I like almost everything about the Boy Scouts. That almost is enough for us to decide that the Scouts probably isn’t the right choice for our family, but I wanted to figure out how we could incorporate some of the scouting traditions I knew the boys would love.

So we invented Sharps Camp. There are no den meetings, no formal recitals, no sashes, no Cubs or Webelos. Also, the troop is pretty small.

But they’ve got patches, by golly.





32 Responses to “Steenking badges”

  1. Randy on September 24th, 2012 10:37 am

    Saweet! It’s all about the patches. And the skills. And the fun.

  2. Penne on September 24th, 2012 10:38 am

    That’s awesome! Another fun way is the Jr. Ranger programs at National Parks…and also their passport stamp books…

  3. Angella on September 24th, 2012 10:52 am

    Okay, I need to know where you got these! We’d love to do the same with our kids.

    (Graham turns 10 in December, which means he can join Matthew out hunting as a junior hunter next spring…)

  4. Linda on September 24th, 2012 10:56 am

    Hey Angella, I got those at http://www.patchcon.com/.

  5. ris on September 24th, 2012 10:59 am

    Super cute! Have you looked into Campfire Kids? They’re pretty similar to Boy Scouts except they’re co-ed and don’t hate gay people.

  6. Mama Ritchie on September 24th, 2012 11:09 am

    Awesome. Jen Orf is sending Theo to Y Adventure Guides. It’s through the YMCA and isn’t political or religious or anything. Where’d you get the patches?

  7. Amy N on September 24th, 2012 11:20 am

    Very cool! I am not a fan of the terrorists of the wilderness..Oh I mean Boy Scouts. But I do want the boys to have involvement in groups outside of school so they can learn all the skeels that their mamma can’t!!

    Love your readers…just a few comments and I already have several things to look in to!

  8. Amanda on September 24th, 2012 11:46 am

    I’m really proud of you. I have so many friends who support the Boy Scouts because “our troop doesn’t discriminate”. I can’t support an organization who EXPECTS their troops to descriminate.

    You guys are awesome parents!

  9. jonniker on September 24th, 2012 12:22 pm

    This is the coolest. Seriously.

  10. Laurie on September 24th, 2012 12:33 pm

    We just decided the same thing… well, the decision to keep our little one out of boy scouts. Love your idea – am going to steal it!!

  11. Kelly on September 24th, 2012 12:41 pm

    I second the Y organizations. I did some thing there with my dad growing up (Trail Mates) and it was basically camping/hiking/rafting once a month. Awesome!

  12. Marie Green on September 24th, 2012 2:24 pm

    We just talked about this this morning at our playgroup! One of my good friends is going to start a Navigators chapter in our town, because their son wants to join Boy Scouts but they don’t like they anti-gay policy. They also don’t like that girls cannot join (Navigators is co-ed).

    I’m so glad and inspired that you created your own. Once again, you prove to be an inspiring mom!

  13. januaryinjune on September 24th, 2012 2:30 pm

    Those badges are BADASS! Your creativity is insane. :)

    If you’re still looking for something for the boys to get into as a group, I second the Camp Fire Kids. The website is campfireusa.org and they are awesome.

  14. melaniek on September 24th, 2012 3:34 pm

    I love that!

  15. twisterfish on September 24th, 2012 8:42 pm

    Oh, great idea!

  16. Melissa A. on September 25th, 2012 5:32 am

    I am so glad you posted this! My son really wanted to be in the Boy Scouts this year, but I can’t bring myself to support them in any way, even though I know they have a lot of good qualities. I will definitely be looking into the Camp Fire Kids.

  17. Maggie on September 25th, 2012 6:00 am

    I think this is awesome! I am a girl scout leader and have 2 daughters in troops and we love it! Girl scouts does NOT have the same views as boy scouts and is very inclusive, thankfully. It is such a shame that boy scouts can’t be the same. I don’t blame you for not supporting them, I wouldn’t either (if I had sons, that is). Have fun with your adventures!

  18. kristin on September 25th, 2012 7:28 am

    Yay! The gays and the atheists thank you.

    (And the gay atheists totally wanna do it to you. ;) )

  19. Tricia on September 25th, 2012 8:49 am

    You have great, imaginative ideas for your kids’ activities!

    With any organization anywhere, (BSA, GSA, USPC, etc) one will find both good and bad, especially as it comes to raising children.
    Our kids were all card-carrying members of BSA, even though two of them are daughters. Our kids had terrific experiences in Boy Scouts.

  20. Vicky on September 25th, 2012 9:35 am

    Strange coincidence (or not, as my son is Riley’s age) I’ve been thinking on this topic myself.

    Also, you really need to see the demerit-badges for sale here: http://demeritwear.com/Categories.bok?category=PATCHES%3AOUTDOOR

    Some for the kids… some for you…

  21. Annie on September 25th, 2012 9:45 am

    That’s great, because girls only like boys with skills. You know, camping skills, rocketry skills, jumping skills, fishing skills.

  22. Rachel on September 25th, 2012 10:28 am

    That’s awesome. I bet some of the other neighborhood kids would love to join Camp Sharp.

    I second an earlier commenter in recommending Camp Fire if you want to get your boys in a scouting organization. They do all the cool outdoor stuff, and they’re totally inclusive.

  23. Robyn on September 25th, 2012 10:46 am

    Umm…Boy Scouts is anti-gay? How do they know who’s gay and who’s not at this age? Unreal.

  24. Alex on September 25th, 2012 1:18 pm

    If this was a Facebook post, I would “like” it. xo

  25. Alex on September 25th, 2012 1:19 pm

    (and yes, Robyn, outwardly so.)

  26. Jessica on September 25th, 2012 5:23 pm

    awesome idea – I may steal it someday. I’m still holding out hope that BSA will change their stance by the time my son is old enough to join.

  27. Willyn on September 26th, 2012 2:09 am

    Great idea, indeed!!!

  28. Victoria on September 26th, 2012 7:23 pm


  29. Christy on September 27th, 2012 2:43 pm

    I love this!

  30. Karen on September 28th, 2012 8:24 am

    I have no words to tell you how much I love this idea and how grateful I am to you for posting it (including the link to the patch store). The scouting experience could have been so good for my seven-year-old. Instead, the scouts have become a great opportunity to talk to him about acceptance and making sure your actions match your beliefs.

    Tolerance and respect… now with patches!

  31. Sunshyn on September 29th, 2012 10:30 am

    Do they have 4-H where you live? You get the socialization without so much of the pressure. And there’s (usually) camp, if you want it, but it’s not that big a deal if you don’t. There are enough projects that you can pick and choose, as well. Like, we have a guinea pig. This year we’re gonna have chickens. Or you could do bunnies. Or shoot rifles. Depends on your club.

  32. Holly on September 30th, 2012 9:50 pm

    My husband also did not want our son to join the scouts, but my argument to him is that it will never change unless there are kids who join who are compassionate and have leadership qualities and who can start to make a change from the inside. The BSA can only change if there are people inside who think it’s worth changing. We have had a frank conversation with our son (age 11) about the aspects of the BSA that we disagree with and encourage him to ask question about it as he participates. I think he’s the kind of kid that could affect change one day and make it a more welcoming place for all kids.

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