Basic Self Reliance Skills for Boys

I'm looking at getting my oldest son involved in scouting, talking to some local packs.

I was thinking about what sort of practical skills I'd like him to acquire. I found this article and thought the list was pretty good. Obviously, scouting isn't going to address all of these, but I've already started on some of them like gun safety and shooting.

Anything you'd add or take off?

Computer programming isn't my bag, and unless it's something he develops and interest in, In really don't see a reason to keep it on the list.

http://makezine.com/2013/07/31/basic-self-reliancemaker-curriculum-for-kids/

My dad and I were both Scouts, and I’d always assumed my sons and daughters would spend some time in one of these institutions to get the baseline skills they needed to be able to be fully functioning human beings. I began to wonder if the Scouts were still around in the same way I remembered them, and began to make my own “Maker curriculum” for my kids, in case we didn’t have access to the Scouts for some reason. I figured I’d share with you all and get your input — think of it as “home schooling” my kids in self-reliance. These are the things I’d like my kids to know before they hit 18 years of age:


•CPR and basic first aid.
•Know how to tie Basic Useful Knots
•Know how to swim.
•Know how to ride and fix a bike.
•Know how a combustion engine works, how to change a tire, how to change the oil in their vehicle and properly dispose of it, how to jumpstart a vehicle, how to change the air filter.
•Be able to build a fire (bonus points: build a fire without matches or a lighter).
•Be able to set up a tent, build a lean-to, collect and purify water.
•Be able to navigate with a map and compass.
•Understand how the toilet works. Be able to fix and replace the basic components in the tank. Know how to shut off the water supply (for any piece of plumbing, including for the whole house).
•Understand how the house electrical system works. Know basic electrical safety. Know where the breaker panel is, be able to flip a tripped breaker, know how to use a volt stick. Advanced: be able to replace a simple wall outlet.
•Understand basic conditional logic in computer programming. Write a “Hello World” statement in one or two programming languages.
•Understand basic sewing techniques, including the straight and whip stitch.
•Know how to solder
•Know how to safely handle fireworks, explosives, and propellants.
•Know how to safely handle power tools. Know how to safely sharpen tools and knives.
•Be able to identify the flora and fauna in our area. For the flora: know what’s edible and how to prepare it, and if necessary, the fauna, too (see below)

I left two things off this list that I’d like to hear how you feel, one I learned in the Scouts, the other I didn’t. Trapping and skinning animals — is it still something our kids should know? And the other is about teaching them about guns, gun control, and the safe use of firearms. What of these above skills have you taught your kids? What have I left off?


Teach them the versatility of a knife, starting with safety. Begin with a mora clipper or another decent bushcraft knife that is inexpensive. Teach them to sharpen, care for the knife, etc.

Teach them how to dress for the outdoors. A lot of people still make the mistake of not layering, wearing moisture-wicking layers, etc.

Before teaching them the lean-to, teach them how to build a debris hut. Another good backup if you are lost, freezing and night is falling is to stuff your clothes with leaves. Tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants. Not your best selfie moment, but the insulation from the air pockets makes it as if it were a personal debris hut.

One of the most important things with navigating with map and compass is the ability to put the compass down and do some terrain navigation with the topography of the map and the sun.

Add gardening to your list, pronto. Seriously, I can't believe what a great tool it has been to open discussions about everything from cooking to chemistry. You can grow wild edibles in your yard, if that's your thing, and you can teach the kids to garden year-round in just about any zone. Also it opens doors to teach about composting, pickling and preserving, etc. Plus it's healthy!

There are a few more that I'll think of, I'm sure. I'll get back to you when I remember them.

How to protect his butthole from the scout Master.

Dude, just teach him how to get laid. Phone Post 3.0

Street knowledge, how to spot a scam, some basic financial skills gained through having a job or making money for chores. They need to have a basic knowledge of nutrition and physical fitness.

mold mold mold your kid gently down the stream.

Don't tell him what he's interested in, ask him.

Sub Phone Post 3.0

How to tie a necktie. Maybe a bow tie?

Basic finance - the dangers of credit cards and being in debt, etc. Phone Post 3.0



Agree with other posters above, I thought that we were mostly talking about outdoor skills, but obviously there are so many others.

Back to outdoor and scouting skills:

Lostproofing is a really big deal. It's basically being aware enough of terrain that stepping a few feet off trail does not equal being helplessly lost. It's a combination of awareness, navigation skills, and the ability to mark trails yourself while outdoors.

Also, I'm surprised that you didn't mention fishing. Most boys love fishing.

For general life skills, obviously self defense, conflict resolution, how to be a leader, proper study skills, etc. are so important. I think that one major skill that you can use so many paths to get to is the ability to think critically. Your child will get that through scouting and being outdoors, but don't hesitate to use other opportunities to employ critical thinking skills.

The importance of fitness, diet, and exercise.

Honesty and personal integrity

The value of education

How to shake a hand and throw a ball Phone Post 3.0

Sub for knowledge. Don't judge me.. Phone Post 3.0

Being able to fap with either hand, dry or lubed Phone Post 3.0

It's a shame every boy doesn't learn this stuff. I learned most of this from my dad and grandfather Phone Post 3.0

New2MMA -
Teach them the versatility of a knife, starting with safety. Begin with a mora clipper or another decent bushcraft knife that is inexpensive. Teach them to sharpen, care for the knife, etc.

Teach them how to dress for the outdoors. A lot of people still make the mistake of not layering, wearing moisture-wicking layers, etc.

Before teaching them the lean-to, teach them how to build a debris hut. Another good backup if you are lost, freezing and night is falling is to stuff your clothes with leaves. Tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants. Not your best selfie moment, but the insulation from the air pockets makes it as if it were a personal debris hut.

One of the most important things with navigating with map and compass is the ability to put the compass down and do some terrain navigation with the topography of the map and the sun.

Add gardening to your list, pronto. Seriously, I can't believe what a great tool it has been to open discussions about everything from cooking to chemistry. You can grow wild edibles in your yard, if that's your thing, and you can teach the kids to garden year-round in just about any zone. Also it opens doors to teach about composting, pickling and preserving, etc. Plus it's healthy!

There are a few more that I'll think of, I'm sure. I'll get back to you when I remember them.
I agree...

Teach them how to make a fire, how to procure safe to drink water, and food, and first aid. Teach them how to be safe from people and animals. Phone Post 3.0

Dead President - Dude, just teach him how to get laid. Phone Post 3.0
Bro. Have you ever shown a girl how many knots you know how to tie.

It's basically panty remover. Phone Post 3.0

In for my boy Phone Post 3.0

Great stuff here, but screw the scouts. Camp Quest I hear is a quality secular alternative. Phone Post 3.0

In for myself. #boylivesmatter Phone Post 3.0

Teach tha lil homie how to box, roll blunts and slay pussy. If that nigga can drive a stick too? He'll be ok Phone Post 3.0

Joeymarvelous - Great stuff here, but screw the scouts. Camp Quest I hear is a quality secular alternative. Phone Post 3.0

I was in scouts as a youth in the 90s and outside of holding our meetings at a church, religion was never brought up at all. Well, except for the mention of God here and there in whatever scout oath we had to say.

It may be different from troop to troop, but I don't really see it as being an issue.