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Thread: Who briefed the Beeb? 'Scouting Skills'

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    Exclamation Who briefed the Beeb? 'Scouting Skills'

    OK. Any publicity --- and all that jazz but it is pushing it a bit and not at all helpful to claim that 'Scouting Skills' is a 21st Century update of 'Scouting For Boys' as was claimed on BBC Breakfast this morning.

    Apart from anything else, 'Scouting For Boys' is a very quirky, propoganda filled tome displaying some rather dodgy ultra right-wing ideas alongside the stuff which has become 'Scouting'. I am not sure that trying to link the new book to that will be of any help in promoting the image of 21st Century Scouting.

    I hope that the comparison was engineered by the BBC. I would hate to think that it came from the SA. (If it did, whoever made it, obviously hadn't read 'Scouting For Boys' from cover to cover - big mistake!). I would hate to write a book about Scouting Skills only to have it touted as an update of BPs questionable politics and dire warnings about masturbation! - That is how the report came over on the TV this morning.

    EDIT: If 'Scouting Skills' is an update of anything, it is an update of the much loved and well respected 'Patrol Leader's Handbook', not 'Scouting for Boys'
    Last edited by Dramatist; 12-04-2010 at 07:53 AM. Reason: add Edit

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    Have an I player link or anything??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magician View Post
    Have an I player link or anything??
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8614790.stm

    Just watched that - there were live interviews tacked on the end which are not on the iplayer bit!
    Last edited by Dramatist; 12-04-2010 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Add last line

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Apart from anything else, 'Scouting For Boys' is a very quirky, propoganda filled tome displaying some rather dodgy ultra right-wing ideas alongside the stuff which has become 'Scouting'. I am not sure that trying to link the new book to that will be of any help in promoting the image of 21st Century Scouting.

    I hope that the comparison was engineered by the BBC. I would hate to think that it came from the SA. (If it did, whoever made it, obviously hadn't read 'Scouting For Boys' from cover to cover - big mistake!). I would hate to write a book about Scouting Skills only to have it touted as an update of BPs questionable politics and dire warnings about masturbation! - That is how the report came over on the TV this morning.
    Given that Simon Carter was interviewed i suspect that the SA had a great deal to do with the coverage, don't you?

    You seem to have a bit of a downer on SFB, and I'm not too sure why. Yes, there are one or two dodgy bits in there, but right wing? I think that you are taking things out of context. BP openly admitted that Scouting was essentially "socialist" in nature and he promoted equality wherever he could in Scouting.

    There is a great deal in SFB that is still valid today, and Bear Grylls and Ray Mears et co make a considerable amount of money out of expanding on some of the basics in SFB. The essence of SFB is about creating young people of good moral standing. For example, BP's advice for an early morning cold shower would in all probability relieve an issue for may young lads. Perhaps our approach to sex has changed somewhat, but who cannot say that abstinence and a few more cold showers might not help reduce teen pregnancies and the prevelance of STD ( see current network supplement!).

    Does SFB need updating for a modern market? No, it has to remain as it is as a marker of where we started. What we need is a proper current guide though I am not sure that calling it Scouting Skills is the best way to bring people into the ethos of Scouting.

    If it is a handbook for Scouting, then let it be such. So, I agree that the comparison is flawed, but I am not so sure about your apparent downer on SFB. It is and was of its time and should be read as such, and the good elements taken out for use, the "dodgy" elements must remain as a reminder of human fallability.

    Mind you, there was a chap walking past the house yesterday, and he looked decidedly dodgy, short, stocky, square headed, dark eyebrows and a beard - pretty scruffily dressed too. I was about to call the Police when I realised it was my son coming home from work...
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    To be honest I didn't think the BBC did a bad job, indeed they did make the point that there was some freaky stuff in SFB and that this didn't feature in Scouting Skills. The only irritation I found was the studio presenter making some poor gag about rubbing sticks together.

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    Young Leader jonty-comp's Avatar
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    Considering that most people watching won't have a clue what SFB is anyway, I think it certainly portrays Scouting well! I admit I was in bed when it came on but I heard "Scout" mentioned on the TV downstairs and practically jumped down to see what was going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    .... I am not so sure about your apparent downer on SFB. It is and was of its time and should be read as such, and the good elements taken out for use, the "dodgy" elements must remain as a reminder of human fallability.
    I have absolutely nothing against SFB. it is a remarkable book and a key historical document. It is the comparison that I am against. If (and I know it is a big 'if') people are familiar with SFB then telling them that this new book is an update is frantically misleading. It does the book no justice at all. What they could have said was that it was a 21st century take on The PLs Handbook, The Scout Leaders' Handbook and the training pamphlets of bygone times - which it is - and a very good one at that, if not quite as good as the Irish Bible (Hem,hem!).

    In the eyes of many, SFB is a musty tome about Scouting. By making the comparison, I feel that it gives this excellent new book a tarnish which it does not deserve.

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    Never read SFB and still to read Scouting Skills but to be honest who cares about it being compared. Is there something so wrong with SFB that it would undermine the ideas in Scouting Skills? Yes the ideas in SFB seem old and strange to us now but then it was what everyone felt at that time. Just as in 90 tears time everything we think correct and good will seem as old and stuffy. Maybe some of those "old and stuffy" ideas would actually be a good thing and I agree with Bushfella. Could we just be moaning because were old and stuffy

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    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Mind you, there was a chap walking past the house yesterday, and he looked decidedly dodgy, short, stocky, square headed, dark eyebrows and a beard - pretty scruffily dressed too. I was about to call the Police when I realised it was my son coming home from work...
    BPs social profiling based on head shape is my favorite bit too!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dramatist View Post
    OK. Any publicity --- and all that jazz but it is pushing it a bit and not at all helpful to claim that 'Scouting Skills' is a 21st Century update of 'Scouting For Boys' as was claimed on BBC Breakfast this morning.
    From a media point of view they probably had to do it, in order to get publicity. I mean, TSA bringing out a new book isn't news, TSA launching a 21st century version of something the great unwashed have actually heard of, that's news. Well, maybe not news, more or a "nice" filler, or "and finally".

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    In the eyes of many, SFB is a musty tome about Scouting. By making the comparison, I feel that it gives this excellent new book a tarnish which it does not deserve.
    I understand, but needless to say would take a different view...

    Those who see SFB as a musty tome read it out of context, I am sure, and without the mindset that gives the stories life. We have in SFB tales of heroism, or derring do, of comradeship. Just because they are in black and white and in a more wordy langauge should not make them musty. I'd warrant that the tales of Captain Marryat would make excellent modern movies but since they were written in what we see as an archaic mode the filmakers opt for the ficticious Hornblower instead, the original stories of which were allegedly "borrowed" from Marryat anyway (whose stories were based on his own real life experiences) - I apologise, I digress.

    I would say that a compare with SFB would be a good thing if it attracted attention to Scouting Skills, however, if the content is not similar then the compare is indeed invalid. (I know, I'm being picky but I'm getting into the right frame of mind for final editing of the next two issues)
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member 4thDarwin Akela's Avatar
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    Had a look at Play.com for Scouting skills and they have it for £11.49 + Free delivery.


    Carl 4th Melton Mowbray Darwin Cubs

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    I love SFB. In the late 80's, all of our PL's bought copies of their own backs, and quoted endlessly. We insulted each other as "gush prigs". We sung songs and sometimes carried Scout staves. And we taught our skills to the tenderfoots.

    It was a way to take ownership of our own troop. We actually felt that we got to the point of exceeding our masters. Which in truth was only the case in narrow areas of course. But we weren't stupid. We knew that it was a historical document, and some parts were.... misguided. (We considered trying to find colour-blind kids and encouraging them to "try harder" and practice seeing colours.... but we all knew without discussion just why this was funny!)

    SFB is not for most people. But there does come a point where you know enough modern Scouting that SFB won't corrupt you. And it WILL give you the most fantastic and deep understanding of where we came from.

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    Senior Member Ayers ESU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4thDarwin Akela View Post
    Had a look at Play.com for Scouting skills and they have it for £11.49 + Free delivery.


    Carl 4th Melton Mowbray Darwin Cubs
    £8.23 delivered from Book Depository

    http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book...couting-Skills
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    Thanks Eddie

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