On Wednesday, former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe answered a social media follower’s question on his Facebook page, as he frequently does. A woman named Sharon Freeman wanted to hear Rowe’s thoughts on what she described as “the tragic death of the Boy Scouts of America,” an organization which recently opened their enrollment to females and upgraded to a new politically-correct name: “Scouts BSA.”
“I’m curious as to your opinion on the tragic death of the Boy Scouts of America?! I have several cousins that are Eagle Scouts, and I know that you are one also, so I feel you have somewhat of a vested interest in this matter. I didn’t have a problem with entire families going on Boy Scout camping trips, but to force them to become co-ed…I think that’s sad,” wrote Freeman.
Rowe’s thoughtful reply noted the massive drop in membership within the 108-year-old organization and suggested this was caused by the group clinging lifelessly to “inclusion” while lacking relevance. To be a vital service to our youth, as they were to him as a child, explained Rowe, the Boy Scouts must stand firmly in opposition to so-called “safe space” culture.
“If the Boy Scouts want to attract a new generation of members, they’ll need to stand for something more than inclusion. Because being inclusive doesn’t make you relevant,” he stated.
“In Troop 16, merit badges reflected merit. There was a boxing ring where differences were often settled, monthly camping trips, frequent visits to the shooting range, weekly fitness tests, poetry readings from memory, and many other activities tailor-made to pull every kid out of his particular comfort zone,” he fondly recalled.
The host said the inclusion of trans troops and past sex scandals were likely contributing factors to the steep decline in enrollment numbers, but had a different general diagnosis (emphasis added):
“In my opinion, this kind of attrition can only [be] explained by an increasing lack of relevance, or, the perception of irrelevance,” he wrote. “Right now, there’s a perception that The Boy Scouts have gone soft. That’s the real tragedy, Sharon, because I can’t think of anything more needed in our country today, than a youth organization that offers kids the same experience I underwent in the basement of Kenwood Church. Why? Because our country’s current obsession with ‘safe spaces’ is destroying character faster than the Boy Scouts of today can build it. … I also know the ‘safe space movement’ is real, and I can think of no better way to push back than to expose more kids to the brand of Scouting that I was lucky enough to encounter four decades ago.”
“If by some miracle, the dynamic I experienced in Troop 16 were available to everyone today — if Scouting could somehow recapture that combination of risk and wonder and pride and personal accountability — I believe their ranks would swell with the sons and daughters of millions of anxious parents, desperate to expose their kids to a program that prepares them for the real world,” he added.
If Rowe were in charge, he’d “take a stand against the safe space movement and everything it embodies,” he wrote. “As we all know, in 1974, a chipped tooth or a black eye didn’t lead to a lawsuit, and today, I’m pretty sure a boxing ring and a trip to the shooting range would make a lot of parents … uncomfortable. But that’s exactly the point. In a world that values safety above everything else, discomfort is never welcome. Neither is risk. And yet, discomfort and risk are precisely why my time in Scouting was so valuable, and why Troop 16 was the polar opposite of a safe space.”
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H/T The Daily Caller