Scouts were hugely influential to me and my troop was a crappy one. It was tiny. I was the last Scout standing and they kept it open for an extra year just for me. They shut it down when I was 16 and I didn’t want to join the ‘big troop’ down the street.
But nevertheless, it helped me a lot. Very influential to my character.
I’m a big believer in it. I even stood by them through the gay-leader/gay-scout controversy: I could see they were going in a knee-jerk reaction mode but they’d correct themselves eventually and they did.
I never became a leader in the movement but I’d thought about it through the years. What I do instead is help kids out online wherever they roam, giving motivation and encouragement, you can do it, benefits of friendship and promoting understanding, anti-bullying and such.
On Vine, I have 14,000 followers and over 1/2 of them are young people. Actually being 44, I could say that most of them are, relatively speaking. But because I have a significant amount of 8-14 yr old followers, I keep my language clean and it compels me to stay positive and stay real at the same time. A little bit of “You can do anything you put your mind on” along with “yeah, life does suck but you can make it”. That sort of thing.
So, I help out by being myself cause “myself” has been shaped by positive experiences when I was young like Scouting… so it comes through.
Like for example, the other day I got interested in the iCub – it’s an AI robot whose methodology of construction is connectionist and embodied cognition, which I agree with highly as a model for how humans work as well.
I made a few Vines about it, sharing my interest: might spark an interest in someone else about it, might not. But I find by sharing what things *I* find interesting, other people are more willing to share theirs, like art projects, music, crafts, things they’d be getting merit badges in if they were Scouts.
This one from two days I particularly liked: