagers. I'm not in one of these guilds and I don't think I'll ever be - I'm a scout at heart.

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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Pookah


Member

Posted Thu Oct 4th, 2012 9:39am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

I've never really spent so much time thinking about the scouting movement before - all those shorts and toggles.

I was asked to leave the Brownies (sort of prep group for girl guides) because I objected to having to pull down the sock I had just darned so that it could be used again. I can't remember if there was a 'sock-darning badge' but I can remember how embarrassed my mother was by my bad behaviour.

No doubt that was why I emigrated

Shell


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FrysTheLimit


Member

Posted Tue Oct 30th, 2012 8:02pm Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

I've just read this with interest re atheism being an issue in Scouting.
It certainly is in my neck of the woods.
In 'forward thinking' England a couple of years ago our Troup lost a seriously good potential Scout leader simply because he was a Darwinist. Now, as an ex-soldier, he was willing to promise allegiance to Queen and Country but not 'God and the Queen' as stated in the Scout promise.
This issue (there should never have been one as this guy had such a lot to offer the Scouts) went through the heirarchy to our District and then to our County levels where it was decreed that as he wouldn't promise to God, he couldn't become a Scout leader.
A great loss to all of us in Scouting.

Incidently, the powers that be umm'd and ahh'd over my beliefs, or rather what I don't believe in, for a while before they 'graciously' let me become a Scout leader.

They were alos happy to let several complete arseh*les become leader simply because they said they believe in God.

On a happy note, the Darwinist ex-soldier is now a leader of a very successful Air Cadets Unit.
Air Cadets - 1, Scouts - 0

"You don’t sit down and write a wish list about the person you are going to fall violently in love with. It just doesn’t work like that." - Stephen Fry

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Frazzy


Member

Posted Sun Nov 4th, 2012 3:13am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

It's so sad, surely any worthy god would prefer people just get on with all the good teaching kids stuff and building confidence and all the awesome stuff, and not worry so much about who believes in what.. it's not as if anyone's trying to become an atheist pope.


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Martin Benson


Member

Posted Thu Nov 29th, 2012 10:45am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

Well, what can I say???

I recently watched a BRILLIANT public presentation by the Master of a lodge about opposition to Masonry and particularly in relation to 'conspiracy theories'.

The speaker used a superb expression to describe those people, who in spite of the evidence, still insist on claiming that there is something to freemasonry that simply isn't there.

He called them 'The Moon Howlers'.

These are the people who believe that everyone (except them) is a Mason who is trying to take over the world. One of the best 'Moon Howler' claims is that a certain T Blair is 'on the square'. Now, I am particularly interested in this one because the date place and time they say he became a Mason was exactly the same time, date and place that I became a Mason and as far as I can remember, I was the only one rolling his trouser leg up on that day!.

But then, i did become a Mason at the home of the 'supreme council of the 33rd Degree' - now there's an organisation that gets the moon howlers really howling!

P.S. the other day I met a husband and wife and BOTH were masons! How do you work that one out!


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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Dec 27th, 2012 1:50am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

Martin, I take some exception to the chaps insistence on being as 'anti' as the anti's. One could say,"Ah, typical Mason. Rather than ACTUALLY addressing the specific points of their critics, (nevermind the rabid 'theorists'), let's just mock them and their characters."

Which, in my experience, would be EXACTLY the behavior of a 'good' Mason.

Not all critics of the Masons are conspiracy theorists, sorry. Good try though.

Also, women do NOT become masons. EVER. There IS an organization called 'Daughters of the Eastern Star' but they are NOT recognized as Freemason's. They are an indirect child association made specifically to keep the wives mouths shut up about the men's private meetings. Sometimes, women/wives ARE allowed to attend the Lodges, but they are NOT the number one priority of any Freemason. Homosexuals, who by nature are in 'opposition to nature' and so in their guidelines, that of man/woman marriage, may not become Freemasons. End of story. Are there probably closeted dudes? Uh, yeah. That's anywhere. We're talking about what Masons believe, what their ideologies demand etc.

To attack the critic instead of the criticism, or actual facts, is diversion, not discussion.

Really? Wow.

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aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 12:46am Post subject: Scouts and Atheism

Martin Benson,

The term "moon howler" is interesting to me.

One of my side projects is to serve as an expert on wolves, with a specific focus on wolf reintroduction and wolves in folklore, for wolf sanctuaries and a wolf organization.

What element of a wolf are you trying to evoke by using that term?

As it relates to the actual topic at hand in this thread...

The Scouts organization was something I participated in for a very short time during my childhood. It was every possible worst experience you can imagine and I look back now and feel I lived in a cliche.

Masons, Templars, Illuminati, they make good fiction. Being a member of a gang is a good thing for overall survivability and prosperity. Just ask fish in their school, or gazelle in their herd. Humans are just animals, we like gangs too... the Masons are just another gang. Who really cares what the entry requirements and restrictions are? Don't like it, join a different gang. I think being an illuminati would be a blast - supposedly full of scientist folks!


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