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.

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Randy
Randy
9 years ago

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

Penne
Penne
9 years ago

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

Angella
9 years ago

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…)

Linda
Linda
9 years ago

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

ris
ris
9 years ago

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.

Mama Ritchie
Mama Ritchie
9 years ago

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?

Amy N
Amy N
9 years ago

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!

Amanda
9 years ago

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!

jonniker
9 years ago

This is the coolest. Seriously.

Laurie
Laurie
9 years ago

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!!

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

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!

Marie Green
9 years ago

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!

januaryinjune
9 years ago

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.

melaniek
melaniek
9 years ago

I love that!

twisterfish
9 years ago

Oh, great idea!

Melissa A.
Melissa A.
9 years ago

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.

Maggie
Maggie
9 years ago

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!

kristin
kristin
9 years ago

Yay! The gays and the atheists thank you.

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

Tricia
9 years ago

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.

Vicky
Vicky
9 years ago

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…

Annie
Annie
9 years ago

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

Rachel
Rachel
9 years ago

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.

Robyn
Robyn
9 years ago

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

Alex
9 years ago

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

Alex
9 years ago

(and yes, Robyn, outwardly so.)

Jessica
Jessica
9 years ago

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.

Willyn
9 years ago

Great idea, indeed!!!

Victoria
9 years ago

Awesome!

Christy
Christy
9 years ago

I love this!

Karen
Karen
9 years ago

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!

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
9 years ago

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.

Holly
Holly
9 years ago

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.