The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.
“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”
Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.
“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”
Way to get to the heart of the issue, albeit unintentionally. Anyway, the boy scouts were originally founded as a paramilitary prep movement to get those wimpy city boys ready to kill some huns. You could call this getting back to their roots.
I don’t understand. Am I supposed to be upset about this or something? Because:
The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 — face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! — fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and masks affixed.
…sounds like total badassery. How could any teenage boy not want to do that?
Teenage boys want to do lots of things, and very few of them should be encouraged on an official level. Tolerated, up to a point, but that’s about it. CQB training can be fun, sure, but the context of indoctrination in which it is occurring is not something that I find personally acceptable.
Also, if they want to train on disgruntled Iraq veteran scenarios, I’d like to volunteer.
There’s a big difference between the Boy Scouts and the Explorers. As noted, the explorers have always been more of an internship type thing for people interested in law enforcement careers. The Boy Scouts, meanwhile, is more focused on traditional outdoor activities and skills.
Everybody thought I’d gone crazy. The cops, my mom, everybody. But you see, they all missed the point of the story. I wasn’t crazy. But when I was holding the shotgun, it all became clear. I realized for the first time my one true calling in life. I’m a natural born
See, I didn’t do scouts because the whole neckerchief/badges/pine box derby thing always seemed lame as hell to me. However, if someone had said I could run around with half-fake guns in uniforms and face TRIPWIRES AND POISON GAS…I don’t see how I possibly could have turned it down. That shit would be fun as hell.
Sure, you’ll get the redneck/blowhard/jackasses trying to teach kids what it means to be a “red-blooded American”, but it’s not like they won’t be exposed to that in Little League, Church, by their buddy’s dad, or wherever else. I fail to see the issue here.
I participated in the Explorers one time, a fairly fun canoe trip (ours was the only canoe not to turn over). At that age though, with puberty starting to hit and hanging out with dad the epitome of uncoolness, the local org fell part almost as soon as it was put together.
I joined the Boy Scouts around age 11 or so and even went on a trip with them to one of those camps. I never liked it, thought the scout stuff was pretty arbitrary, and disliked most of the kids in it. But it was when they locked me in the church basement, turned the lights out and left for the night, that i decided it wasn’t quite for me.