“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.”
This article in the New York Times outlines what an Explorers group (a Boy Scouts of America co-ed affiliate program) are doing in Imperial, TX. What is it these Explorers are doing? You know…camping, backpacking, getting leadership skills, etc?
Being trained to fight terrorism and serve as border-patrol agents.
We’re talking 14- to 16-year-old kids using air pellet guns to learn to chase “down illegal border crossers” and to experience “more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out ‘active shooters,’ like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses.”
Now, I realize that not all Explorer posts are doing this, but at least according to the article, while there are other Explorer posts more focused in science, aviation and medicine, “more than 2,000 law enforcement posts across the country are the Explorers’ most popular, accounting for 35,000 of the group’s 145,000 members.”
I just generally don’t like it, but I’m not sure I have a valid reason. Many of the boys in my Boy Scout Troop growing up were the kinds of kids that went hunting with their fathers every Fall and didn’t generally go on to big name colleges, let alone graduate school. Law enforcement is certainly a viable career choice and well-suited to people that have gone through the Scouting program, but it somehow feels like these kids are being used as a breeding ground for more law enforcement agents. There are all kinds of other activities that the skills from Boy Scouts can be very useful, including leadership and survival skills, as well as the ability to cooperate with other people for common goals. These are abilities that lend themselves to a wide variety of jobs, not just law enforcement or military.
I guess I’d just like to see a bit more variety. And the idea of having 14-year-old kids learning to take down someone crossing into the United States illegally seems a bit excessive.