We have two sons 6 and 7 years old and we are looking for some kind of group activity for them to do on saturdays.
I though that joining the scouts could be a nice thing. Do you know someone’s child who is a scout here in Taiwan? What’s the feedback?
I visited their website, but I think it would be nice to receive some impressions from parents and children inside the movement.
Do your children join any form of group or community activity? What do they do?
My 9yo is in Guides(ROC) at a Taipei City Elementary school. The meet each second sunday 2-4pm and seem to have fun. Little miss doesn’t like the fact that often boys do violent things with flames, knives and rope while the girls sing and dance etc. A little old-fashioned. She doesn’t want to go on camp with them as she thinks that “nature” will freak out the urbanites.
On another note; I’m 28, from NY, and a proud Eagle scout. While far removed from my days in the scouts, is there any way I could become involved in activities? My Chinese is very limited, mind you (despite my 2+ years living in the Taipei area).
We were at the Taipei European School’s Christmas Bazaar recently and there was a Boy Scouts table there. We got a free mag and I bought some of their Christmas cards. I’d like to get my third grader signed up (he’s at a Christian school in Tianmu) but haven’t gotten the phone call that was promised us yet.
I wish I had their contact info for you. What I have got on the back of the cards is:
Boy Scouts of America
Far East Council
Cub Pack 91
For sports, dance, etc, try typa.org.tw at the Taipei American School.
Beats me. I only did Cub Scouts briefly. There were some things I liked about it: every young boy likes knots, fire, swimming, archery, knives, camping and the like (though I did plenty of that outside of scouts anyway). Merit badges, scouting handbook and rallies (or whatever they call them) are cool too. Building a car out of a block of wood and racing it was fun (even though I had a square boxy creation made from the sweat of my brow, while lots of other kids had Ferrari-like creations that their dads had obviously built for them). I guess the uniform was kind-of cool (the first uniform, and one of the only, I ever wore), but I gotta admit even at that age the pledge made me a little uncomfortable (“I, promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country. . .”)
Here in Taiwan, with kids wearing uniforms every damn day, it seems cruel to me to force them to wear a uniform on Saturday as well. For that reason, coupled with the religious, patriotic, almost military, conformist and pedophilic aspects of the whole deal now turn me off on scouting. I’d rather send my kid to soccer practice, tae kwan do class, piano lessons, swimming lessons, family camping trips, etc. But that’s just my opinion. If you’re into scouts, then good luck to you.
Agree on the pledge (religiously and patriotically). How about the creed? Let’s see how much I can remember: a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Did I leave anything out?
I have no kids, but getting yours out to various extracirricular activities sounds like an excellent idea to me. Especially the camping trips - that’s the best, and lasting part, of my scouting experience (besides making my Dad proud, by achieving Eagle when he couldn’t do so at my age): basic ability and functioning in nature, not to mention a lifetime appreciation for and comfort with the outdoors, was totally fostered by my time with the scouts.
Of course I spent the next decade of my life in big cities, so my roots are somewhat buried, but when I do have a family of my own, I will surely consider bringing my young ones into the fray …
Troop 91 has a website with their contact information. You can find the site here: http://www.geocities.com/troop91tw/. They are affiliated with TYPA and have their weekly meetings at Taipei American School. I’m actually an Eagle Scout from Troop 91, so if you have any questions feel free to ask. However, it’s been a number of years since I graduated so I don’t know any of the current troop leaders or members. The culture could be entirely different.
That said, the overall experience was very positive for me, and I’ll agree with jonny that the most salient memories came from all the hiking and camping trips we did in Taiwan. Had I not joined scouting I probably would’ve never realized how beautiful Taiwan can be. Toroko Gorge, Jade Mountain, White Sands beach, Kenting, a lot of good memories.
Thank you for the informations. The Troop 91 won’t do it I guess, as our sons right now speak only french and chinese.
“Here in Taiwan, with kids wearing uniforms every damn day, it seems cruel to me to force them to wear a uniform on Saturday as well. For that reason, coupled with the religious, patriotic, almost military, conformist and pedophilic aspects of the whole deal now turn me off on scouting. I’d rather send my kid to soccer practice, tae kwan do class, piano lessons, swimming lessons, family camping trips, etc. But that’s just my opinion. If you’re into scouts, then good luck to you.”
MT, they already do roller skate and taekwando, we will try camping trips soon. But we thought that they could get more in joining the Scouts. As your concerns are mines , may be llama-out could give us more details on these aspects. The scouts as I know them in France are decline in various tones and shades and you can pick the movement that fits you best. More or less or no ‘military/conformist/patriotic’. ‘Pedophilic’: that’s one concern for every parents any time they entrust their children to adults, a question of person not movement, no?
On the paedophilia front - all the scouting leaders are teachers at my daughter’s school, so this makes me feel confident that there is no funny business.
Yes, Taiwan is old-fashioned about uniforms, anthems and routine for routine’s sake. My daughter doesn’t seem to mind.
Doing ‘stuff’ seems to be limited compared to my experiences as a scout millions of years ago in rural Australia. Given the highly urbanised nature of society here I wouldn’t expect much else.
Making Xmas decorations is highly rated but the barn dance is a big downer…the gender segregation of activities is my big concern. Why should the girls wear hideous impractical dresses and be denied acces to sharp knives etc?
I’m sure my daughter rates her soccer practice more highly for enjoyment
arts & crafts: making authentic looking counterfeit handbags
music: KTV competition
sports: bike obstacle course (avoiding pedestrians on the sidewalk
sports: video game high scores
sports: bus-riding relay
community service: picking up dog poop
lifesaving: text messaging skills
There is a scout group based out of Taipei Kueishan Private School, in Beitou. The main office number is 2821-2009. I am not certain who you would want to talk to, but they have a pretty good-sized troup and often have trips around the island. They use the school to hold meetings and practice setting up their tents. The troup meetings are in Chinese. Good luck!!!
If you can, get them involved. Two of my sons are Scouts, and I am a former Scout and Cubmaster. Your kids will learn skills that will help them throughout their lives, and you’ll give them a great outlet for socializing and building friendships with responsible adults and kids. Let us know what you turn up.
One other note–your boys are a bit young to be starting Scouts. The TigerCub program is for seven year olds, but boys don’t start as Cub Scouts until they are eight.