I bought the “Boy Scout” version of the Monopoly board game a few years ago. I enjoy playing Monopoly. It is one of my favorite board games. Granted, the Boy Scout version was a bit pricey, but I thought it would be fun to play with the Scouts. It would be similar to the “Lord of the Rings” Risk board game that they like to play.
The first time we played the Monopoly game we discovered that a few of the boys had earned one of the awards listed on the board. One boy landed on a piece of yellow property called “World Conservation Award”. He asked what a Scout needed to do to earn the award. I knew it involved earning three merit badges, but I was not sure which ones were needed, so I pulled out a requirement book. We discovered the Scout had completed the merit badges needed for this award. I discovered that two other troop members had also earned the World Conservation Award.
It was a little ironic that it took a board game to discover that bit of information, I thought.
In the late 1980′s, I bought a game called Scout Trivia. It included a book that contained one hundred questions in each of six different “Scout Knowledge” areas. We would use the book for patrol competitions during troop meetings. We also used it a couple times during courts of honor in which a team of Scouts challenged a team of parents.
Somewhere, somehow, over the years I lost the trivia book. Although I wish I still had it, I am not worrying about it much. Many of the questions found in the book would be outdated in today’s Scouting program. For example, we do not use skill awards as part of the advancement program any longer.
Recently, in one of the Scouting forums found online, there was a discussion about what should be included in a video game with a Scouting theme. Several of us had fun adding suggestions to the list. A few were very “tounge in cheek”.
It got me thinking though. There are virtually no Scouting related toys or games widely available on the market today. A quick search on the internet did show that in the early days of the BSA there were several toys available.
I hate to say it, but I think the reason we do not see Scouting related toys today is that there would be little interest in them. It is just not the same today as it was ninety years ago. A well designed video game could be a success, but it would have to be designed to interest boys outside of Scouting, which may not be a bad thing. It could introduce them to the fun Scouting offers.
Maybe they were onto something with a Scouting version of Monopoly. Maybe more established games could have a Scouting version. How about a Scouting version of Scrabble? Or maybe a World of Scoutcraft multi-player online game?