Ever have a serious moment where you realize you may be dead wrong?

biggest mistakes
the highest hand up is ours, he’s 12


I could be making one of the biggest mistakes of my life – and missing an incredible Family opportunity – based on traditional, long-held paradigms.

Yesterday I wondered if Boy Scouts is the best way to teach our son confidence using the outdoors and citizenship as the classroom.

Why wouldn’t it be? That’s how I, and countless others, accomplished it as young adults.

And then I asked, why?


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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. As Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”.

    Could camping as a Family, or as Family and friends, be as effective as Scouting?

    Maybe Scouting worked because long ago, perhaps American Families were too busy, or too inexperienced to do outdoor adventures.

  2. We find both scouting and family camping enjoyable. But scouting offers young men and women the opportunity to have multiple adult role models. And I find it often difficult when leading my own girls because we have that parent child bond. They will be the only scouts to refuse work or ask if they really have to do whatever the activity. After years of experience with this scenario I have learned to ignore their requests or even tantrums… Thank God they have outgrown those, for the most part.

  3. Patty, your message is clear. The benefit of other adult leadership is powerful.

    This starts the creative thinking to, “What defines Family camping, or Family community service?”

  4. Jeff,

    I honestly believe there isn’t a “one size fits all” way to learning (i.e., my boys learn in totally different ways). So I do believe it is worth evaluating what works best for your son.


  5. Another thing scouting has going for it is you aren’t there. I mean, one of the lessons I learned as a scout is how to negotiate all the things involved in scouting on my own, without my parents there to guide me. These days we tend to be SO much more protective of our progeny than was the case when I was a kid. I say give him a chance to become someone apart from you.
    Thanks for the conversation my friend.

  6. Wayne, my friend, what a pleasant surprise to find you here. Very cool.

    And your insight about giving him space to become someone apart from his nest is well taken. Thank you.

    Part of my questioning is how the industrial age created systems and processes that were relevant for the times, but no longer are.

    Generations ago, the elders probably thought the younger generation was getting soft when they used that new fangled invention to start a fire – remember life before the match?

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