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Joined: Feb 2011
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In 1962 my brother found an ad in Boys Life offering the opportunity to sell greeting cards for prizes. He sent away for and received 38 boxes which he sold and sent in the money. Sometime later he received his prize a Marlin singleshot 22lr rifle. He was eleven years old. No one was ever harmed with that little rifle. Our father and mother were slightly surprised but that was the way it was back then, A year later that was illegal, as it was assumed an eleven-year-old cub scout might assassinate the POTUS.

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Boy Scouts did a lot of good for this nation. Yes it has fallen on hard timers, but that is not the boys fault. All our nation has fallen on bad times and I fear we will never recover. Not just Boy Scouts helped shape our youth, but they were the largest. We had a DOD sponsored shooting program for young people when I was a kid. Church groups and even service clubs took an active interest in kids. Law suits, liabilities and loony people have ruined a lot of things for everybody.

When I was in seventh grade, my school had a marksman ship program where we shot .22 after school, in the gym. We were allowed to bring in our own .22 rifles on the school bus. Once at school we went directly to the gym teachers office and put our rifles in the rack behind his desk. It cost .25 to shoot five five shot strings, and a penny each to practice. We shot paper targets on our indoor rifle range. High score got a box of 50 .22 bullets as the prize and the target was displayed on the school bulletin board for a week. I won over a dozen times in my first year. Farm boys just could all shoot back in those days. I still have my Remington single shot .22 rifle and used it to teach each of my five kids basic gun safety.

That program was very popular and if you did not have your own gun you could borrow a friends gun, or use one of the two school owned guns. All it took was a signed permission slip from your parents and a quarter. If you tried to restart that program today, heads would truly explode. We never had a accident, never had any boy not follow the rules to the letter and never had a single complaint from other students, parents or school teachers. The bus drivers knew to wait until we were finished before leaving. It took less than half an hour to complete the program. It was run with military clockwork precision. Our gym teacher had been in the marines in WWII and ran a tight ship.

I miss those days and think kids today are getting short changed, all in the name of diversity, safety and being acceptably by those who seem to hate what our very nation has stood for. Had we not been those unlikable people, the entire Europe would be speaking German, Communism would be the only other government form on Earth and the death camps would have killed 100 million instead of just, just 17 million. What an obscene thought.

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Well said, John. We can only dream.

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My brother was in Cub Scouts (our mother was a Den Mother for a few years) and while I never was a Scout (cub or boy), I did get the magazine. It was everything that has been described here and I really looked forward to it each month. My visions of what the American West might be were formed in the late 1960s from reading that magazine and it clearly contributed to my move "out-west" (to experience first-hand the great hunting & fishing described therein) when I graduated from College. My son was also a Cub & Boy Scout, but... by then the non-traditional (leftist) assault on Scouting had already begun. His trips to Yellowstone and even SeaBase as a Scout weren't nearly as exciting as what had been the experience just a few years earlier. When girls were added to the program, he and several other scout friends of his quit scouting permanently. We were disappointed (an Eagle was still in reach for him) but...given the circumstances at the time we accepted his decision (there were other things going on then too, an openly-gay scouting assistant had just committed suicide).

Last edited by Lloyd3; 06/17/24 11:01 AM.
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I was a Cub Scout then Boy Scout growing up.

My father was no outdoorsman so Scouting taught me many of the outdoor skills I have used through my life.

I read Boy's Life. We did 50 mile hikes, winter camping, Klondike Derby, Scout camp, Order of the Arrow, Philmont Scout Ranch in NM and Merit Badges.

I learned things in Scouts that have made me a good person with values.

I moved west from VT because I loved my Philmont experience so much at 14 years old.

It's sad that Scouting got ruined and woke.


I too have Jim Corbett's books. I saw his W.J. Jeffery .450-400 double rifle on display years back in the Elmer Keith collection. Elmer's family sold all his guns at auction a few years ago.


With a fine gun on his arm, a man becomes a sporting gentleman, both on the field and off.
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All this posting about scouting and "Boy's Life" just makes me sad. I was born in 1948 and grew up in the '50's. Still have my boy scout pocket knife; unfortunately re-sharpened to a nub....Geo

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Originally Posted by liverwort
In 1962 my brother found an ad in Boys Life offering the opportunity to sell greeting cards for prizes. He sent away for and received 38 boxes which he sold and sent in the money. Sometime later he received his prize a Marlin singleshot 22lr rifle. He was eleven years old. No one was ever harmed with that little rifle. Our father and mother were slightly surprised but that was the way it was back then, A year later that was illegal, as it was assumed an eleven-year-old cub scout might assassinate the POTUS.

My Dad sold those cards and got a Marlin. Not a single shot. It's a model 80. I still have it. It's very accurate. Old Marlins are nice.

My friend volunteers teaching marksmanship to the Scouts (and has for a long time). So yup, they still do it. He's a NRA instructor. I think the Scouts get a NRA badge or something. Maybe a hunter's safety card.

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Scouts get merit badges for shotgun shooting and rifle shooting using 20 gauge shotguns and .22 single shot rifles at summer camp. When I was involved with the troop we would set up a trap and throw clays on overnight hikes. Each patrol would compete against the other for the privilege of special dessert on Saturday night. We would also introduce them to center fire rifles on our annual Father/Son hike. But alas, the karens and lawyers at the national organization put the kabosch on that. No more fun.

Last edited by eeb; 06/17/24 09:01 PM.
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Yep. I remember Boys Life. Great magazine. I bet if I looked hard enough in my basement, I could still find a copy or two. Great thread!!

Last edited by Jimmy W; 06/17/24 11:50 PM.
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Originally Posted by Jimmy W
Yep. I remember Boys Life. Great magazine. I bet if I looked hard enough in my basement, I could still find a copy or two. Great thread!!

I thought you were ignoring Stan…


Best,
Ted

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