scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: War Kites?
Wed Apr 05 2000 - 16:41:03 CDT
Rick Seymour wrote:
> historic subjects that are interesting to boys and trivial to adults! I
> suspect that this is just how Dan Beard would have wanted it.
Oh, I don't think of kites as trivial at all (assuming [I know, I know!]
I've reached adulthood). It's just that kite designs may be one of the
lesser gifts that Dan Beard gave to the world.
> >> The activity commonly referred to as "War Games" -in
> >> which individuals shoot paint or dye at one another- is
> >> an unauthorized activity.
> > To my way of thinking, promoting and using war kites
> > in an approved Scouting activity comes perilously close
> > to this restriction.
> That is a VERY big stretch, indeed. A far better target might be Ripley's
> "Games for Boy Scouts: Including Selected War Games of the YMCA and the
> Army & Navy." located at The Kudu Net:
At issue is NOT whether other activities or organizations may
(historically or otherwise) have promoted more aggressive or warlike
activities, but whether 21st Century Scouting should do so. There will
be ample time and opportunities, once our youth reach their majority, to
join and apprentice in the military, a militia or vigilante group, or
some ethnic equivalent of the Triad.
> I hope to soon expand this topic to include Ripley's larger book "Games for
> Boys," which features some of Baden-Powell's war games for Scouts and a
> whole chapter of similar always-popular games.
B-P was a product of his life and times - an inspirational leader, yes,
but not a god. Heresy! Heresy! The good should live after him, the no
longer useful interred with his bones. He drew from his military
experiences, much of it good. He was dressed and his kit maintained by
a Batman, and he was very much part of the upper-crust. And, 59 years
after his death the world is a far different place.
> > The expressed goal is not just competition, but
> > "...destroying the kites of your opponent!", and by
> > extension your opponent.
> That is a VERY big "extension," Jay. Sometimes a kite is JUST a kite. :-/
Those words in quotes: "destroying the kites of your opponent!" were not
mine. And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but we don't encourage the
boys to light up. Without a "cutter" on it's tail, a kite can still be
inspiringly beautiful; creatively designed; a study in aerodynamics; a
manifestation of culture; as well as just plain fun.
> > At what point do we ask the question:
> > "Are we having fun yet?"
> The question of how boys should have fun was central to most of Dan Beard's
> adult life and led to his founding of the "Boy Pioneers" and "The Sons of
> Daniel Boone," as well as the Boy Scouts of America. Beard's organizations
> for boys were far more "rough and tumble" than his BSA co-founder Seton's
> "Woodcraft Indians," which was designed for both boys and girls.
Well, that just demonstrates that leaders can have differing visions.
But, in this first (?) year of the 21st Century I suspect that we must,
as before, determine what are the limits to what was formerly passed
over as "boys will be boys.".
> Yes, the Inquiry Net is SURE to be banned by "Net Nanny" and the like. But
> as James West spins in his grave, resourceful Scouts will always be able to
> hack their way around such obstacles in the spirit of their great-great
> grandfathers and the roots of Scouting in 1910.
Hey, some of us regret the type of corporate economics West brought to
Scouting. Nonetheless, the frontier closed even befor AZ and NM entered
the Union (?) in 1912 even though mountainmen still strode the
> Readers are reminded that War Kites are only TWO of the FIFTY kites
> designed by that Radical Old Buckskin Man, Dan Beard.
But, those two seemed the ones commended to the older Scouts.
> ARMED KITES
> "Armed Kites are of a more relentless and bloodthirsty order than the
> strategic unarmed warrior. The peculiar mission of these rampant champions
> of the air is to cut the enemy off from his base of supplies; then with a
> satisfied wriggle, and a fiendish wag of the tail, this ferocious flyer
> sails serenely on, while his ruined victim falls helplessly to the earth,
> or ignominiously hangs himself a some uncongenial tree, where his skeleton
> will struggle and swing until beaten to pieces by the very element that
> sustained him in his elevation before his thread of life was cut. In this
> sport, new to most Northern boys, they will find an exciting and healthy
> Pastime, one that will teach them to think and act quickly, a quality that
> when acquired may be of infinite service to them in after years."
Great visceral prose!! Enough to inspire removal of not only Zero
Tolerence standards, but the metal detectors at the doors. Heck, down
with pantywaists - up with darwinism!! ;-)