The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Yet another reason (in addition to intolerance and homophobia) to resist my nine year old son's repeated requests to be a Cub Scout, a younger division of the (Boy Scouts of America) appeared in Jennifer Steinhauer's story in this morning's NYTimes on "Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists." Once a cub scout myself I am not unsympathetic (also his sister is a girl scout so its an equity thing). Back in the 1970s I thought of the Explorers (the older youth division of the BSA) as ultra impressive backpackers, climbers, outdoors men, but it turns out they also provided a pathway for some youth into the military, policing or firefighting. Apparently decades of "war on crime" has helped reorient the vision and the values of the explorer program even more toward violent confrontation with "stranger danger" of various real and imagined sorts.