Patches?!? Did you need some steenking patches?!?
January 21, 2010 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Still clocking the old Boy Scout-style uniform? Perhaps you, like many others feel you could be more rewarded than you are today? Never fear, the "Boy Scout Store" has got your back! Develop your own program for: aging, blogging, bungee jumping, cat herding, coffeecraft, sexual revolution, Facebooking, Global Warming. smoking cessation, alcoholism and recovery, pranksterism, neighbor relations, robot building, incendiary devices, antisocial activities, street hooking, and, of course underwater basketweaving. Display your training in instigation and agitation. Maybe you feel you speak the language. Remember -- Scouting is for all.
posted by Ogre Lawless (38 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This reminds me of a special made "Finger Breaking" merit badge my troop made for a kid who kept cutting his finger on camping trips. It was the finger-printing merit badge with lots of additional red stitching.
posted by hellojed at 7:34 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Now you've gone and reminded me of that creepy dude from AC/DC.
posted by Artw at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2010

Well this post is just all over the place.
posted by oddman at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2010

Nice end-run around my "bullshit scouting is NOT for all" rant I was poised to make when I saw your post.

I find it interesting that they don't sell the actual uniform, just the accessories. I mean, LOTS of accessories, but I couldn't possibly fit into my shirt from the 80s any more. Or could I? Hrm. I must dig through my old clothes, and possibly call my mother.
posted by hippybear at 7:40 PM on January 21, 2010

From the "Remember" link:

Research conducted in the 1960s indicated that young men of Exploring age wanted opportunities for supervised social interaction with young women. Explorer posts offer these young men and women a variety of educational activities in a co-ed environment.

As one of the young women lured into the Exploring program as a high schooler (hey, girl who wanted to be in the Cub Scouts! 8 years later, here's your chance!), yuuuuck. I'm just picturing the focus groups of 1960s boys trying somehow to state, "Look, everyone thinks we're queers, the fact that in high school we're participating in a boys-only wholesomeness club while all our friends are taking drugs and getting laid is somehow suspicious to many," without offending the Boy Scouting elders. 40ish years later, the goods were still odd...bringing in the young women didn't really help.
posted by crinklebat at 8:09 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

um....i'm not sure what the fuck is the point of this post.

A fake online Boy Scout website is selling silly satire scout badges? Seriously? Come on.

Look - I have a *LOT* of issues with the BSA and their politics. As an Eagle Scout myself - and Eagle Scout who actually learned a great deal and had many amazing experiences from earning actual badges such as lifesaving, cooking, canoeing and high adventure, I find this post almost as offensive as it is stupid. There is a lot interesting to say about the fucked-upedness of the BSA...but links to a bunch of stupid fake merit badges is

F-- FPP.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:29 PM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

Whoa Lutoslawski. It's just some fake badges. Pick your battles?
posted by deacon_blues at 8:41 PM on January 21, 2010

Whoa Lutoslawski. It's just some fake badges. Pick your battles?

Blarg. You're right, deacon. Sorry. I'm letting 14 years of Boy Scout baggage and angst seep out. [deep breath]

The neighbor relations one is actually pretty funny, if only because it's the one that might actually pass for a real badge.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:44 PM on January 21, 2010

That 'many others' link is quite fascinating. The badges are cute. And three cheers for Scouting for All. The steaming pile of bigotry that BSA has become is one of my favorite outrages, it's so pure.
posted by Goofyy at 8:45 PM on January 21, 2010

My scouting experience was pretty crappy. At first it was all the "nerdy" kids that transitioned from cub scouts (you know, when you were a cute little kid in a uniform excited to do camp outs and such) into Boy scouts, but shortly after the switch, somehow all the bullies decided to join, i guess because they all became cool with one of the guys who was in and he convinced them all. Then i moved cities and never bothered to rejoin. Later heard a lot of stories about the local BSA being more or less a place to score pot. who knows though, here in austin everything seems to be somewhere to score pot.
posted by djduckie at 8:47 PM on January 21, 2010

Speaking of 14 years of Scouting baggage, those official Boy Scout shorts are simply way too short.
posted by pwnguin at 8:48 PM on January 21, 2010

And three cheers for Scouting for All.

Oh Fuck yes. I was getting my Eagle during that time when Hilary Clinton was trying to get the Scouts to not be a bunch of homophobic jerks. It was honestly hard to finish my Eagle. I had come that far, so I went ahead and finished it. But jeez - I have a lot of guilt about not just quitting and giving BSA the finger.

On the other hand - I think that the BSA rejecting homosexuals is just as well. I mean, they are an incredibly conservative organization - essentially Christian - and I can't really see any reason why anyone remotely progressive would want anything to do with them. There are lots of opportunities to learn fire starting and the like without putting up with the bigotry of the BSA.

djdeuckie - oh my god, if the Boy Scouts had been a place to score pot, I would have had a much more pleasant experience. I kid you not: every scout in my troop save 1 - ONE - entered the military. I mean heck, my troop wore camo pants with our shirts (this was Iowa). The other troops in our region called us 'the army 6**' (leaving my troop number anon).
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:58 PM on January 21, 2010

Do you mean "rocking" the old Boy Scout-style uniform? "Clocking" doesn't make any sense.
posted by w0mbat at 9:07 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

crinklebat I'm sorry you didn't have a good Explorer scout program.

Here's my experience:
Our Explorer Scout group was run by some researchers at the local NASA base (Ames Research). They told us they needed a solar powered weather station for taking readings in various remote locations in various hilltop forests. Our job was to design it and build it. They gave various talks about exotic things that we'd need to know. I remember learning about black body radiation (to understand the solar panel efficiency) and how to build humidity sensors. They signed us up for the official NASA soldering class so we could build the project. Occasionally they took us around to the various labs at NASA to show us what experiments were taking place or what space projects were being planned.

It was way beyond cool.
posted by eye of newt at 9:30 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Eagle plus OA here, and my Dad has a Silver Beaver earned under dire circumstances...

...the circumstances were that he was a progressive leftie, and utterly unashamed of it. This was A-OK when he took over the troop from its founder in the mid-80's (Ed Judge, who was one of the most upstanding, moral and fun human beings it has been my pleasure to meet), but less so in the Aughts, when the Crazy Mormons took over the National Office, and then forced out anyone who wasn't a right-wing loon regionally.

Earlier! In the time of Regan...

At Camp Yawgoog, I was an Episcopalian altar-attendant with an interest in how other people believed and worshipped. I went to the Jewish service on Friday night, and was treated like a king. Older Jewish scouts were there to explain to me exactly what was going on and why, and the Rabbi let them do their thing before he did his... and this was entirely for my benefit. I'll never forget their generosity and kindness in satisfying my curiosity.

I'll also never forget being kicked out of the beautiful outdoor chapel the Roman Catholic kids got to attend for their special Mass on Saturday, halfway thru said Mass, and my Dad returning from the Adult Leadership Council mad as hell. I wasn't clear who was angrier at me, the Catholic leaders or the Protestant ones. The Episcopalians were pretty cool with whatever, and from my perspective, as a seasoned altar-attendeant who saw that the Catholics were down by one, I was doing the Lord's work. But everyone else... oooooohhhhh, no.

So I wanna dangly metal religious badge for "Altar-Attendant" with clusters for Temple and Mass. And combat pay.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:44 PM on January 21, 2010

I don't remember any religious aspect to my scouting experience. I do however remember tons of pop quiz popcorn, oh and the one time i parodied the song "journey to the center of the mind" with "come along if you dare, come along in your underwear" (the song at the time was on an ad for a hits of the 70's or classic rock, i guess tape set, i don't know) and got reprimanded by the troop leader. Of course he was a kind of weird guy that ran a private school out of his house, so maybe he was a religious weirdo

actually come to think of it maybe i am mixing two memories because i was a scout in two different states.
posted by djduckie at 9:56 PM on January 21, 2010

(As a side note... Scouts who were/are part of High Adventure troops deal with significantly less political bullshit than the Badge Factory troops, while earning more merit badges and higher ranks by way of actually getting out in the wilderness once a month, every month, come rain or snow, with a fifty-miler hike or canoe trip each summer to seal the deal. The Mormons at the head office can't hate on Scouts that hard core... and the one who did regretted it, as we had to set up his tent for him in the snow and treat him for hypothermia later that weekend when he came to see if we did what we claimed we did. Klondike Derby FTW!)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:04 PM on January 21, 2010

Earned my Eagle in 2002, did active duty Venturing and Sea Scouts until I aged out at 21, went to Philmont a few times, graduated from National Junior Leader Instructor Course (screw NAYLE, dumbest acronym for training ever), even staffed for Venturing at National in 2005. I mention all this, because usually when I say what I have to say next about my experience with the BSA, their first reaction is that "You just didn't see what Boy Scouting is like outside of your troop".

My troop (and I know for a fact many others like ours) couldn't have cared less whether you were gay, straight, atheist, born-again Christian or from Mars. The only way that people get in trouble with the BSA's idiotic, offensive, and reprehensible policies regarding sexual orientation and religious beliefs is if the troop reports it. Otherwise, it's none of the business of the BSA. Troops are not directly overseen by any organization, there's no Gay Cops for the Boy Scouts. I have it on direct authority from a BSA District Commissioner that troops are not directly accountable to the BSA. The BSA is merely a chartering organization that provides access to activities, promotions, awards, trainings, and most importantly, insurance. Sure, you don't play by their rules, they can yank the rug out from under your troop, but conversely, they have no right to go sneaking around troops looking for gays and atheists.

And that's how all the troops that I associated with and had friends in ran things. Sure, I'm in southern California, which I know for a fact is worlds apart from some parts of the nation (You'd get tossed out of an event in our council for even showing up with camo anywhere near your uniform, let alone using it as part of it), but I've known some gay Boy Scouts, and I've known some atheist Boy Scouts. What matters is how the troop reacts, and I'd bet that if you live in a place where there's any choice at all about which troop to join, you'll find a troop that couldn't care less about such things. This doesn't excuse the national BSA organization (but they're in way too deep with the Mormon Church to even think about letting up on the atheist/gay rules, something like a third of their funding comes from the LDS, not to mention how integrated the BSA is into the LDS youth program), but before we get too deep into the horror stories of bigotry in the BSA (and trust me, I've got some whoppers), I just thought that I should stick up for the troops out there that are silently telling the BSA to stick their backwards policies up their asses, where they belong. I had an absolute blast in the Boy Scouts, and if/when I have kids some day, I want my son (and/or hopefully, daughter) to have the same experience that I did, and I won't be letting the idiocy of BSA national get in my way.
posted by Punkey at 11:43 PM on January 21, 2010 [8 favorites]

I've always wished my Troop had been a cool troop, rather than the rather lackluster collection they were. I mean, I quit after we cancelled a winter hike because it started to snow.

Anyway, our Troop never did have any of the religious nonsense. The "A scout is reverent" was really just words, not something our Catholic/Jewish/Protestant/None community really cared about.
As for gays, well, we were teenage boys, we hardly even knew what we were let alone cared what others were.
posted by madajb at 1:17 AM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

My Explorer experience was pretty cool. (And because I was a girl in Explorer, I can say that I was a Campfire Girl, a Girl Scout, and a Boy Scout. And I had fun in each group.)

Our Explorer group was about radio broadcasting. We got to go down to a local music radio station (early 1980s in Seattle) and make fake commercials in Studio B, and watch the DJs work and ask questions, etc. It was great. A couple of us eventually got to go on and be interns there after the Explorer group ended for the year, and the job we did had us completely unsupervised in the station at night -- the DJ was there in the studio doing his on-air shift, and we were working in the other room and also listening to the show. It was fun.
posted by litlnemo at 2:22 AM on January 22, 2010

Oh hippybear... Pretty sure I can still put on my old uniform, even if the last time I wore it was 1992. Physically fit and all that! (Not to mention "kind of obedient", our favorite subversive verbal twist.)

My two brothers and I all earned our Eagle badges. All of us had fun. Older brother is a combat vet in the Army Reserves, little brother is a pot head with a criminal record who is probably on some FBI watchlist for making incendiary devices as a teenager. (For the record, he is the one who is more fun to hang out with, too.)

Now I have my own boy, currently an 8 month old lil' monster. I hope he can get involved in the BSA and have as much fun as I did - but this liberal, human rights advocating, evolutionary biologist dad is going to make damn sure I am active in my own participation to ensure his experience is positive, and not simply a homophobic, right-wing paramilitary Christian indoctrination. It wouldn't be morally straight for me to do otherwise.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:10 AM on January 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

See, my boy scout troop was one of the oldest continually chartered in NM when I was in it... I'd joined the neighborhood cub scout pack with the group of boys who were in my neighborhood (a group of boys most of whom would graduate high school together), and we just went through the whole BSA experience together.

Nobody in the troop from the adults to the boys cared at all about the pseudo-military aspects of scouting, and certainly our Council didn't do much in the way of religious indoctrination at any of the summer camps or large events. What our troop was known for, why we joined it and why other boys from across town came to join, was camping. Living in southern NM, the weather never got that awful in the winter, and in the hot summers, we had access to mountain areas within a few hours' drive... so we did 2 campouts a month, 24 months a year. One was always a "car camp", where you pull up and unload. The other was always a hiking trip, minimum distance from the vehicles was 1 mile, often much further.

During my years in Troop 66, I logged over 1500 miles hiking, much of it in the Gila National Forest on one- and two-week 50 and 100 milers, but we also hiked a lot in the Lincoln National Forest. We also did a stint at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, where our extensive experience going into the backcountry flummoxed the staff immensely (we all knew how to pack so efficiently that we were carrying both camping hammocks AND nylon-webbing lawn chairs, each of which weighed about 2 lbs -- they couldn't handle the idea that we'd have so much "luxury" with us, so we all ditched the hammocks and carried the chairs bungied onto the outside of our packs, and quickly became infamous as "the lawn-chair crew.")

Along the way, we all earned huge numbers of merit badges without even really meaning to. Our troop nearly always dominated at camporees, but not because we were really trying -- we just knew how to do things like build a campfire with only one match, or set up a tent faster than anyone else, or how to make a troop campsite look spiffy.

Some of the boys made Eagle, others didn't, but it there wasn't a huge push to do it. We were in BSA for the love of camping, whether it was mountains or desert, summer or winter, warm or cold. As I've grown up and have learned more about how other troops were run -- the bullying by adults and peers, the hard-core pseudo-military attitude of some groups, the outright proselytization in some places -- I've been saddened to learn that not everyone had such an idyllic BSA experience. And as an adult gay man, I'm most saddened by the continued outright bigotry within the organization on a national level. If I had a boy these days, I would certainly not be pushing him toward Scouting. But I would mourn that he wouldn't have the same outstanding kind of childhood exploration of one's personal physical limits and joyous exploration of wilderness areas with a whole crew of his peers which I grew up with. It shaped me a great deal, and it's been a highlight of my youth that I've reflected on my entire life.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 AM on January 22, 2010 [6 favorites]

I'm glad to hear that lots of people had really positive Scouting experiences. Punkey - that's awesome. You're completely right about it being largely a regional thing. I didn't have a troop choice - there was only one - and this was small town Iowa where gay hate and the like were simply par for the course, and the *extreme* intolerance that existed in the troop was a natural extension.

I should say that all the political stuff wasn't discussed so much as just felt, like it sort of informed the whole atmosphere (again, largely because this was Iowa). But it was an expectation that everyone get their God and Country, official ceremonies were always held in churches (as opposed to weekly meetings, which were held in the armory).

It wasn't all bad. Mine was a troop that had monthly camp-outs, as well as annual high adventure trips - Philmont, canoeing the boundary waters, a two-week trek through Yellowstone. Those experiences are among what I took away as most valuable and memorable.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:21 AM on January 22, 2010

I feel like I should reassure Lutoslawski about something (you just seemed so upset!), so here's how I took this...

If you think about it, one good thing scouting -- either side -- does is encourage you not to just try to learn new skills, but it also encourages you to actively be proud when you finally attain them. Think about it a second -- when you got your merit badge, you sewed that thing straight on your uniform or your sash and you wore that puppy, that proof that "Hey, look, I learned how to use a compass! Go me!"

And honestly, I think we could all use a little of that taking-pride-in-things-we've-learned-how-to-do. So that is how I saw these badges -- as an affectionate little way of taking pride in some of the stuff we know how to do. Some of them pretty silly (not everyone would be into the idea of boasting about, "hey, do I ever know how to belch!"), but sometimes we could all use a little self-promotion and showing off the fact that we have successfully put time into learning how to do something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

Now I want to go camping with Hippybear.
posted by MrVisible at 10:54 AM on January 22, 2010

Awesome site! Thanks! :)
posted by jeffburdges at 10:59 AM on January 22, 2010

I started out as a cub scout with a bunch of boys from the same school. We met in the elementary school cafeteria/auditorium, and we made crafts and stuff. At least, that's what I have left from that time (pencil holders made of empty frosting containers, covered in wrapping paper and yarn, and pinewood derby cars). Most of the boys took up sports, which was more interesting than scouting, but I was never a sporty kid. So I stuck with scouting, which somehow turned into something the Mormons ran.

Since most of the boy scouts were also Mormons, we met at the local temple, only a few blocks from the elementary school. The group was great, but very focused on attaining the Eagle Scout rank early, so the kids could prepare for their mission call. We went to a summer camp where we could get even more badges, along with camping out and all that jazz. We went on some great hikes, and I got to swim in a lot of really cold high Sierra lakes. There was never any push to convert the few of us who were not Mormons, and we got to run around the temple at night, which was a lot of fun.

One thing I learned is that patches aren't bought but earned, either through your work, or through trade. I first learned about trading patches at the 1993 National Scout Jamboree. Instead of earning more badges or spending much time at any of the Action Centers, I traded badges. Mostly it was the custom troop shoulder patches, and amongst kids it was all about looks (Malibu kids were stuck-up snots when it came to trading, and they even brought tiny bottles of authentic Malibu beach sand to trade with poor saps). Some adults brought their own collections of old badges, trading with other adults (I think adults trading with kids was off-limits because kids were so easily duped, but I may be making that up). My brother calls it an expensive trip to trade badges, but I think he was jealous.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on January 22, 2010

@Punkey - I've always assumed that individual troops varied wildly from the hatred spewed by the national organization, but basically, you're saying it's currently Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, sort of.

But as long as the national organization officially advocates homophobia, I'm keeping my son out. It galls me to think that his gay godfather would be officially unwelcome from participating in the program, even if the local troop were fine with it.
posted by tippiedog at 11:46 AM on January 22, 2010

Eagle Scout and reluctant OA member that bounced around through at least 4 troops in the south. I concur with what Plunkey said above, the BSA experience is extremely dependant on the adult leadership within each troop.

I started with a Troop on its last legs down from a membership of around 50 that had broken apart because of leadership divisions, but the one patrol that held on really had a lot of great wilderness experiences, with a healthy side of fairly benign Jesus-talk. Once that fell through I moved on to one of the militant Dominionist nightmare Troops for about a year which was filled with the worst bigots and bullies you can find in scouting who were cheered on by the leadership. After nearly quitting, I finished my Eagle at a liberal Christian Troop run out of a prosperity gospel megachurch with great adult leadership really focusing on making sure the kids learned something positive (and not just Bible verses) and had a lot of unique experiences, including monthly trips all around the south east, Philmont, Boundary Waters, summer camp, you name it.

The troop that I remember as "mine" really was a great place for about 8 years while it had a core group of dedicated leaders. Even as a (now) lefty and athiest, I wouldn't mind sending my son to a troop of that quality, provided that it was as open, accepting and focused on the kids having a great experience as mine was. The other ones, no way.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:30 PM on January 22, 2010

Man, my Girl Scout troop sucked (seriously, embroidery? I wanted to go camping and we never did!) I don't blame homophobia so much as the Almighty GS Cookie Sale, which has become some kind of evil institution and sucked the joy out of my life. I hated door to door selling. What were we training to be, Amway reps? Thin Mints are delicious, fine. Sell 'em on a website year round, use the cash to build more campsites/fund more activities.

So I dropped out after six months with maybe one badge. GS has some cool folks in it, but they weren't running my troop.

My one good memory is being commended for remembering to bring my first aid kit the day we carved Halloween pumpkins (with our Girl ScoutTM Knives, no less). To my disappointment, no one sliced off a finger that required me to use my bandages and Save the Day.
posted by emjaybee at 12:42 PM on January 22, 2010

Chief Scout from the Boy Scouts of Canada here. I'm also a little offended by the concept of parody badges, but its not exactly the hill I'd want to die on.

Someone nailed it upthread: you earn badges in Scouts, you don't buy them - it was supposed to be (and largely was) a place where people were largely judged on merit rather than ability to pay. You're free to mock that principle and support it by ordering fake badges, but it rings as noble to my cynical ears.

I had a good time in Scouts: don't remember any encouragement towards religion (other than you get a "religion in life" badge for going to some kind of service - which was a "round badge" -- one you could wear on the sash but didn't increase your "rank" (correct term? can't remember)). There were guys in my troop I suspect were probably gay and I don't remember anyone caring. We were more about camping, sports, outdoor survival, some charity, and some crafty projects - though I resent to this day the guys who decided I needed several hours of lessons on how to salute and stand at attention - I still hold a grudge about that. Even those drills weren't entire lost on me though whenever I see an artsy kid, I have to fight the urge to show them the proper way to wear a beret.

I do miss the outdoor part of it. I live in an area of North America that wasn't really settled until the early 20th century, and in my childhood a lot of the nice valleys, lakes and creeks weren't surrounded by mansions, golf courses, and cottages yet -- not much room to be free in these parts anymore to light fires, yell, throw knives at stumps, tip over canoes, fight with sticks as weapons, and swim naked. I suspect today's helicopter parents have put a stop to most of that.
posted by Deep Dish at 12:59 PM on January 22, 2010

I was a Brownie and Girl Scout -- and for a short time my mom was a Girl Leader, though not for my troop. I loved the whole experience and like Hippybear learned a lot. He seems a lot more outdoorsy than I was, so it meant a lot to me, an urban'suburban kid growing up outside Boston, that it was at Girl Scout camp that I learned, among other things, to canoe and shoot rapids, to hike and portage, to build a fire efficiently and make sure it didn't spread to the trees, to camp, and to become a much better swimmer. I was a fiend for badges and enormously proud of the fact that my sash was filled with them. To earn them, I learned everything from first aid to the minimal sewing skills I have today. I also turned into a mondo Girl Scout cookie marketer, as I always wanted to be the troop member who sold the most, and that in turn is how I met and learned about most of the people in our neighborhood. If Girl Scouts had an equivalent to the BS Eagle designation, I am sure I would have competed for that too.

So, while I too am no fan of the BSA and its bigoted national polices, and while my work has led to too many encounters with the kinds of Boy Scout leaders you wouldn't want anywhere near your kids, I still have a big soft spot for the Girl Scouts. And I still believe in badges/recognition for skills learned and achievements, so I personally Want the cat herding and cigarette quitting badges in the links above!
posted by bearwife at 1:36 PM on January 22, 2010

Now I want to go camping with Hippybear

MeFi Outback Camping Trip 2010: let's make it happen.

And thanks Empress, I do in fact fell reassured. And despite everything, being an Eagle Scout is actually something I am still proud of to this day.

There was a lot about the scouts that I haven't been able to appreciate until now-ish. In particular, I have really fond memories of working with my Dad - a Scoutmaster and an Eagle himself - on knots, on badges, on my Eagle project, during my OA initiation. Now that I don't see my Dad too often, these memories have become pretty sacred to me - and the whole outdoorsy, survival nature of them makes them sort of, I dunno, timeless(?) or something - can't quite find the mot juste.

While I've forgotten so many of the skills I learned in the Scouts, a lot of the self-sufficiency I now cherish in my life - being able to cook, being able to start a fire, knowing how to tie a decent knot, knowing how to properly stop a nose bleed or bandage a burn - I learned in the Scouts.

BUT - I am still sickened by the politics of the BSA, especially since part of the no-homos thing, at least how it was explained to me years ago, was the fear that if there were a gay scout in the troop you might wake up in the night in your tent to find him ass-raping you - because that's what gay people do.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2010

If Girl Scouts had an equivalent to the BS Eagle designation -- it does, it's called the Gold Award.

I, too, have *totally* earned the cat herding badge and... uh, a lot of the other badges. Pretty sure my oldest girl has qualified for the texting badge (and conveniently, the green border would match right in with her other badges!). None of the other GS mommies want to buy black hoodies/sashes for troop mommy badges -- they all want someone else to take the kids so they can get the night off & have a drink or whatever. Is it weird that I still like the idea of earning badges (and learning new things)? Oh well.

My mom was my GS Troop Leader for a while. We ran the gamut from crafty stuff to outdoorsy stuff. My girls' troop is also pretty wide ranging. No embroidery... just don't see that one happening. To say I have a soft spot in my heart for GS is an understatement (despite the cookie selling thing -- I'm just not much of a fund raising person by nature...).
posted by susanbeeswax at 3:42 PM on January 22, 2010

IANAB, but as far as girl scouting goes, I made it all the way to Junior until I realized I'd have to start earning badges. I dropped out shortly thereafter.

I was a lazy kid.
posted by rubah at 4:29 PM on January 22, 2010

If Girl Scouts had an equivalent to the BS Eagle designation -- it does, it's called the Gold Award.

So not the same. Most people have some concept of what Eagle Scout means. Politicians who are Eagle Scouts mention it on their websites. Most people have no freaking clue what Gold Award means other than former Girl Scouts. This was a big annoyance for me and the other girls in my troop - we were Boy Scouts and paid the same dues that our male cohorts were paying, but we weren't eligible to become Eagle Scouts. In some cases, women in my troop worked with men to do a project together, and at the end of the project, the woman would have earned a Gold Award and have a little party, and the man would have the designation of Eagle Scout, put it on his resume, and be asked to talk about his project at job interviews. The awards do not command the same respect at all despite having (AFAIK) the same requirements.

So, sure, Girl Scouts have an award that requires equivalent work and commitment to the Eagle Scout designation. But don't make the mistake that it'll open the same doors or get you the same recognition once you're done.
posted by crinklebat at 3:22 PM on January 23, 2010

The man would have the designation of Eagle Scout, put it on his resume, and be asked to talk about his project at job interviews. Huh. The Gold Star Girl Scouts I know totally do this.

The awards do not command the same respect at all despite having (AFAIK) the same requirements. There's something about having to do it all in heels & backwards & still Fred Astaire gets all the credit. Of course you don't get the same open doors or recognition if you're a woman. What kind of ridiculous world would this be if everyone were evaluated for their contributions to society equally!? [hamburger, etc, etc].

The organization has an equivalent -- whether or not the greater society around it recognizes it is a different matter entirely.

Girl Scouts of America is a fully separate org -- I don't think anyone I know would say "We were Boy Scouts and paid the same dues." You might have done the same activities, but you were a Girl Scout & part of a fully separate organization. They are connected by history (and in America, only because Juliette Gordon Low was inspired by Baden-Powel, unlike Girl Scouts/Guides in some other parts of the world), but that's it. If you were a Girl Scout, of course you aren't eligible to be an Eagle Scout.
posted by susanbeeswax at 2:16 PM on January 31, 2010

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