Sunday, 30 November 2008

losing your way

There's an article here about the decline of the Girl Scouts. It's really rather pitiful, as they seem eager to discard any values or traditions they might have had and embrace anything in order to achieve the goal of Raising Money. (What else can one think, when all they offer to replace camping and horses is vague buzzwords about leadership journeys?)

I was a Scout for a while. Like all the girls of my acquaintance - we were all in for our early years, and all dropped it as puberty beckoned. Don't know about anybody else, but we certainly never used tents, for all that the article tries to suggest that's a modern deviation. Our camping trips involved staying in little prebuilt huts and the like.

I can think of many ways to reinvent the GSA while keeping some manner of adventurous-service value alive, but one thing that comes quickly to my mind is how the merit badges obviously resemble a gaming achievement system. You carry out quests, you get a badge for it, you display it to show what you've done. Maybe what they need is some sort of Scouting MMORPG...

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