Re: Co-ed Scouting?
or blackeagle ("Settummanque)
Sun, 2 Feb 1992 18:15:00 EST
Hey Brother Jim...
It has been tried several times, most notably the Hearst family, as in
Patty, attempted to form what was called the National Scouts of America or
NSA in 1965. The NSA was formed from several smaller organizations on
the West Coast, an association of military people and some group advocating
home education/learning in the Midwest.
The NSA had a big problem however and that problem was lack of community
support. Unlike Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting, people had a hard time dealing
with the fact that kids as young as seven (now you know where both BSA and
GSUSA got their seven-yr.-old programs from) interacting with kids as old
as seventeen in the same program.
One splinter group was called the MPSA (or military personnel scouts of america)
I was a member of it and later served as "community commander" for two years.
It's a pretty good club--the rank structure is somewhat like scouting, however
it has the same problems that our present scouting program has and that is of
what to do with kids after a certain age (usually about 11 or 12). The ranks
were Blue Leaf, Green Leaf, Gold Leaf, and Dobble (that's the way it's spelled)
Knot. Then, members become Servicemen and progress from Servicemen to Service-
men Third Class, Second Class, then First Class. Although, Dobble Knot is the
highest, obviously Servicemen First Class got more experiences out of it.
The MPSA ended up merged with NSA in 1974 (??). I stopped having any connection
or even interest after I left my position at Ft. Knox in 1977 to go to colleg
I assume that somewhere the NSA is still being run, but other than that, I don't
have any information or even any resources I can call upon. The national office
was in Petersburg, VA, but the last time I went there, the place was boarded
up and for sale and there was no notice on the door as to where NSA went to.
Their toll free number doesn't work either, so I take it the Hearst family
ran out of money or something...I don't know. Jim, there are lots of attempts
out there to duplicate or even simulate what Scouting can do or is doing.
Some of the simulations or immitations can be really, really scary, as in the
Youth Nazi Party or the Children of the Klan. Others are taking upon a
religious tone as in the Royal Ambassadors and Royal Rangers. Royal
Ambassadors is done primarily through the Church of God (Anderson, IN), although
there are lots of Baptist Churches (predominantly, Charismatic Baptists) whic
use it also. The Royal Rangers are from the Assemblies of God, although lots
of Independent Churches which use the same program. There are still other
organizations, such as IBM, which use programs of "scouting" developed by
the American Camping Association. At my state's Parks and Recreation
Association Conference, they were talking about using the ACA materials at
schools and summer camps.
Jim, I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't think America is ready,
even now, for the NSA or any other organization to take the place of, or even
operate on the same scale, as BSA or GSUSA. The answer lies somewhere between
Maggie's comment about putting them both together for joint meetings and letting
the two organizations operate independently later and (I can't remember who
made that comment maybe Don) merging the two together to make Scouting/USA.
Anybody else have any other thoughts??
p.s. The Dobble Knot Ceremony is pretty neat, but it's nothing like an Eagle
Presentation Ceremony. There's a strong emphasis on the environment in
the MPSA/NSA and if it wasn't for them, I would not have earned the
Hornaday Award!! Thank you, David Corsail! founder--MPSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City