The Dangerous Book for Boys

on June 20, 2007 in Film & Books

I found an interesting blog post by Gene Kinsey called Living the Grand Life. A recent entry was about a book titled, The Dangerous Book for Boys. I have seen this book in the stores, even picked it up and looked at it. It was quite interesting.

Gene writes in his blog, “I think our experiment in changing the nature of boys hasn’t worked too well. Boys need a little danger. They need to learn to build a fire even if they sustain a little burn. They need to learn how to use a knife and an ax, even if they cut themselves.” and “they need to learn it in a context of responsibility.”

How true that is. I have seen how our current society in this country has been trying to change boys into (shall I dare say it?) a bunch of sissy girls. Boys are not allowed to be boys any more. Boys need to have a little danger in their lives.

Scouting provides an outlet for boys to try building fires, play with a pocket knife, and climb cliffs in a fairly safe environment. Yes, Scouts get nicked, get bruised, and sometimes even get hurt. But in Scouting we try to teach boys how to take risks responsibly, and we try to teach them to be safe, honorable, and dutiful.

Oh yeah, we also teach them basic first aid skills.

2 Responses to “The Dangerous Book for Boys”

  1. B C Justice says:

    This picture reminds me so much of the boys we have in our troop, who play rather roughly. Ours are hispanic boys, who can play very hard and not run off crying. They seldom actually hurt each other, but once in awhile lately we’ve encountered an over-sensitive politically-correct leader who reacts by telling them their natural behavior is “violent” and “wrong.” The boys are best of friends.
    Therefore I agree with what you say here regarding the “wussification” of American boys.
    You might like the first book I wrote (see which makes this point one of its central themes: that the aggressive attitude in boys is natural, not immoral! (All of my books have Scout characters in them.)I also noticed in your profile you like LEFT BEHIND. “Violent Night” is an Apocalypse story.
    I found your blog because a Google Alert turned up your post in 2006 about the Wolfen story. Then I realized you are the same Steve in the “Scouts in the US” Yahoo group. Small world!
    Great site and great blog, BTW! Our is

    -Yours in Scouting,
    Mike Kelley, a.k.a. Byron Justice
    Boy Scout Troop 1197, Houston

    Author of VIOLENT NIGHT
    Coming soon: HAUNTED CAMPS: The Campfire Stories of Scoutmaster B.C. Justice

  2. Anonymous says:

    How true this is. I grew up an only child, so I never really “rough-housed”. To this day, I don’t like to play rough, including contact sports.

    That being said, my father was on of four brothers, so I also grew up in a house where “no blood no foul” was the generally accepted rule. As a Scout, I learned that even when there is danger, a well prepared and safety minded approach can really minimize the risk.

    White water rafting, rappelling, shooting sports, etc. all have an inherent risk. For that matter, so does getting into a car and driving to Scout meetings. So does hiking. So does camping, or whittling, or even fishing.

    And yet the rewards from having engaged in all of those activities far outweighs any possible harm I may have occurred. What I learned was not to back away from these things because they might be dangerous, but to attack them with purpose and zeal (mized in with some careful planning).

    I’ve always tried to teach my kids the same. Don’t be afraid to try. And if you do get hurt, well you’ll know better the next time.

    Great stuff!


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