I just watched “759: Boy Scouts of Harlem” which is a great documentary Scout film by Jake Boritt and Justin Szlasa about a Boy Scout Troop 759. The film is 72 minutes long. I found the film reminding me of my first year at Summer Camp as a young lad, including the fears I had and the triumphs I made. The film honestly depicts inner city Scouting and what summer camp is like for them. In a tactful way it dives into the personalities of the Scouts. It shows the fears of a young Scout and how he grows in the water and on the ropes. We all know how older Scouts are when around when “ladies”. In one of the scenes it talks about certain gestures that the campers are making toward two young ladies who work in the kitchen, and get that embarrassed "oh cr*p" look we have been caught, when two Scouts are questioned about it on camera.
On the film's website it says this about the film:
Be prepared to be amazed as Scout Troop 759 heads from the streets of Harlem to the woods of Camp Keowa. Eleven year old new scout Keith Dozier spends his first week at camp facing the challenges of the woods - the dock test in the deep dark lake, creepy creatures of the night, the daunting climbing tower, the raucous dining hall and the seductive Siberian sirens in the kitchen. With help from his fellow scouts K.C., Devon and Manny and wise Scoutmaster Sowah, young Keith faces the challenges and earns his place as a Scout.
759: Boy Scouts of Harlem is a warm, tender, funny upbeat documentary about Scouting in an unexpected place. The film is available on home video. To set up a screening for your community, Council or Troop please click here.
There is no doubt that this film is warm, tender, funny and yet at the same time can bring tears out of a grown man. Not tears of sadness or even joy, but rather of fond memories long past ... but also like, well I guess, a father watching his young son grow and overcome his fears. I will admit, for some unexplained reason I found myself cheering and urging Keith on.
759: Boy Scouts of Harlem is one of those films that reminds us all what Scouting is really all about. To find out more watch the preview to the right and go to http://www.harlemscouts.com/
It does seem a strong otlsibisipy that some people are making too much of a living off the BSA program. Maybe the word thrifty in the Scout Law needs some new examination?Regardless, I am grateful for all the positive experiences I had in Scouting growing up and I know for a fact that Scouting is an essential program for our LDS kids here in Harlem.We will soon award our first eagle scout award and are hoping to see more follow. These kids grow up in a hyper-urban environment and Scouting is perhaps the main means we have to get them out camping and doing other valuable activities. Frankly, it's also a way to make sure our kids are off the streets and at our chapel on Friday nights. I've heard a horror story about what happened with one NYC kid who didn't show up to Scouts one night (though it wasn't, I believe, in our particular ward).I think we often think of Scouting as happening in a generally LDS environment in Utah and we worry about some people who are extreme Scouters or we worry about inequities that occur between the Young Men and Young Women programs. I can appreciate these kinds of concerns and sensitivities there seems to be some real basis to these complaints. But here in our context, Scouting is invaluable and I still believe it can be an ideal program anywhere if it's approached wisely and correctly.
Issue 356 – May 12, 2013
Want to visit the 2013 NATIONAL SCOUT JAMBOREE at Bechtel Summit in July with a group of other fine Scouters? Long-time Scouter David Cooper, of the Cradle of Liberty Council,...