Saturday, May 19, 2018

The following post was also published in the Concord Monitor on 5/17/18

I have been watching the slow but steady demise of the Boy Scouts of America and as an  Eagle Scout of this former organization, I have decided to write a sad goodbye to an institution that played a major role in helping me grow up.

The new organization, the Scouts of America, no longer caters exclusively to boys and their change of approach marks the last of the major organizations that worked strictly with boys and young teens in their formative years. (Yes, I am aware that Explorers and Sea Scouts have been coed for years but they cater to an older group of Scouts).

There are many coed organizations that provide wonderful services to children and teens and I commend them on the great work that they do. And there are many organizations that still work strictly with girls and young women. But I think we are leaving many young boys to fend for themselves in the difficult task of learning how to be functioning young men in our society. What they learn on the streets or filtered through a coed screen, will not necessarily completely serve them in adult life. 

The Boy Scouts was a life-changing organization for me. They provided me and many others with scholarships to attend a camp where we learned about teamwork, living in the outdoors, swimming, life saving and many other skills. I learned from counselors and cabin mates, and was able to talk frankly with others about the very confusing aspects of the transition to adulthood.

I am saddened to see that the Boy Scouts of America no longer exists. Generations of young men grew up learning about the need to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and many other positive traits. New generations will be taught other things by a nation that seems to no longer value these qualities. For years Hollywood has been denigrating what it means to be caring and honest, using the term “boy scout” to tag someone as clueless and impotent. Well, it has finally taken hold. We have trashed them out of existence.

Even though I am sure the new coed organization will do its best to help develop good citizens, its role will be very different. The pendulum has swung in recent years to dismissing men’s and boy’s organizations as unnecessary to our culture. Somehow young men are expected to have all the answers just by the act of growing up, while young women, who mature much earlier than boys, are expected to be helpless in dealing with the new world. That attitude is not good for either sex. I sincerely hope the trend doesn’t continue to the point that the many young women’s organizations also disappear. Adolescents of both sexes often need time and space to figure things out.

We need to pay attention to the special needs of boys who are facing a very confusing period as to their role in society. Losing the Boy Scouts as an organization has added a significant gap in the opportunities for this development. Learning on the street and from video games or Hollywood films will not serve our young men or our society well.

I am including a poem from my book “In the Cat’s Eye” (Snap Screen Press 2009) called Boy Scout Camp as a short reminiscence of what will be missed. I finish with a thank you to BSA for all you did for me. May you rest in peace.

Glenn K. Currie

Boy Scout Camp

Rain pounded
The cabin roof.
Drum beats on snares
That Shrouded
Rabbits trapped.
It was scary at first,
Then soothing,
As we fell asleep
To natural rhythms.

It was us
Against the world.
Capture the flag,
Or clean latrines.
Learn nature’s secrets
Or bleed in its barbed wire.
We played games of life
In pastures
Where children grew.

We lay on battlefields
Of crushed grass,
Reading secret messages
Sent to us by a million stars.
And we found our way
Through dark forests,
To the sanctuary
Of  friendly campfires.

In the end
We learned about life.
Taught us
To survive the snares.
And to see
The world
The rabbit hole.

Copyright 2009

Glenn K. Currie

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Looking for Life Preservers

I have talked with so many people recently who just want to escape from the constant assault of 24-hour news.

The world is closing in on us. It is hard for a democracy to hold the middle when assaults are occurring from the edges and from within and without.

Even sports news is no longer a shelter from the storm. We argue about everything before the games even start. It seems like some of our citizens take great pleasure in stirring up controversy over even the simplest of things. And the complex issues like racism are defined by people that seem to have no sense of history. To say that racism is the worst in our history seems to ignore the existence of slavery, the Civil War, segregation, and a whole host of issues that have been overcome.

I meet almost daily with a group of citizens who cover the whole spectrum of political beliefs. We try not to get into politics too deeply, but find a whole range of other topics to discuss and agree upon that show a commonality that seems to be rapidly disappearing in the general population.

It is discouraging that so many try to make every subject a “no limits” fight that must be thought in a certain way. This kind of absolutism makes democracy very difficult. Our nation has almost always been about compromise on issues. No one gets their way all the time. Now people try to avoid even socializing with those who think differently on issues. We no longer have discussions on difficult subjects or work to understand each other’s views. It is a dangerous and disturbing trend that is particularly evident on college campuses. Our nation cannot survive a place where we cannot talk about issues and where we try to criminalize differing points of view.

I suggest that we all seek places we can go where anger and frustration are allowed to fade away. And when you have excised the bile, reach out across the lines in the sand and try to understand that, for the most part, we are just people trying to find our way in a very complex and confusing world.

Yes, there are a few arsonists on both sides of the political spectrum, who seek anarchy and wish to burn up all the oxygen in the room. We can only put out these fires by exercising a little common sense and common curtesy. Let’s try to avoid the Fire and the Flood.

Glenn K. Currie

The Fire

Polemics have become the norm,
Matches struck by doctors of anarchy
Light fires in angry crowds.
Mindless rage fuels protests of everything or nothing.
There seems no place to hide.
It seems pointless to speak against the hatred,
Cause no one is listening.
All the world is a cauldron
Left on the stove too long.

The Flood

A death of a nation is always surprising.
It gathers slowly, then happens in an instant.
A raging sea suddenly hits those thought safe.
Individual rights are swept away,
Democracy and freedom are cast overboard.
And emotions and panic become the rule of law.
Ships of fools do not do well,
When the typhoons come,
And the whirlpools carry us into the abyss.

Copyright 2018

Glenn K. Currie

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I intend to begin posting on my blog in the next few days. Thank you for your patience