The Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in 2017, where President Donald Trump addressed the young men, was a seminal event in their lives. The Jamboree has traditionally been a transformative event for youths who attend. Two weeks away from home in a tween and teen boy paradise where they can belch, play with cool, geeky stuff, whittle, and stink, without worrying about impressing girls or being told not to do anything dangerous.
Between 2% and 5% of Boy Scouts attend the four-yearly National Jamboree. The BSA had 50,960 participants at its highest point at the 1964 Jamboree in Valley Forge (Pa.), and President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech. The number of attendees fluctuated over the years. In 2017, around 40,000 Scouts attended the Jambo at Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, which was donated to BSA.
The Scouts and Leaders gathered in Summit Stadium on one of the last nights of campout to listen to President Trump speak. If you want to kill 45 minutes, you can watch Trump’s entire speech at the end of this article. You will hear the roars of tens and thousands of young males who clearly love the attention that the Orange Man is giving them.
In order to put this massive event into perspective, it was at a time when “The Future is Female”, a feminist movement, was gaining momentum. Boys were disparaged, slandered, and suppressed, while girls’ futures in society were prioritized. Scouting was the last organization that focused exclusively on boys, their interests, inclinations, and development to achieve a successful life. Naturally, the organization came under attack.
Fort A.P. Hill kicked out the Scouts after the 2010 Jamboree, the 29th Jamboree the base hosted. The BSA, with its ban on gay Scoutmasters as well as its exclusions of women, was not compatible with then-President Obama’s new woke military. Barry, speaking of Barry: broke with tradition twice by refusing to attend the Jamboree and address the boys personally. At the time it was both insulting and unnerving. The president’s choice was emblematic of the establishment’s disdain towards the traditionalist, masculinist, and faithful youth program.
In 2017, some of those who were to perform for the boys backed out, citing that the organization was not woke enough. It was especially bad that, even though they knew what the BSA stood for when they agreed to perform, they chose to make a dramatic declaration at the expense of thousands of children.
Boys and men of every age were delighted when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, hired Gen. Jim Mattis as a man’s man to revive a demoralized military and turned political correctness on its head. When Trump flew on Marine One into the West Virginia Mountains to deliver one of his patriotic, rousing rallies to tens and thousands of disaffected, wild boys, they responded loudly and enthusiastically.
We can’t allow that.
The Establishment was quick to respond. The dinosaur media clung to their pearls when Trump included political topics in his address. X Ambassadors was one of the few bands to perform. They felt it necessary to tell the children how to celebrate the LGBTQ movement. The BSA had lifted its ban on openly homosexual Scout leaders but chartering organizations, which are mostly churches, were still allowed to make their own decision on the matter. The horror! The horror!
On the other hand, celebrities and TDS patients alike took to social media to compare the event to the Hitler Youth Rally. Yes, they called innocent kids “Nazis”, for listening to the speech of the President of the United States. Check out the first Jamboree to be fully intersectional this year:
Where have we seen this theme before for a youth group? Oh, yes — it was written in German at the time.
After Trump’s 2017 Jamboree appearance, many Scouts moms who were apoplectic ever since his election and couldn’t stand their sons enjoying the event wrote snarling, angry, and tear-soaked Facebook comments and letters to BSA National Headquarters demanding that something be made to atone for the sin of giving Trump a platform.
In a matter of days, both the BSA and Chief Executive Officer Michael Surbaugh issued apologies. But it was never enough. Just a few months later, the national Scouting Leadership, under pressure from corporate sponsors to be full inter sectionalized, removed the last restriction that made Boy Scouts such a unique youth program: The mighty BSA, which was formerly a boys-only program, announced that girls will be allowed to join Scouts. It was time to eliminate the last bastion of toxic masculinity.
National HQ has been grappling with the declining numbers of Scouts for several years. The BSA’s mothership was prepared to broaden Scouting’s appeal in order to attract more children and their families. The BSA had been experimenting with things like loosening the uniform requirements and creating skate parks in their high adventure camps. It may have seemed like an easy decision to open the door to Scouts with non-traditional sexuality, and then to girls. But it was doomed to failure. The changes stripped Scouting of its unique characteristics. After the final erasure and the inclusion of girls, the program no longer stood out among other youth organizations.
As Scoutmasters prepare to take their troops to the Jamboree in 2023, organizers are sending them forms asking for information such as whether their troop has any nonbinary or trans-Scouts so that they can meet their “additional” needs. The Jambo will feature a number of speakers, including former White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah L. Birx and Elaine P. Ho the Chief Diversity Officer for NASA. The inaugural “Women of Character”, a three-day event “designed to foster thinking leadership, generate support to female-centric Scouting Units across the United States and ensure that young girls have the opportunity to take part in the life-changing Scouting experiences” is open to attendees. However, no presidential visit is planned.
The Scouting movement was dying because of the changes in society: youth were becoming more self-absorbed and relying on “the government” to do everything, rather than themselves. Scouting could have survived indefinitely if it had stayed true to its founding principles. It would be smaller, but still very attractive to boys and families who value the Scout Oath. If we pretend that Scouting is for everyone, it will become common and boring.