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God Damned Boy Scouts Have Gone To Hell in a Handcart

Earlier this week I learned that the Boy Scouts of America are introducing a Video Game Merit Badge.

Up until now, I’ve always liked the damned Scouts – I’m all for any organization that forces young people to wear uniforms, expects conformity and teaches them how to use a knife for something other than stabbing their math teachers.

But this is too much and clearly nothing more than a desperate effort to swell their ranks by attempting to recruit the podgy couch potatoes we call the generation of the future. It’s a damned money grab.

Well, since they’re busy undermining everything this country once stood for, I’d suggest that the Boy Scouts may as well go whole damned hog and consider a few other new badges that might help bolster their numbers:

The “14-hours of Continuous Sleep Badge”

(Awarded to Scouts demonstrating an exceptional ability to lollygag, laze and/or sleep until well past noon despite repeated parental entreaties to haul their asses out of bed)

The “Facebook Status Update Merit Badge”

(Exclusive to Scouts who update their status a minimum of 15-times daily and make appropriate use of emoticons, foul language, abbreviations and inane chatter)

The “Scream until I Get What I Want Badge”

(Bestowed upon Scouts able to sustain hissy-fits, meltdowns or temper tantrums for such duration that parents accede to any and all outrageous demands)

The “Microwaving my Pizza Pop Badge”

(Awarded for basic nutritional ignorance and gluttony. Must also demonstrate ability to tear open cellophane packaging, punch numbers on a keypad and stuff their gullets with unadulterated crap)

The “Introduction to Sexting Merit Badge”

(Granted to Scouts showing horny pre-teen impulses, crude photographic skills, technological prowess and lack of common sense or foresight)

The “Experimenting with Alcohol Badge”

(Awarded to Scouts demonstrating an early interest in intoxicants, projectile vomiting and nervy risk taking)

The “Swearing Like A Sailor” Badge

(Scouts must demonstrate exceptional proficiency in talking a blue streak, directing profanities at authority figures and have a good understanding of common euphemisms for male and female genitalia)

The “Dog Ate My Homework Badge”

(Awarded to Scouts showing academic ambivalence, as well as excellence in deception, procrastination and lame excuse making)

The “Pushing a Little Old Lady into Oncoming Traffic Badge”

(A modern variation on a once proud tradition. Eligible Scouts must demonstrate lack of empathy, advanced thuggery and sociopathic tendencies.)

The “Give Me Every Badge or I’ll Sue You, Badge”

(Awarded scouts who don’t put any work into earning badges but threaten legal action if they don’t get them because they have an unnatural sense of entitlement.)

The “I Promise Not to Tell Anyone Merit Badge”

(Not a recruitment tool – but given the shoddy screening practices for Scout Leaders I’m surprised it hasn’t been introduced earlier)

Honestly, Robert-Baden Powell must be rolling over in his god damned grave.

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105 Comments leave one →
  1. YellowRoses610 permalink
    12:14 am

    Well done Don. I never licked them much any way and it was never really an option for me.
    Personlyu I prefered camping by my friends or on the rare occation, alone.

    Solo camping does wonders for your bravery and ressilence. I only did it once or twice but id did me some good. I can navigate woods fairly well.

    Buy yeah Boywscouts are fecking usless. I dated one once, in my highschool years. He was a fucking nancy pretending to be a tough guy.

    • 12:22 am

      Many thanks Rose.

      Wonderful to hear from you. I hope you are keeping well.

      I’m having a little trouble getting passed that first typo. The idea of you licking boy Scouts is rather disturbing. However, it might earn them the coveted “Licked by a Lesbian with socialist leanings and an interest in witchcraft badge.” I imagine that one would be damned rare.

      And, I commend you for camping on your own. It’s a wonderful way to spend some quiet time and reflect. More people should do it.

      All the best, Rose.

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        12:58 am

        Sorry, my brain hurts two papers today, finals in class tomorrow, gettitng ready for a trip.

        But Msystsong would kill me.

        Camping may be a lose term. I tooka sleeping bag into the woods one night and came back before my Father came home form work the next day.

        • Mystsong permalink
          1:16 am

          You spelled my name wrong. Thirty lashes while tied to the grammarian bookshelf!

          That’s not camping. Camping is spending two nights in a pop tent with five other girls. Through a thunderstorm. With latrines instead of real toilets.

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            8:44 pm

            I was alseep outside in the woods with a sleeping bag. I had no litrines
            I had a hole. that I dug.

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            1:39 am

            Eh, suck it up honey. You knew I was a shitty typist when you married me.

      • 1:44 am

        Rose…that typo was pretty darn funny. I just knew that Don would pick up on that. And, of course, he did and made a really funny comment about it. I hope you don’t mind us laughing because we are laughing with you…not at you!

        • YellowRoses610 permalink
          8:45 pm

          I’m a poor typist. It amuses me.

  2. 12:17 am

    Sigh, yet another confused individual. This is for Cub Scouts, not Boy Scouts. This isn’t a badge either, it’s a “belt loop”, or something to that extent. It serves no purpose in rank advancement or anything of that matter. Thankfully, the Boy Scouts are still respectable and actually challenging

    • 12:38 am

      Thank you VB.

      Now, first off, don’t be sighing on my blog. It’s damned insulting. And secondly, I’m not confused and I have the medical papers to prove it. I experience mild boughts of disorientation but that’s primarily due to a mix of my heart medicine and encounters with damned stupid young people.

      Now look, I’m sorry if you’re “weary” of having to explain this difference between cubs and scouts but this video game badge is six shades of stupid and people are bound to be upset.

      And are you seriously suggesting that this is somehow okay because it would apply only to cubs? What the Hell is the difference? Cub Scout, Boy Scout…they’re all damned young people. And I don’t care if it’s a belt loop, a merit badge or a sash and tiara and a permanent tattoo – it’s damned ridiculous, awards sloth and is all around stupid.

      Thanks for visiting, VB, but in my opinion, you’re way off the mark.

      Don

      • 1:45 am

        That “sighing” got on my nerves, too, Don!

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        8:48 pm

        Please don;t lump me together with these ass clowns. Just because I’m young does not make me one of those unscrupolious fucks. Thank you.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      4:41 pm

      I was under the impression that a major part of scouting (any kind of scouting) was to get these little brats off their couches and into nature…or at least doing something productive or societally valuable. Scouting is where you send your kids so that they don’t spend all their time playing video games.

      A badge, belt loop, nodule, high five or whatever, it doesn’t matter. It is giving merit to something that has no merit.

      Our cultural sickness has no bottom.

    • David permalink
      10:43 pm

      The Scouts haven’t been a respectable organization since they sold their board of directors to the mormons.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    12:18 am

    This is highly entertaining. I don’t suppose you’d do one for the Girl Scouts if I asked nicely? With a “Prosti-tot Try-It Badge”?

    • Mystsong permalink
      12:40 am

      WordPress seems to take some devilish delight in not remembering me. Oh well.

    • 12:50 am

      Many thanks Mystsong,

      I have no idea why wordpress might be behaving so strangely but I do appreciate your dropping in. Be assured that if the Girl Scouts ever consider anything as asinine as a “video game badge” I’ll be happy to provide them with similar suggestions.

      Fortunately (and not uncommonly) the ladies are showing more damned common sense than the men folk. At least for the time being.

      All the best and thanks for visiting with me.

      Don

  4. 12:21 am

    Dear god Mr Mills, next they will be allowing girls to join😦 . Maybe they should go the whole hog and rename themselves Boy Louts!

    • 1:06 am

      Many thanks Frigginloon,

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised. They’ll likely become one giant, gender ambiguous troupe of Boy/Girl Louts striving for their “Dine and Dash,” “Caustic Hickey” and “Petty Burglary” badges before graduating to Eagle Scouts and getting their “Drive by” Badge.

      It’s a damned sad commentary on American culture.

      All the best and thanks for visiting,

      Don

  5. 12:24 am

    Not a truer word spoken, Don. I worked very hard for every one of my Eagle Scout merit badges. Stood up in front of the Chamber of Commerce and made a plea for a small park for kids for my Civics MB. A whole week was spent awake from dusk to dawn drawing those damn constellations freehand for my Astronomy MB, and wore my legs right down to a nub for my hiking MB (10, 15, 25, and 50-mile hikes with full pack). It really killed me to do good in school for my Scholarship MB, but I did; even enduring the ‘asskisser’ taunts of the unwashed. They were good merit badges and really meant something every time I received one at a council fire.

    I can just see now in my minds eye some muckety-muck in the BSA reading your suggestions and saying to himself ‘gosh, that one might be a good one’.

    T.O.M.

    • 12:14 pm

      Many thanks Tom,

      I’m sure those badges meant a great deal to you – you certainly earned them. And I’m sure the skills you learned have served you well.

      Somehow I just can’t picture the damned kids on my street hauling a full pack 50 miles. They need their parents to carry their knapsacks out to the SUV for them before getting chauffeured the 1/2 mile to school.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

      • 4:35 pm

        After I made my comment I dug out my old sash and counted them – I had 27 merit badges. Each one tells a story too. I earned them starting in 1953 and right through 1958. Now that I think of it, the hiking MB was probably the hardest one I’d earned. I got it concurrently, by hiking a 127 mile stretch up the Appalachian Trail. It took us three weeks and we loved every minute of it. I was 14 at the time.

        You’re definitely right about the schools also. I had to walk about two blocks to get to my bus pick-up point (no, not uphill both ways). Back then, it was the schools that established bus stops – not the other way around. Nowadays, when you enroll a kid in a school, the bus has to make a stop right in front of your house. Heaven forbid the poor little dears would have to walk anywhere more stressful then across their yard.

        T.O.M.

        • 10:50 pm

          Many thanks Tom,

          An impressive collection. That trek uo the Appalachian Trail must have been a Hell of an experience. Well done.

          All the best,

          Don

        • David permalink
          10:46 pm

          Uhmm…that Appalachian Trail hike – by any chance was the young Mark Sanford with you?

  6. 12:37 am

    Mr. Mills, I am very curious as to what merit badges you would introduce to aid the youth of today become more they way you would like them to be. I have a few suggstion of my own.

    1- The Bow Tie Badge. This is given for the continuous wearing of a suit and bow tie. It is a fact that when the bow tie went out of style, there was an accompanying change from youthful tomfoolery to juvenile offender status.

    2- The Castor Oil Badge. A good dose of Castor Oil used to keep everything (and everyone) running smoothly. This badge will encourage the nightly consumption.

    3- The Paper Route Badge. Nothing got the young out of the house early better than a paper route. It had the added benefits of making sure they were too tired to go wilding at night and earning their own money kept them from stealing yours.

    Mr. Mills, I am sure you have strong views on this and I am curious how you would improve the merit badge situation.

    • 5:17 pm

      Many thanks Bmj2k,

      Those are excellent badges and I would heartily support the introduction of them all. If I needed to add a few more to the list they might include:

      1. The Decent Pair of Trousers Badge. Awarded to Scouts who wear slacks that fit properly and hang from the waist (or higher) and who can demonstrate appropriate modesty and the proper use of a belt and/or suspenders.

      2. The Sensible Hair Cut Badge. A respectable flat top, crew cut or made-at-home bowl cut would earn a Scout the opportunity to sport this particular badge.

      3. The Seen and Not Heard Badge. For Scouts understanding when to keep their mouths shut and who display respect for their parents and elders.

      4. The Blank Canvas Badge for scouts who refrain from piercing, tattooing or other forms of self-mutilation.

      5. The Manners Badge. A rare one but issued to Scouts who understand the use of phrases like “please,” “thank you” “sir” and “madam.”

      Those are just top of mind, Bmj2k but I’m sure if we put our heads together we could come up with an impressive and lengthy list.

      All the best and thanks again,

      Don

      • Mystsong permalink
        9:24 pm

        Unless I’m misremembering, the Manners Badge does in fact exist and is awarded to Brownie girl scouts. Though I seem to recall it focusing more on table manners than terms of address.

  7. 12:40 am

    Why restrict these fine badges to just the Boy Scouts? They could be handed out at schools and places of employment; by civic leaders and law enforcement officials.

    Most young girls would be elgible for these badges too, but you would need to add at least 3 more badges: wearing too much make-up, ridiculous hair-dos and dressing like a skank whore.

    The way I see things going, these badges might be the only award the next generation ever receives.

    • 5:20 pm

      Many thanks yellowcat,

      I believe you’re right. There are all kinds of young people that might be eligible to receive these dubious honors. Perhaps I’ll forget about the trading cards for a while and try designing a few.

      Always a pleasure to have you stop in, yellowcat.

      Best regards,

      Don

  8. anonymous permalink
    12:43 am

    Don, you forgot the 25th body piercing badge. Young people these days have more holes than a the average pin cushion owned by a law abiding senior citizen making clothes for orphans.

    • 5:22 pm

      Many thanks anonymous,

      I’m preparing a letter to the Boy Scouts of America as we speak and will be sure to include your suggestion. That would be sure to swell their ranks and is one that most of the little miscreants should be able to add to their collections immediately.

      All the best,

      Don

  9. 1:16 am

    I was never allowed to join the scouts after a scoutmaster diddled some youngster in our neighborhood. My father thought those leaders looked silly in their uniforms, and invited perverts and nancy boys, so my pursuits were organized sports and shoveling snow for money. Then one of the Minnesota Vikings diddled a youngster, and it blew dad’s theory all to hell. Not exactly “The Wonder Years”, but what the hell. Maybe they should give badges for getting through the scouts unmolested. Funny post, Don!

    • 5:43 pm

      Many thanks Dan,

      It’s damned unfortunate that the Scouts have been plagued by that kind of nastiness. And the sports world too. Seems like every time you turn on the news a degenerate pervert is getting nabbed for some despicable breach of trust and decency. I think they should sew a damned badge on the heads of the culprits themselves so that everyone will know who they’re dealing with. Better yet, toss them in jail and throw away the key.

      Thanks for visiting Dan. Always good to hear from you.

      Don.

      p.s. if you’re still in the snow shovelling game give me a call. I could likely use a hand next winter.

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        9:03 pm

        Better plan. We form mobs and heniously beat these molesters. Screw jail, lets have a good old fashioned hanging. I have enough rope and blunt weapons for this project.

      • 11:27 pm

        Ha! I’d be honored to throw the snow for you. I think my nickname in Minneapolis was “Snowplow McGins”.

  10. 1:19 am

    I couldn’t believe this was a real badge or belt loop or whatever. I had to Google it (I’m sure someone here will explain that – I’m too busy watching Celebrity Apprentice) for verification.

    As we’ve said for many years, “What is the world coming to?”

    Can I have a Top Chef or Project Runway badge?

    • 8:46 pm

      Many thanks Pamela,

      A Project Runway badge? I don’t see why not. There is certainly as much merit in one as there is in a video game badge. I’ll pop one in the mail just as soon as I receive verification that you’ve watched all 7 seasons (I had to google that, by the way) and can figure out what it might look like.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  11. 1:23 am

    My Eagle Scout brother risked his life at age 14 to save a bunch of my classmates from a runaway mowing tractor. He lost half his back, an ear, and other assorted chunks of valuable flesh after placing himself between the tractor and my classmates. With nothing but sheer courage and young sinewy muscles he pushed the terrifying thing off its destructive course and almost lost his life in the process.

    I suppose they could make a video adventure game about that kind of 14 year-old heroism and give a badge or a cookie to the kid who could endure the game’s second and third levels of endless skin grafts and body-rebuilding tedium and 8 months in the hospital, but I guess it would lack the sort of instant gratification and WIN so many kids think they deserve.

    • 8:15 am

      Joan that’s an amazing story – you must be so proud of your brother!

      • 12:20 pm

        Yes, NM, but I shared it to underscore how far the Scouting has fallen from the mark. Scouting was a big part of who my brother was and who he is today. It makes me angry, like Don, to see it trivialized by Video Gaming Achievement goals.

        • YellowRoses610 permalink
          9:13 pm

          Bye that boy a drink for me,Alright?

    • 9:00 pm

      Many thanks Joan.

      A remarkable story and a very accurate comment. Your brother sounds like quite a man.

      Don

  12. 1:48 am

    Hee hee hee, love this post. I still have my Girl Scout badge, and earned more badges than I could fit on it. I think video games are dumb, but if that’s the way they got to keep scouts interested, I say screw it, let em.

    I think I’ve already earned my swear like a sailor badge.

    • 9:07 pm

      Many thanks The Girl from the Ghetto and welcome. I appreciate your stopping in.

      I appreciate the comment but personally I find it a damned shame that we need to use video games as a hook to keep young people interested in anything. There is a whole world of interesting activities that Scouting has to offer and the beauty of it is that it’s real – not some virtual nonsense that won’t teach you anything except how to “power up” and use apply cheat codes.

      I suppose I shouldn’t let it grind my gears but it just seems like we’re damned well giving up sometimes.

      Anyway, it just turned 5 p.m. and I think it’s time for a nice glass of rye.

      All the best. I do hope to hear from you again.

      Don

  13. 1:53 am

    Don…how about a “I’m expressing my individuality” badge for the little assclowns who wear their pants down to their skinny little ankles and show their name-brand undies? Nothing says “I’m DIFFERENT” than wearing the same name (like those girlie guys on the Ambercrombie and Fitch ads) label on their high-priced manties (man-panties).
    Or, a “It’s my consitutional right” badge for the little commies who want to deface our flag or do some other stupid anti-American liberal act?
    Those little farts should be given badges that say, “I’m A Loser”.
    That’s what I think, Don.
    Another great post!!!! I’ll give this one a triple-A, a Z-snap, and two thumbs up!
    Keep yelling it like it is, my friend.

    Your faithful reader (and stalker….I’ll get you yet!)

    TPB

    • YellowRoses610 permalink
      9:17 pm

      Hey. leave us Liberals out of this. I don’t want some crappy merrit badge.

      And sense when is using one’s freedom of speech and exspresion Anti-American? I’ll burn a piece of cloth to make a point if I damn well please.

      Also It;s hating Socialists that’s in vogue not communists. Though people tend to get them confused “We’re used to it”

      Other than that, yes those little bastards need to man up.

    • 9:22 pm

      Many thanks TPB,

      A very interesting comment and two excellent badge suggestions.

      Perhaps that first badge of yours could be renamed the “I think I’m expressing my individuality but I’m really just following the damned herd” badge. It’s a tad long, I admit, but I think it’s accurate. As I’ve said before, if 600 million teenagers are walking around with their underpants showing it isn’t “freedom of expression” it’s a damned uniform.

      On the second Badge, I’d also suggest a small change. How about “It’s my Constitutional right and although I have no idea what the Constitution is, what it says or what it means, I plan to milk it.”

      Many thanks TPB. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Best regards,

      Don

  14. 2:28 am

    I think Baden-Powell was supposed to be gay as Dick’s hatband himself, in a repressed sort of way, so I don’t know whether he is rolling in his grave or just flirting.

    My grievance is with the Girl Scouts, anyway — peddling their diabetes-inducing crap cookies with a guilt trip attached to each and every box. Modern times being what they are, I hear of people being pressed to buy them by Scout-parent co-workers, which is personal and obnoxious. Apparently it’s not safe for Girl Scouts to go knocking on doors any more.

    Does anyone remember Tom Lehrer’s song?

    • 9:29 pm

      Many thanks Sledpress,

      I wondered why I hadn’t seen a girl guide at my door in a while. I figured they were just scared of me.

      I’d heard that the office place had become a modern day flea market with parents selling all manner of crap in order to raise money for their kids schools, trips, ball teams etc. I feel badly for the people subjected to it but I have to admit I’m glad they aren’t banging on my door.

      I get enough foolish solicitation during the day and while I delight in reducing door to door salespeople to tears, it doesn’t feel quite as satisfying when it’s with a ten-year old girl with pig tails and box of cookies.

      A very amusing video, too, Sledpress. Many thanks for sharing that.

      All the best,

      Don

      • Mystsong permalink
        9:34 pm

        I always sold my cookies door to door when I was in the scouts. And at my high school, when I was older. But not once did I put up an order sheet at my father’s office. Besides, you can make a killing off of your fellow sudents’ sweet tooth once they’re old enough to have their own disposable income.

    • Mystsong permalink
      9:30 pm

      Hey, at least our cookies are tasty. Can’t say that of the boy’s popcorn.

      And the past several years have seen the introduction of sugar and fat free varieties for those with dietary restrictions. And the retirement of my personal favorite variety, sadly…

  15. 2:42 am

    Haha, Boy Scout’s cashing in on video games for popularity, sounds altogether like Christian bands capitalizing on the allure of rock n’ roll, cuz as some pioneering Christian rock musician once said, “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” – just as the Boy Scouts may well be thinking why should all the “ill prepared people” be the only ones accessing sedentary indoor entertainment…

    • 10:27 pm

      Thank you RubyTwoShoes,

      I’ve always been rather stumped by those Christian Rock Bands – and the whole fad makes it very hard for us old folks to figure out who we’re supposed to be mad at, frightened by or suspicious of. I preferred when we had more clearly defined camps.

      But I agree that these Scouts are trying to cash in. They know a fast buck when they see it and kids today are more inclined to strive for a crazy taxi badge than they are interested in learning how to tie a cat’s paw.

      Thanks for stopping in RubyTwoShoes,

      Warm regards,

      Don

  16. 3:01 am

    Don,

    Another excellent post! And I promise I won’t sigh. Or lick any boy scouts.

    I think The “Give Me Every Badge or I’ll Sue You, Badge” could alternatively be called the ” obnoxious self-entitled, spoiled brat attorney in training” merit badge.

    Regards,

    Carol

    • 10:32 pm

      Many thanks Dr. King.

      And it could come with a blue tooth and tiny attaché case.

      Thanks kindly for stopping in. I look forward to seeing your next painting.

      Don

      p.s. I appreciate your not sighing and am delighted to hear you will refrain from licking boy scouts.

  17. elizabeth3hersh permalink
    3:05 am

    Young people can be so unimaginative. I knew ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse would never fly so I came up with the following: “My husband caught me cheating. In a fit of rage, he piled all my panties and homework on the family grill, doused it with lighter fluid and torched it! My 26-page paper that I worked on FOR WEEKS was in the inferno! I don’t know what I am going to do!” (Cue crying.)

    I received an extra week and condolences from my alarmed/concerned professor. I’m not sure what kind of badge that would have merited, but it sure as hell wouldn’t have been one of those toxic cadmium-impregnated badges made in China.

    Nice job, Don. Always nice to welcome you in my home on Sundays.

    P.S. I only pulled that stunt once. I was a straight-A student all through college.

    • elizabeth3hersh permalink
      3:21 am

      I take that back. I got a B in economics and almost flunked gym…still.

    • YellowRoses610 permalink
      9:20 pm

      …My Gods, that is Brilliant. I’ll have to remember that.

    • 11:07 pm

      Many thanks Elizabeth,

      I appreciate being welcomed into your home on Sundays. I always look forward to your comments.

      I have to say that is the most confusing and outlandish excuse I have ever heard. And I’ve heard some doozies. Back when I was a working man I would have staff calling me to explain why they were going to be late or absent and I thought I had heard it all. But barbequed panties, extramarital affairs and flaming homework is a new one. (It’s so outlandish you almost have to believe it).

      Bt I would hope you only pulled that once. It would be hard to top and after the initial shock wore off, I imagine your professor might start to look at this type of excuse with a slightly more critical eye.

      As far as what kind of badge that would earn…I have no idea but the “But barbequed panties, extramarital affairs and flaming homework” badge has a hell of a ring to it.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  18. 3:06 am

    As a former Boy Scout, I find a “Video Game” merit badge to be an insult to the fine scouting tradition. Next thing you know, they’ll be giving merit badges for making a safe meth lab.

    • 11:12 pm

      Many thanks Ahmnodt,

      Yes, I believe it’s the new Chemistry Merit Badge.

      Many thanks for visiting.

      All the best,

      Don

  19. Susi Spice permalink
    7:56 am

    hi grandpa!😀 hugs.

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on this subject, which came up on the news here today:

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1047784/prepare-for-100-year-old-workers-expert

    • 11:33 pm

      Many thanks Susi,

      I appreciate your including that link. An interesting article.

      While I’m delighted to be done with work I can appreciate that a good number of older folks have no interest at all in slowing down and I fully support their right to continue working just as long as they feel they have a contribution to make. And if I were an employer, I’d pick the 75 year old over the 25 year old any day of the week. The young one may have a tad more energy but I’d say the experience, loyalty and work ethic you find in the oldster more than makes up for the odd afternoon nap.

      The only problem I see is that more and more old folks are being forced to continue working because they can’t afford to retire (largely because of the 40 year old children who are still living in their damned basement). I’d hate to see anyone have to work until the day they drop just to keep getting by. Everyone deserves a few years of afternoons on their front porch.

      All the best and many thanks,

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        2:08 pm

        Oddly enough, Mr Mills, I was reading this comment when my 85 year old co-worker buzzed my desk with a question. While only part-time, he’s probably one of the best employees here and is a joy to work with.

  20. 11:16 am

    I think they should introduce a “Self-Harm” badge, for those with an emo nature and Swiss Army Knife skills.

    Found your blog via Yellowcat and you are bloody hilarious.

    • 11:41 pm

      Many thanks blogmella.

      I suspect those damned emo types could have their own subset of badges. In addition to the “self-harm” (or “cutter”) badge, they could have the “Miasma of Despair” Badge, the “Petulant Pout” Badge and the always popular “Get over yourself you dam self-absorbed moody bastard” Badge.

      Very nice of you to stop in and visit. I hope you’ll drop by again sometime.

      Don

  21. 2:35 pm

    I strongly suggest looking at every “child-based” (3-21) group that no longer allows the experience of losing! Things like excessive merit badges, 3 foot tall trophies for finnishing 15th, do-overs until you a curmudgeonly old fart, and so on, teach NOTHING! Failure teaches like nothing else. Every successful person has experienced some failure and they will tell you how it became a positive experience for them. Failure rewarded creates nothing but more failure and the expectation of more failure.

    • 11:48 pm

      Many thanks Bob,

      I’m in full agreement. Absolutely!

      I believe I’ve mentioned before that an educator I know told me of a school were children don’t fail, they simply “defer success.” It’s damned scary.

      Many thanks for the comment. In my view, you’re bang on the money.

      Don

  22. Sedate Me permalink
    4:49 pm

    The “14-hours of Continuous Sleep Badge”
    (Awarded to Scouts demonstrating an exceptional ability to lollygag, laze and/or sleep until well past noon despite repeated parental entreaties to haul their asses out of bed)

    Actually, sir, I strongly suspect most of these little blighters average no more than 5 hours a sleep a day. They’ve got e-mail to check, sexting to do, Facebook pages to update and all kinds of other Twits to communicate with. It’s amazing any of them get any sleep at all, apart from the drug and alcohol induced blackouts.

    In this over-wired, highly caffeinated world, I think this is one proposed merit badge that actually has some merit.

    • 12:36 pm

      Many thanks Sedate Me.

      I have to admit that I hadn’t considered the impact of all this tweeting, emailing, texting and facebooking on the sleeping habits on damned young people. All I know is that I see my neighbor’s girl stumbling out of her front door every day at about noon with hair akimbo and dressed in what appear to be pajama bottoms. But you’re right – she always has a telephone in hand and pressed firmly up under her nose. So perhaps you’re on to something.

      I was thinking just the other day that I’m surprised most young people don’t have big goose eggs on their foreheads. I see them all walking about with their eyes firmly fixed on their telephone keypads and wonder how it is that they avoid walking into doors, trees, telephone poles and oncoming traffic. They seem to be completely oblivious to their surroundings.

      I actually wouldn’t begrudge them this badge anyway. The more they sleep, the less likely they are to get on my nerves, walk on my lawn or get into foolish mischief.

      Many thanks Sedate me. Always nice to hear from you,

      Best regards,

      Don

    • DJ Mills permalink
      3:24 pm

      You know I’m actually inclined to agree with you. I remember when I was living in a dorm, there were kids that seemed like they never slept. I would see them right before I went to bed (mind you I always was up late in the first place). Then I would hear them in the middle of the night, or see them when I walked down the hall to the restroom. Then again, early, early, in the morning, still going full speed. It was a damn anomaly to me. Maybe they slept in the middle of the day while I was in class. Now that I think about it, that does seem to be the only time I didn’t see them.

  23. lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
    8:04 pm

    I just had two ideas that would make great modern merit badges.

    “The I’m too cool to care merit badge”

    For excellence in pretending to be apathetic, so as to look hip. The final test is that the recipient dismiss the merit badge itself.

    “The sore loser merit badge”

    Awarded to those who constantly lost and find a way each time to blame another, the system, of anything else.

    • 12:39 pm

      Thank you kindly lookingforsomethingtofind,

      Both are excellent additions to the list. I think the sore loser merit badge is especially appropriate. It seems like everyone today is looking for someone or something to blame for their own damned failings.

      Well done and thanks again,

      Don

  24. Clifton L. Tanager permalink
    11:33 pm

    Don –

    You’ve done a good thing here, hoisting the lackluster modern-day Boy Scouts by their own petard. It’s a shame that this action will earn them a merit badge in Petard Hoisting, but sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make omelets the way dad used to.

    1. Break eggs.
    2. Wonder why Mother wasn’t doing this.
    3. Retire to the garage with bottle of Scotch and contemplate the pros and cons of ex-communication vis-a-vis divorce.
    4. Return to kitchen and order kids to resume breakfast-making.
    5. Answer unexpected knock at the door; get served divorce papers.
    6. Retire to the garage with a bottle of Scotch and a newfound sense of irony.

    Anyway, when my brother and I joined the Scouts back in the mid-40’s, there were a slew of merit badges, all colorfully stitched and tantalizingly out of reach.

    They really made you work for them in those days. This was before the feel-good badges of the sixties and seventies began awarding those glorious patches for dubious achievements like “Assisting the Elderly” and “Extinguishing Brassiere Fires.”

    We had to go the extra mile (or several) to obtain our badges, with our overbearing fathers and troop leaders breathing down our necks, from an uncomfortably close position.

    Some of us never “ran the table,” so to speak.

    Poor Richie Neidelmeier’s gene pool prevented him from ever sewing on the “Grow to 6 Feet” badge. Arnold Welks was denied the prestigious “Hold Your Breath for 2 Minutes” badge thanks to an asthma attack brought on by an underwater tickling attack. He was, however, posthumously awarded the “Dead Man’s Float” badge, for maintaining the float position for nearly 45 minutes (a new Boy Scout record).

    Clive Postlewaite’s early-onset Rickets keep him from decorating his impressively sunken chest with the “200 Pushups + Half-Marathon” badge, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the addition of that badge to his sash would have crushed him like an aluminum can.

    Delmar Mackleroy lost one to a sudden case of the munchies (“6-Day Fast” badge). Merle Stinson blew out a tire on mile 240, thus ending his bid for the elusive “Tour De France Winner” badge. Earl Pinkelman lost another when he was let go after only 15 years of service at the local sawmill (“20 Years of Faithful Service” badge). Virgil Munkvold dropped the ball, and consequently his badge, when a sudden gust of wind knocked him off his unicycle (“50 Mile Juggle” badge).

    As you astutely point out, today’s Scouts are being rewarded for doing nothing more special than managing not to die. It all starts with graduation ceremonies for each year of school and doesn’t end until God (or Set or Agamemnon or whoever) awards you life’s final merit badge: “Lifetime Achievement in Existing.”

    Of course, this is only rewarded posthumously, which makes the whole act pointless, much like life itself.

    Continue to boldly trudge down the road less travelled, Don. At least that way, you won’t be disturbed by the mediocrity of youth.

    • 1:34 pm

      Many thanks Clifton,

      I believe you are correct and that a good deal of the trouble with modern scouting can be traced back to those feel-good badges of the 1960s and 70s.

      The disgraceful lack of organization, attention to detail and forethought that led to the awarding of several “Extinguishing the Elderly” and “Assisting Brassiere Fire” badges is a fine example of the mess that was created through this new, lackluster approach to scouting. (Unfortunately, at the time, everyone in the damned country was high on the LSD and no one could be held accountable for the mayhem that ensued).

      And I still maintain that Richie Neidelmeier, Clive Postlewaite, Delmar Mackleroy and the rest of the lads who were denied badges due to their genetic make-up, weak immune systems and need for sustenance likely learned important lessons about their own failings and limitations through the process of making the attempt. Better to understand your own abilities and adjust your life-goals accordingly than to be rewarded for just showing up.

      All the best Clifton and thank you once again for the comment.

      Don

  25. 12:34 am

    The Cub Scouts ain’t what it used to be Mr. Mills! That’s for sure.

  26. 1:23 am

    what’s next? will the 4H club become the 5H club, with the extra H for hellraising?

    • 1:45 pm

      Thank you Nonnie,

      I wouldn’t be surprised. And if they don’t like “hellraising” they could also consider “hooch-swilling,” “hemp-smoking” or “havoc-wreaking.”

      All the best,

      Don

  27. 3:18 am

    A very appropriate post and 1st comment. Sort of sums up what scouting, scoutmastering, and priesthood is all about. My theory is – if you like kids, you shouldn’t be allowed around them.

    • 2:27 pm

      Many thanks wrjones.

      Unfortunately in this day and age that’s a theory people would be wise to pay attention to.

      Best regards and thanks for the comment.

      Don

  28. 10:44 am

    I love these new merit badge ideas Don. Sadly even here in Spain, these kids would be more decorated than World War II fighter pilots meeting the president for the first time.

    It’s my contention that the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church and NAMBLA should all join forces, effectively consolidating their awesome power, money and attorneys on retainer. This would also free up court time by the consolidation of class action suits.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      3:34 pm

      Sorry. While NAMBLA and the Boy Scouts would love access to the power, influence, money and propaganda machine of the Catholic Church, the Vatican would never go for it.

      Just like they think they have God-given, exclusive rights over Christianity, they also think they have God-given, exclusive rights over the anal rape of young boys.

    • 6:08 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      Personally, I’d like to see most organizations disbanded entirely and have all of their money, influence and power transferred over to my seniors centre. It’s about time that the seat of power was a gently used Barcalounger.

      I like to think we’d be firm but fair in our rule.

      All the best,

      Don

  29. 12:05 pm

    Mr Mills

    I know you put that swear like a sailor in their for my benefit and i appreciate it…..sorry I have not been around have been to busy picketing the local senior center….the god damn new construction on The Donald Mills Facebook and sexting intervention center has been holding traffic on main street something awful..it has effectively shut down the adult book store and nudie bars..so my days are empty and boring…..but you have lots of great ideas for the scouts….i would qualify for more then half of them…damn i got the life…zman sends

    • 6:23 pm

      Many thanks Zman,

      No need to apologize. I know you damned young people are busy.

      I’d ask you to reconsider your displeasure over the proposed Don Mills Facebook and Sexting Intervention Centre (DMFSIC). I understand it’s causing you some grief from an access to pornography perspective but trust me when I tell you that it’s going to make an important contribution to the well-being of young people everywhere.

      Rest assured that we won’t be using any of those ridiculous intervention techniques that you see on the television – there’ll be no weepy confrontations, sensitive hugging and impassioned pleas for people to change their lives. My interventions with young people will be simple – hit them with a shovel to knock some damned sense into them and then give them the shovel and tell them to start digging ditches until they learn the value of hard work.

      Simple, but I believe entirely effective.

      Always good to hear from you Zman. Your “swearing like a sailor badge” is in the mail.

      All the best,

      Don

  30. 1:01 pm

    Ha ha! Love it. Both my boys went to Boys Scouts and Cub Scouts. I was actually a cub scout leader. My older son is an eagle scout but did not do his awards ceremony. The younger son dropped out also. When they grew up, it became harder and harder for them to be politically aligned with the scouts. And I could not justify it either.

    You need to give an award to Moms who have to spontaneously watch the son perform the “Harry/Hairy Dick” skit and endure the wrath of all the parents. I swear my son did this. I want an award for enduring/surviving this.🙂

    • 10:17 pm

      Scribers Web!

      How nice to hear from you. My old friend Ram sends his best regards.

      I’ll be happy to see if I can put together a suitable “Harry/Hairy” dick skit badge. I have no idea what it might look like and expect it will be a challenge keeping it “decent” but I love a challenge.

      All the best and wonderful to hear from you. I hope all is well in sunny Texas and that the family is keeping well.

      Best regards,

      Don

  31. DJ Mills permalink
    4:22 pm

    Mr. Mills, if I didn’t know any better I would assume you are hoping for a nice solar flare to technologically knock us back to the 1800’s. I don’t gather this conclusion solely from this post, but a number of your post’s I have read.

    Don’t get me wrong, I completely disagree with the idea of rewarding and encouraging laziness. Especially when the people issuing the reward are supposed to encouraging outdoor skills, building character, a sense of community and an active lifestyle. All those sounds like excellent qualities for a young to possess, but I would be very hesitant to allow my son to join the Boy Scouts. I think back to my scouting days, and it’s not too pleasant. Those kids come off as outstanding citizens, but I assure you, the majority of them are nothing but foul, rotten little bastards. I saw more sadistic behavior there then when I was in my early 20’s living in The Castro in San Francisco (don’t ask).

    • 10:29 pm

      Many thanks DJ.

      Actually, I’d be quite content if that solar flare of yours were to simply knock us back to the early 1950s. The 1920s would be acceptable too. The ladies sure knew how to dress back then.

      I quite enjoyed your description of the majority of scouts as “nothing but foul, rotten little bastards” D.J. You’re sounding more like the senior Don Mills every day. Hopefully you don’t find that notion too depressing.

      Regardless, I’m sure you’re right. Scouts or not, I think the description applies to 99 per cent of the young people population. I’ve always just felt the Scouts had a lot to offer to the remaining 1 per cent.

      Now, let’s hear about this business in the Castro. I’d be willing to trade. I have some stories about a business trip to Dayton in the early 70s that would curl your hair.

      Good to hear from you D.J.

      All the best,

      Don

      • DJ Mills permalink
        12:48 pm

        I agree, The Boy Scouts (in theory) are a decent organization. I did in fact learn some useful things that still come in handy. Most notably how to build a quick fire, and how to get in front of a group of people and not look like a complete buffoon. However, there’s a lot of traumatizing stuff I still can’t get by:

        -Every time we came from swimming somebody’s shorts would undoubtedly end up around their ankles. While this did provide me some insight into where I should be in my *ahem* personal growth, I found it highly disturbing.

        -I clearly remember multiple tea bagging incidents. Some of which I was on the receiving end of. I still have nightmares.

        -There was this one particularly disturbing incident. A flaming red headed mentally challenged boy was in the latrine handling his business when a bee happened to make his way in. I don’t think I have to go into too much detail about what happened next. In short, he came running out mid droppage, completely naked, running around the camp in a frenzy. I feel sorry for that poor guy who had to calm him down.

        -Caving trip, 10 boys, 1 hotel room, adults in a separate room, free late night Cinemax.

        -There was this game played on the new kids. This involved the victim laying on the ground with their eyes closed. Somebody would drop their pants, put it a few inches above the victims face, then the victim would be slapped on the forehead causing them to spring up super quick. I never took part in that, and still don’t understand why the other kids did.

        -In public showers, grown men showering with children. I was there. I saw it. First hand.

        So about the Castro, nowhere else in the world have I ever seen:

        -A large group of middle aged men who take a daily nude bike ride

        -What appears to be a normal movie theatre, that premieres adult films. With red carpet appearances and full sized posters in full view on the street.

        -My mother nearly have a stroke after realizing the restaurant she made a reservation at during a visit, was a transvestite show club. That was a particularly hysterical evening. The men’s room was nothing more than a room with a bathtub filled with ice, and a couple stalls with no toilets, that wasn’t so funny.

        -Adult film industry conventions. I was handed a few very graphic flyers on the street.

        But then again, I have never been to Vegas.

        Don’t get me started on Dayton. I could write a 5,000 page report on that place. It just so happens I was born and raised there.

  32. 10:29 pm

    Don,

    There is nothing of value I can add to this tremendous compilation. And I’m not just saying that because two of my most oft-used keys (delete and return) recently fell off my keyboard.
    (Word of advice: Do NOT try super-gluing things back on yourself, if you a) get distracted easily, or b) don’t have a neurosurgeon-steady hand.)

    Regardless, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Not only will your badges build the confidence of kids who, in the past, have always ended up with little more than a pat on the back and the “Thanks For Coming Out” ribbon, they will also save parents a lot of precious time and money.

    Why bother putting your kid in a group that teaches skills his older siblings are teaching him anyway?

    You did it again, Don. You did it again, indeed.

    Your friend,
    Bschooled

    • 10:49 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I don’t have a favorite but York is fond of the “insert” key and giggles like an idiot every time he mentions it. Personally, I’ve long suggested a “censor” key would be a fine addition to the modern, standard keyboard.

      And thanks for the advice on the superglue. I’ve never been one to purchase glue – preferring to make my own out of maple syrup, chewing gum, cough syrup and a small amount of finely ground digestive biscuits. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to send you the recipe.

      All the best and thanks for visiting. It’s always a happy day when you stop in to visit.

      All the best,

      Your friend,

      Don

  33. Lynn permalink
    4:04 pm

    a video game merit badge? that’s just ridiculous…. i thought merit badges were earned by learning some actually useful. video games, what a joke!

  34. Greg S. permalink
    1:51 pm

    The video game award teaches boys safety on the internet more than how to play video games. Some game play is required but mostly it”s about avoiding predators/stalkers and such! Once again people have chosen to believe the crapola printed in the news and broadcast.

  35. Greg S. permalink
    2:05 pm

    The scouting program changes to keep up-to-date with society. Overall it’s a good thing that it does. One of scouting’s biggest problem is discipline. Children get very little of it at home and virtually none at school! Children have had almost all expectations removed from their life as modern parents want their children to be ‘natural’. Unfortunately that means they are self-centered and undisciplined. They expect to succeed by simply showing up. And their parents reinforce the idea. I don’t know of anyone who expects great rewards at work simply by showing up, do you? The best way I know to express the problem with kids is this: It’s not that kids should always color within the lines, it’s the fact the kids can’t color within the line these days!

    The only way to change things is to reintroduce responsibility, expectations and discipline into childrens lives. If this is not done then we can only look forward to an ever crumbling America.

  36. lianamerlo permalink
    1:06 am

    You make the boy scouts sound like fun!
    Makes me regret not having been a girl scout.

  37. Mama Bear permalink
    5:01 pm

    They have also added disability awareness, hiking,as well as map and compass. There is also one for computers is that also one to swell their ranks. Keeping up with a changing world is important. The video game belt loop for cub scouts includes teaching some one to play setting up limits and understanding the ratings system. All must be done with a parent or den leader. The thing that gets me are parents who remove there children from scouting because it takes up to much of their “me” time. I am a cub leader and I am a life member girl scout. I am raising my son to be a person with Citizenship,Compassion, Cooperation, Courage,Faith Health and Fitness, Honesty, Perseverance, Positive Attitude, Resourcefulness, Respect, and Responsibility. My question is what are your goals in raising your children? My boys are always told to do their best and that means sometimes they may fail but that is how we learn scouts doesn’t give medals for showing up. My boys earn their awards. Our children are our future and to be honest I would rather have strong men and women in this world then those who’s egos must be constantly petted so they can function.

  38. Rage of Those Interrupted permalink
    2:20 pm

    Boyscouts are still better than girlscouts, at least. Seriously, they say you’re supposed to help people out and do service projects, but they expect you to spend most meetings doing art and talking. It’s useless and teaches you nothing except that according to society, girls aren’t as able to handle camping as boys are.

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