I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On Nerd's Honour

Two of my three kids are involved in the Scouting movement - and this makes for some very entertaining moments. Now I don't know about you, but as long as I've known it existed, Scouts has had one of those "love to hate it, hate to need it," reputations. Scouts are the kids we all think of as being the big ol' nerdy burgers wearing ridiculous outfits who we poke fun at...but then we get lost in the woods with no mobile phone and it's damn certain it's going to be those nerdy Scouts who will save your ass from certain death. And it's going to be their little kerchief thing which makes the tourniquet which keeps you from getting blood poisoning from the bear bite which you got because you ignored the Scout's advice to not eat a drippy meaty Big Mac right on top of a bear house.

So we love to hate them, but god help us if we are in the woods without one at our side. Me, I let my kids join up purely because I knew at some point in my life I would need to build a fire using only a hat and a scrap of paper.

Two of my kids are Scouts - or more accurately, I've got one Cub and one Brownie at my house. Recently I decided to get more involved in the kids' lives, so I joined the parent committee of the Boy Scouts. Oh, Lord. There was an entire *discussion* about this whole "Scouts are nerds" thing, because apparently most of these parents (themselves ex-Scouts) had NO idea that this reputation was around. Those who did know about it thought that they had somehow 'outgrown' this reputation - and it took the females of the group to remind them that, no, sorry boys, but you've always been nerds and probably always will be. There was an entire discussion about recruiting more kids to Scouts, and how some of the (very active) current Scouts themselves don't want to recruit because it makes them seem UNCOOL to their friends (but secretly they're loving that whole knot tying thing.)

There were parents who were somehow surprised by this. Oh you poor, poor delusional souls.

Today, we dropped off my DD1 at Girl Guide camp - an experience which she loves, adores, begs to go to and will not stop talking about for weeks before and weeks after said camp. The girls who are running the camp are themselves Rovers - older Girl Guides - and never have you met a nicer, sweeter group of young ladies. Sorry to say, though - every last one of them is a complete and utter nerd, of the extreme variety. Moustaches, poor skin and all (oh how I only wish I was kidding about that moustache thing...) I jokingly said to DH on the way out, "What? Do you HAVE to be a member of the nerd squad to be a Guide, or what?" to which he just laughed self consciously (he would. He's an ex-Scout himself.)

Don't get me wrong, here - I'm not deriding either these organisations OR these amazing kids. I wouldn't let either of my kids have joined if I did not think they would enjoy it, learn a lot of life skills, and basically have the time of their lives. And as a self-confessed card-carrying nerd myself, I totally think it's AWESOME that there is an entire WORLD ORGANISATION dedicated to the world of nerding. It's freakin' AWESOME. I truly think that it's not the meek who shall inherit the earth, it's the nerds.

I think an ad agency needs to take on the mantle of improving the reputation of Scouting across the globe - but in such a way as to keep the cool kids out. Because once Scouting becomes cool, it's going to lose it's inherent fabulous nature. Scouts relies on being filled entirely with nerds because who on Earth is going to save the world when the cool kids fuck it up totally?

I'm seeing a tag line something like this:

"Cool Kids. They're what's for dinner."
(When there are no Scouts around to stop the bears.)

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