The Boy Scouts of America once enjoyed a booming membership. But over the last decade especially, due to some policy changes, abuse scandals, and a giant lawsuit, the once great organization has seen a colossal decline. In last week’s podcast, Robert J. Marks sat down with former Boy Scout leader and his cousin Kent Marks. Together they talked about the tragic decline in the Boy Scouts program, which coincides with the enduring need to help boys navigate the many distractions and difficulties of growing up in a digitally mediated world. Today, Kent continues to lead boys on wilderness expeditions and believes that getting guys away from the screens and into the beauty of the outdoors is a key to their growth and flourishing. He said,
You can’t mimic the reality compared to what you see on the screen. You can’t mimic the smells, the sounds, the beauty, the roughness, the challenge ahead of you, the mental aspect of being out in the wilderness, the mental aspect of knowing you have a hundred miles ahead of you to backpack, or you’ve got class 3 rapids up ahead of you and you can’t get out. You have to go through that and overcome the obstacle in front of you. And again, that’s something you can’t do unless you get these young men out there out there in the wilderness, outdoors. Not even wilderness, but the outdoors.