Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?

I do credit a lot of my life skills to a wide variety of experiences, but a lot of them came from a strong background in Scouting. My former group was on the first episode of Discovery’s Canada’s Greatest Know-it-All challenging adult braggart Jack of all Trades to some of the more commonplace skills that a young boy is taught in Scouting.

Now the National Geographic Channel is taking that one episode idea and going a whole step farther. Thom Beers, (Executive Producer of Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch and 1000 Ways to Die) is a former Boy Scout from the American Tradition and looking back on his life regrets never completing enough Merit Badges to earn Eagle Scout.

Beers is bringing us a new reality challenge show called Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?

Edit: TV show trailer removed upon request.

Much like the Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader, the show will face off people who think they can do better against some of the brightest and most active Boy Scouts from the US. Will these boastful adults be able to take on Boy Scouts and prove themselves?

As the preview illustrates, the Boy Scout organization does provide the opportunity to experience adventure, life skills and broaden your abilities. These competitors will soon learn not to underestimate these kids.

But when they do find themselves in trouble and need rescuing, the Scouts are trained in that as well.

I learned Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Archery, Outdoor Survival skills, and had a lot of adventures that I wouldn’t otherwise have, all from Scouting.

Were you ever part of Scouting? What did you learn?

15 Responses to Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?

    • There are plenty of gays and atheists in scouting. Just because it is a "rule" at their headquarters doesn't mean every section and group are going to follow that same philosophy.

      George Takei is open about his experience growing up as a gay and non-religious experience as a Boy Scout (he and his partner wore their former Scouting Uniforms at a recent Pride Parade)

  1. I think this is a fantastic idea. I'm an Eagle Scout and a US Marine, and I would have to credit Scouting to most of my success in life so far. It teaches young men to be just that, MEN.

    • Please define what it means to be a "MAN" in today's society. My son has learned how to cook in Boy Scouts – something that women traditionally do. My son has also learned camping, rock climbing, archery, shooting, and so many other things – all of which women do too. So please tell me what Boy Scouts teaches that is specifically manly. Also, what does being a Marine have to do with anything? Do you think that means you are special?

      • Real men don't define skills by outdated gender roles.

        Tolerance and empathy are also taught to Scouts so that questions like this are met with education and enlightenment. Presuming he says Scouting taught him to be a man and then assuming that meant he didn't cook or learn about expressing his emotions is quite limiting in the world view.

        • to stand on their own and stand up for their own thoughts–even if it is unpopular.Being a man is not defined by what you can do–it is what you do

  2. I'm an Eagle Scout but no longer can be associated with this organization. I was brought up LDS but now am an atheist — they no longer accept me for who I am because I don't believe in unsubstantiated things. Also, I don't like their stance on other human beings who happen to be gay.

    • Gordon – You being Athiest does not mean that you can't be affiliated with the Boy Scouts. There are currently no religious requirements for the Boy Scouts. On a National level they do not allow gays, however, this is incredibly loosely enforced at the local level (and I live in AZ). Also, remember the Scouts you experienced was in the LDS church, so that was Scouting with an LDS spin on things.

      I am an Eagle Scout and former Marine. I am also a former Council employee for two different states. Scouting, like any group, has a few radicals but for the most part is an incredibly open and inclusive organization.

  3. I made it all the way to eagle scouts. I had earned many a merit badge, and had earned a few special awards for participation in the jamboree. I learn archery, fishing, knot tieing, first aid, mountaneering, and many other skills, I live in the mountains and on occassion still go camping the old fashion style(with only the supplies I can carry on my back. I would love to see the show. I think It'll put alot of people in there place. lol.

  4. Eagle Scout, circa 1989. Proudest thing I ever did in my young life. I've received more job interviews because of that than any single one of my qualifications. I was the stereotypical "my dad is the scoutmaster" kid, but he never let me flaunt what I thought was a bonus. We actually joke about it to this day – my old man was _harder_ on me than other kids. For example: I am an architect by trade, but I don't have the "Architecture" merit badge. I have dentistry instead. He's never heard the end of it. :-)

  5. Never was a scout and glad i wasn’t.

    As far as i know, they teach mainly camping, and survival in wilderness skills. However that are skills largely unneeded in modern live.
    Furthermore they teach rules how things are to be done in a survival situation – and that’s absolutely wrong! If you are in a real survival situation, you limit your options if you care about rules (keep in mind the objective is to survive, not to be a good guy and follow the rules). It doesn’t matte if the standard procedure says you need a string, if you don’t have a string you need to find something else – anything else – that works. It also doesn’t matter how you acquire what you need: In a real survival situation your live is at stake, and in any other situation you shouldn’t try to survive – if it gets to difficult, you can simply go back to your comfortable, modern live after all.
    So i see the scouts basically as a fun hobby for people who really like to go camping (which i personally don’t)

    And then there is politics: Do girls, gays and atheists not have the same right to enjoy camping and learn what the scouts have to teach, as a straight, christian male has?
    So making the scouts coed and removing all that sexual and religious discrimination would make them at least politically acceptable – in their current form they are not.

    • Well, you are wrong in everything you have said. They do teach a lot of camping and outdoor skills, but above all else, they teach leadership skills and how to be a proper person.
      Also, in terms of how to survive in an emergency situation, they teach you how to do everything so that you can maximize your ability to survive. Yeah, there are rules and steps when in a survival situation, but they teach you how to keep a level head and figure things out according to the steps you have learned. And yes, they teach you how to find and use alternate objects in exchange for things you don't have. If you figure things out all panicked and messy like you seem to advocate, then you are sure to not get out of your predicament. I have learned more in scouting than anywhere else and I have been in it since I was 5 and am now 15 working on my Eagle. Best decision of my life.

      Onto the politics stuff you bring up: Girls can participate – there are plenty of adult women working with troops, council, district, national, regional, whatever. Female youth also participate in the Venturing program which is a branch of the Boy Scouts of America. Atheists can participate. I have quite a few in my troop. and you do have to understand why the rule against homosexuals exists. The fact of a homosexual, hormonal teenager with a ton of other male teenagers can be unnerving for parents, other youth, and adults. I don't agree with that rule, but I understand it.

  6. I am a Eagle Scout (and so are both my brothers and father) and I loved the BSA and have many fond memories of being a boy scout.

    They have gotten a bad wrap do to the headquarters being unwilling to change with the modern world but there were many boys in my troop that were openly gay and we didn't boot them out.

    Sadly I no longer live in a country that has Boy Scouts so my son's are missing out on this but I do my best to impart them with all my scout knowledge.

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