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Something new under the sun (‘Are You Tougher?’ Episode 3 Recap)

Did we finally have a fair fight on our hands?

After two weeks of pitting adults who didn’t make Eagle against teenagers who did, Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? turned up the heat last night.

Forget excuses like “I came three merit badges short” or “my troop folded.” This time, two of the adult competitors made it all the way to Eagle. Surely that would mean an end to the adults’ dismal run, right? I mean, one win for the adults in six challenges so far? That’s below the Are You Tougher? Mendoza Line

Just how did these 30-somethings fare against fellow Eagles half their age? You’ll have to read my recap and review of Episode 3, “Buoy Scouts,” to find out …

Spoiler alert: This recap will include details that reveal who won the competitions in this week’s episode. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen Episode 3 and want to be surprised by the results. 

Let’s meet our adults. As always, each of the adults was a Scout as a boy, but for the first time, two are Eagle Scouts. The other finished as a Life Scout.

For the Eagles, the motivation for appearing on Are You Tougher? wasn’t figuring out whether they could have been Eagle Scouts had they stayed in the program. It was recapturing that teenage glory that fades as they learn “this old body isn’t really doing what it’s supposed to anymore.”

You can’t stop the hands of time, but these three were willing to turn back the clock and try:

  • Marc, 38, financial advisor, Eagle Scout: “I’ve been underestimated my entire life,” Marc says. “They think I’m too big, too slow.” Marc says he earned 80 merit badges as a boy.
  • Jason, 36, advertising sales, Life Scout: Jason quit Scouting at 16. “Now’s the chance to go back and knuckle down and accomplish something that I really wish I would’ve accomplished earlier in my life,” he says.
  • John, 37, operations manager, Eagle Scout: “I want to prove to myself that I’ve still got what it takes,” John says. “That I could still pass a test as if I were 17.”

Episode 3 took us to Lake Isabella, a reservoir about an hour northeast of Bakersfield, Calif. And temperatures topping out at 105 degrees meant the Scouts weren’t going to be the only thing testing the adults this week.

First Challenge: The Gauntlet

tougher-e03-2One thing I love about Are You Tougher? is how quickly the show gets into the action. Forget the bickering that’s commonplace in reality TV these days — this show fast-forwards to the challenges within the first two minutes of each episode.

With the sun glaring at them, three Scouts and three adults took on The Gauntlet, a three-part race down the beach that tested skills used in the Kayaking and Archery merit badges:

  • Part 1, Kayak Haul: Carry an inflatable kayak a quarter-mile down the beach and hand off to the next teammate. 
  • Part 2, Kayak Race: Paddle the kayak a quarter-mile down the lake to the third teammate.
  • Part 3, Crawling Archery: Crawl under a net and then be the first to hit the target, a small fleur-de-lis inside a lifesaving buoy. (Ah, “Buoy Scouts,” I get it.)

Marc, who says he’s taught Archery merit badge at camp, volunteers to run the anchor leg, and nobody argues.

The first leg pits Trent, 16, against 37-year-old John.

And when John says, “I’m not gonna be the one that falls or gives up,” you get the feeling that the opposite is about to happen.

The run’s only a quarter-mile — one lap around the track at your local high school — but the deep sand, the oppressive heat, and the awkward size and shape of the kayak made everything tougher.

Sure enough, midway through, John’s legs gave out, and he quickly handed the Scouts a 50-yard lead.

But adult Jason vs. Scout Keegan in the paddling leg proved to be an even battle, and both fought the winds on Lake Isabella admirably. The race was neck-and-neck as Rob, a Scout with the nickname “Robin Hood” squared off against Marc for the final leg.

Rob sized up his competition: “Marc’s not only an Eagle Scout, he’s also an excellent archer. So I know I have to relax.”

Both guys got their arrows knocked and ready. They pulled back, and then — commercial. They know how to create an agonizing cliffhanger, don’t they?

Back from break, Marc, who says it’s been five years since he shot an arrow, had trouble with his first attempt, sending the arrow way off target.

Jason, standing nearby, encourages Marc to channel his younger self: “Go back to childhood, man.” And did the show’s producers make a joke about Marc’s age right then? At that very moment, a pop-up informed us that the bow and arrow dates back to the Stone Age… Come on, Marc may be the oldest adult out there, but he’s only 38!

Rob, as he’s done all season, was right on target and hit on his third shot. The Scouts won. Again.

First Elimination

As they set up their tents, it was time to play everyone’s favorite Are You Tougher? game: pass the buck.

Marc, who “couldn’t hit the side of a barn” with his bow and arrow (Jason’s words, not mine) blamed Jason for paddling too slowly and John for losing ground during the footrace. And then — stop me if you’ve heard this before — Jason blamed John and Marc, and John blamed Marc and Jason. 

Ah, the circle of strife.

Jason tried to move on, saying, “we got our butts handed to us by a bunch of kids, and I don’t wanna let it happen again. And dare I say that setting up these tents is the only thing we’ve done correctly as a team.”

Then came a you-can’t-make-this-up moment of editing as we immediately cut to the adults struggling with a sagging tent. Genius.

At the Scouts’ campsite, Rio clarified the guys’ predicament: “Marc and John are Eagle Scouts,” he said. “They’re one of us. To me the decision is clear: One of these Eagle Scouts is going home.”

When they gathered the next morning Charles Ingram, the host, laid it out plainly, as well: “All three of you made mistakes that contributed to your team’s loss.”

But it was John, in a close vote, who was sent packing. He was the most visibly fit of the three, but his struggles with the physically demanding relay did him in.

John’s parting words show he learned character lessons on his trail to Eagle, though.

“I’m going away both a winner and a loser,” he said. “It’s OK to fail, as long as you learn from that failure and make your life changes for the positive.”

I’m a big Survivor fan, and the majority of speeches from recently eliminated contestants on that show are vitriolic and self-serving. So it’s nice that the parting words so far on Tougher have been introspective, humble, and very pro-Scouting.

Second Challenge: Scout Camp Games

Here’s a chance for you to play along at home. See how you’d do in this trivia test. And, for added intimidation, let me tell you that the Scouts aced it on their first try — six for six.

The three possible answer choices are in parentheses after each question:

  1. The bowline knot is best used for what purpose? (Rescue, Boating, Lashing)
  2. What color are poison sumac berries? (White, Purple, Yellow)
  3. On what side of a tree or rock does moss usually grow? (South, West, North)
  4. In navigating, what does UTM stand for? (Universal Transverse Mercator, Unilateral Traverse Method, Universal Trans-Meridian)
  5. What type of California toxic plant is edible? (Poison Oak, Grape Ivy, Stinging Nettle)
  6. What clouds are known as streak clouds? (Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulus)

Find the answers at the bottom of this blog post.

tougher-e03-3After reading each question, teams of two — Marc and Jason for the adults, Michael and Trent for the Scouts — searched a field of logs for the answer. One possible answer was on the bottom of each log, meaning a lot of flipping logs upside down and carrying them to Charles for approval. If they were wrong, they had to carry the log back to the field and waste precious time.

Jason correctly compared it to the game Memory. “You not only had to guess the right log to find the answer you need,” he said, “but you also need to remember what you just turned over.”

Logs with the correct answers were stacked to form a pyramid, and teams had 25 shots with a giant slingshot to topple the stack. 

Midway through the trivia portion, Marc got dizzy. He was dehydrated and overheated. He couldn’t take any more, and he sat down to receive medical attention. Running on sand at the hottest part of the day will do that to you.

Marc recovered, but he could no longer help Jason carry logs. That meant Jason needed some support from the Scouts. And he got it, in the form of some cheerleading from the sidelines.

“It feels great,” Jason said, “even though I’m in competition with these Scouts, that they’re encouraging me as well.” Scout Spirit wins the day.

The Scouts knocked down all but one of their logs before running out of ammo, leaving a window open for the adults. If they knocked down all six logs, they’d win.

With two shots left and two logs still standing for the adults, the Scouts were getting nervous: “Man, they have better aim than we thought.”

With their final shot, Marc and Jason toppled the two remaining logs, and the adults won. It was the first time on the show that the adults won a two-on-two or three-on-three challenge, and just the second win for the adults in the eight challenges that have aired so far. 

Michael was shocked. “Honestly, I did not see this ending coming at all,” he said.

Ditto for Marc, who was humbled by his fellow adult’s tenacity. “I am extremely impressed with Jason,” Marc said. “Before this competition, I didn’t think he should be here. He showed his colors. He shows his Scouting colors.”

Second Elimination

In a true-to-life scene, we saw Scouts skipping rocks on the lake as they stood around chatting.

But this time, instead of talking about school or movies or girls, these guys were deciding the fate of the remaining adults. The rules said one adult had to go.

It must be said that the need to eliminate an adult after the adults won the challenge confused me. The adults — well, Jason at least — worked hard for this victory and seemingly didn’t get any reward for winning.

Still, rules are rules, and someone was going home.

Keegan said it well: “Jason’s ‘best that he could’ is better than Marc’s ‘best that he could.’”

Sure enough, Marc was sent packing, and now both Eagle Scouts were done. Now the fate of the adults rested on the broad shoulders of Jason, a former Life Scout.

But first, Marc’s parting words: “I grew up in Scouting, and this weekend really proved to me that you can’t always just stand on your laurels and say I’ve done it, been there, got the T-shirt.”

That’s a good reminder to all Eagle Scouts out there: Getting Eagle isn’t the end of the journey, it’s the beginning.

Final Challenge: Sink or Swim

tougher-e03-4After an unlikely defeat, the Scouts were looking for some payback.

Last week’s final challenge matched three Scouts against one adult, but this week it was back to a one-on-one, winner-take-all bout. I prefer that.

The task combined Geocaching merit badge skills with a ride on a personal watercraft, also known as a Jet Ski. Before you ask, yes, personal watercrafts are authorized at Scout summer camps. (Read this excellent Scouting magazine article from last summer for an inside look at PWCs.)

Here’s the setup: Jason and Rio each had to find a GPS device and shovel in their rowboat. Then they used geocaching skills to track down binoculars and the key to their personal watercrafts, both buried in the sand.

Using the binoculars they needed to locate the flag on the other side of Lake Isabella, before racing one mile to opposite shore on their PWCs. First to grab the flag wins.

A pretty straight-forward challenge, but for me, simple is good.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you one thing,” Charles shouted at the guys. “Your boats are sinking…”

As their boats filled with water, Jason and Rio searched desperately for the hidden items. Rio found his and hurried back to shore with his items, giving the Scouts a big lead, or as he put it, the “sweet taste of a head start.”

The geocaching portion gave Jason pause. “They didn’t have GPS when I was a Scout,” he said, but fortunately for him, the devices were pretty easy to figure out.

But not for Rio, apparently, as he entered a wrong number and was thrown off course temporarily. Soon enough, though, he found the giant X made of rocks and the binoculars buried beneath.

I have to say that this geocaching was much easier than any I’ve done. Typically in geocaching, knowing the coordinates gets you close to the hidden treasure, but the fun part is finding the cleverly hidden cache — out of sight for a normal passer-by, but within reach of a keen-eyed geocacher. These caches were buried under a giant X, so let’s call this “geocaching light.”

Rio found his Jet Ski key first, strapped on his PFD, and began scanning for the flag.  Not tough to find, because host Charles and all the Scouts were standing right next to it. In the end, Rio’s lead was insurmountable, and the Scouts added another win to their total.

Final count through three episodes: Scouts 7, Adults 2.

But as Jason pointed out, the Scouts didn’t gloat. “In the awesome spirit of Scouting, the Scouts are cheering me on,” he said.

After they gave him a nicely engraved “Prepared. For Life.” knife, Jason reflected on his brief but emotional trip back in time.

“I might not have been tougher than these Boy Scouts,” he said, “but I’m certainly tougher than the Boy Scout that I used to be.

“Man, I tell you, it was just great to be among such a respectable and accomplished group of youngsters, and to show them that I still have something left in me that I wanna give back to Scouting, and here I am. So, literally, my hat’s off to you guys.”

Stray Observations

  • I haven’t mentioned it before, but the show’s introductory text gives a nice overview of what Are You Tougher? is all about and why it’s an important tool for changing the conversation about the BSA. Here’s the full text, which host Charles Ingram says before each episode:
    • “For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America have taught boys the value of teamwork, outdoor adventure, and being prepared. Now, three men looking to recapture that Scouting glory, put their life experience against the Scout experience. They’ll take on the next generation of Scouts in a series of challenges.”
  • Seeing a medic come over to Marc confused me. You’ve got a half-dozen Eagle Scouts, each with the First Aid merit badge, standing nearby. Surely one of them could’ve helped Marc recover. I get that there’s liability involved, but still, this seemed like a missed opportunity.
  • It appears Rio has taken on the role of spokesman for the Scouts. He’s typically the one who addresses the adults at elimination time, delivering the good and bad news to the competitors. I think it’s a role he handles well. Perhaps a career in broadcasting is in his future?

Try in Your Troop

Which of these challenges would your Scouts want to try?

A giant slingshot? A geocaching race? A kayaking relay? The options are only limited by your imagination.

Next new episode

The next episode, titled “Where Eagles Fly,” airs at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Monday, March 25, on the National Geographic Channel.

My other recaps

Missed an episode? Catch up here:

Episode 1 recap

Episode 2 recap

Online viewing options

National Geographic Channel is working on a variety of options for online viewing, but none is live yet. I still haven’t received word on when/where it’ll be posted online, but I’ll blog about it once I get word.

Trivia Answers

Answers in bold:

  1. The bowline knot is best used for what purpose? (Rescue, Boating, Lashing)
  2. What color are poison sumac berries? (White, Purple, Yellow)
  3. On what side of a tree or rock does moss usually grow? (South, West, North)
  4. In navigating, what does UTM stand for? (Universal Transverse Mercator, Unilateral Traverse Method, Universal Trans-Meridian)
  5. What type of California toxic plant is edible? (Poison Oak, Grape Ivy, Stinging Nettle)
  6. What clouds are known as streak clouds? (Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulus)

Photographs from National Geographic Channels

33 Comments on Something new under the sun (‘Are You Tougher?’ Episode 3 Recap)

  1. Thanks Bryan! I missed this episode and couldn’t DVR it. Your writing is excellent!

    • Thank you for this. Glad to be of service!

  2. I’m sorry, but what exactly is the point of this show before? [note: I don't watch the show, I just read Bryan's recaps] In some cases, the competition is an adult who has never done this activity before versus a youth who has ample experience with the activity. I don’t see how that’s an entertaining competition.

    In other cases, it’s an adult who learned the activity when they were a Scout versus a youth who has ample experience with the activity. And when the adults do poorly, what exactly is the message the BSA is trying to get across? You’ll learn stuff in Scouting that you’ll forget when you’re an adult? Look at these Eagle Scouts that can’t do Scouting stuff well?

    It just seems like a no-win situation when you actually start thinking about the show.

  3. This episode was weaker than number two, as we had obviously out of shape men against young, in shape scouts. Most concerning to me though was the violations of common sense dress by them all in a hot, dry environment; wear a hat that protects your head and allow air flow in your clothing. Also, it appeared that the attention to the adults with various levels of heat exhaustion was not done in a timely manner, though possible was, but just not shown. Also, putting someone on a jet ski that is unfamiliar with it is against the written policy that was put in place when they were allowed. “Be familiar” with the equipment in use before you use it!!!

    But I have been to Whitsett more than once, as well as rafted the Kern. None of my scouts would participate without proper training or attire. And not sure where they have found the adults that they portray. When I was in my thirties, I was hiking Philmont and the Sierras, and could easily keep up with my scouts. Hopefully this will get back on the rails, as right now it is doing possibly more damage than good by allowing foolish actions on the part of unprepared adults, while having scouts also not following established guidelines in some cases, such as heat protection.

    • Jason Hadley // March 21, 2013 at 1:26 am // Reply

      I would have loved a chance to get familiar with the equipment, I have to agree there. Nevertheless, thank you for watching!

      Jason

  4. I have to agree with Wes Fish on all he said. Also have to agree with Bryan about what the point is of winning a challenge if you’re still going to get a person booted. Though variety in competition is nice (like in show like Wipeout), an overall change in format from week to week is not good. Like in Week 2, when there was the Scout Essentials check, which ultimately decided the fate of the contestants. I really do like the concept of the show in general. But the producers injecting arguments between the adults which seem a bit contrived and the somewhat confusing format needs to be fixed for the 2nd Season.

  5. Steve Toole // March 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm // Reply

    I too was disappointed they picked two (arguably 3) overweight guys who obviously were a mismatch for the scouts, and who also arguably don’t represent the values of an Eagle scout in adulthood (“…to keep myself physically strong…”). Seeing that guy nearly collapse when running a quarter mile with an inflatable kayak on his back, and the other guy nearly puke from heat exhaustion doesn’t make my boys want to look forward to becoming and Eagle scout as an adult. I wasn’t sure if I was watching “Are you Tougher than a Boy Scout” or “The Biggest Loser.”

    It was also kind of confusing at the end when they told the guy, “You are–Tougher than a Boy Scout.” Wait, he IS and Eagle Scout! So, what, he’s tougher than…himself? Ok, I know he’s not a “boy” scout any more, but I just thought for him to come on and say “I am an Eagle Scout” and then “I am tougher than a Boy Scout” seemed like what they call in Microsoft Excel, a “circular reference.”

    I watched it with my boys (Tenderfoot, Webelos II and Bear), and they were entertained, but I’m not sure they were terribly inspired by the show last night. They too were calling out all of the flaws in the story line, rules, etc.

    • Jason Hadley // March 21, 2013 at 1:20 am // Reply

      I wasn’t sure if I was watching “Are you Tougher than a Boy Scout” or “The Biggest Loser.” …Touché

      Jason

  6. My cable doesn’t offer the National Geographic channel. But from the commits I’m not missing anything. Out of shape men against in shape youth, no contest. Maybe an outdoor show where the viewers could learn sometime from a critique or hands on demonstration.

  7. Great points brought up by everyone here I think. How about having some of those who are trained Scout leaders in this mix? I know a number of Eagle and Life Scouts who are also currently trained scout leaders. It seems to me this would even the score if the young men were up against their own “Scoutmasters.”

  8. UGH! Buried geocaches are WRONG!

    From the Geocaching Merit Badge book, Requirement 2a:
    2. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    a. Why you should never bury a cache.

    Burying a geocache violates Leave No Trace. Buried geocaches are NEVER knowingly published by geocaching.com.

    Other than that, GREAT SHOW!

  9. Rick Yahoo // March 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm // Reply

    The Language of Scouting says you never use Eagle without Scout. During my career I championed the proper use of Eagle Scout.

    Just thought I would throw that out to you.,,

    My best,

    Rick

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. I believe that this show gives great exposure to the BSA and some of the activities that happen in Scouting however the adults that are selected are not physically able to compete against the young Eagle Scouts. One of the adults was even overcome with heat exhaustion and could have had a serious health issue. I live 50 miles away from Lake Isabella and the tempertures can reach over 100 degrees even in the fall also the wind picks up after 10.00 a/m and causes a lot of problems for boaters and fishermen they plan on doing things early in the morning.When it is that hot and windy outside activity should be done very early in the morning before 9.00 a/m. I believe that viewers of the show want better matched competitors. I am disappointed after watching the last show on March 18th. I hope that the last shows are better than the last one.

  11. Learned tonight that the Boy Scout motto is “Prepared. For Life” At least that is what the Eagle Scouts said.

    I’m not interested in watching a show where you win a challenge and get voted off. Nor am I interested in a show where a man with no experience on a jetski or using a GPS comes in moments behind someone who has experience in both but is considered “not tougher than a Boy Scout.”

  12. Tracy White // March 20, 2013 at 2:20 am // Reply

    Although we have basic cable, National Geographic is not part of the line-up. How can we watch the episodes? My 15 year old, almost Eagle, wants to show the episodes at his patrol meetings. Any suggestions on how to do this?

    • David Richardson (Obiwan) // March 20, 2013 at 7:23 am // Reply

      Tracey,
      Send me an email djrichar07@live.com
      David

  13. David Richardson (Obiwan) // March 20, 2013 at 7:31 am // Reply

    So far I ave been able to watch 2 episodes, and in about 3hrs I will be able to watch the 3rd. I would be interested in knowing do you believe that this show is a credit for the BSA of do you think it’s damaging the BSA’s reputation

    From an outsider (Australian), view I don’t believe tat it is portraying scous in a very positive light. It would be interesting to put troop against troop, BSA against other Boy Scouts from around the world, or even BSA against the Military. What do you think????

  14. Patrick Justice // March 20, 2013 at 11:46 am // Reply

    I have mixed feelings about the show.

    The portrayal of scout skills is an easy target — others have pointed out how they’re doing certain things incorrectly — but that’s ultimately a minor point. They show many skills in a positive light, and I particularly like the demonstrations of scout spirit by the boys during the skills tests — they routinely encourage the adults, and the direct assistance given to adults by the scouts is impressive (the scout giving his safety glasses to the adult when the adult’s glasses were fogged up is a great example). The boys seem like good kids, and I think they’re good ambassadors for scouting.

    Why did they select adults who are not physically fit? The difference between the performance of scouts and adults so far isn’t skills or knowledge; it’s physical fitness. The adults in episode 3 had no business doing such strenuous activities, and two were in medically significant distress during the events. It sets a bad example, goes against the emphasis of BSA medical forms, and counter to how we would handle those situations.

    I don’t like eliminating an adult after the first two tasks. I understand they’re trying to add an element like Survivor or American Idol, but it goes against the patrol method and turns the adults into backbiting accusers when they discuss who should get eliminated. It’s not scout-like at all.

    I’m also concerned with how BSA is using the show. It’s apparently intended as a type of outreach or recruiting tool to make scouting more appealing to a wider audience, and that’s great. If they get more boys into good packs and troops as a result, that could ultimately be a good thing.

    My concern isn’t so much about boys who enter scouts expecting it to be like the show, but instead that adults viewing the show will give into the temptation to make the scouting experience more competitive. While outdoor activities in particular benefit boys by pushing their boundaries to “toughen them up,” scouting is designed to do it in a subtle, supportive way, not in an overt, in-your-face way that eliminates you if you don’t measure up.

    I worry that emphasizing a competitive aspect in scouting takes away from the core aspects that we should be emphasizing. Being an Eagle Scout is about service, leadership, and character. “Toughness” is ancillary and comes from the self-confidence built during the scouting journey.

    • Steve Toole // March 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm // Reply

      Totally agree with all your points, Patrick. I commented very similarly on summaries of the previous episodes and in other forums. We seem to have the same view of the show.

      • Patrick Justice // March 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm // Reply

        Steve,

        I’m sure there are many who feel similarly to us.

        BSA deserves credit for thinking outside the box, and scouting can obviously use some positive PR. I’ll do my best to be optimistic that the show will have a mostly positive effect. My hope is that the positive contributions of the scouts themselves will leave the most lasting impression. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it looks like they’ve assembled a great group of scouts.

        The show is what it is. It’s hard when you know skills aren’t being performed the right way, but I’ll try not to cringe when they hang a bear bag all wrong or cover themselves in mud and eat bugs like it’s Fear Factor. Instead, I’ll remind myself that it’s probably the only reality show with scout spirit where one side tries to help the other.

        As for the physical fitness of the adults, it’s got nowhere else to go but up after episode 3. Should I count that as a plus, too?

        • Jason Hadley // March 21, 2013 at 1:13 am //

          Nothing like seeing yourself on TV to realize it’s time to get in shape.

  15. aboutscout // March 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm // Reply

    The guy who got to the end in episode 2 was in decent shape. He was breathing heavy but dragged the whole boat full of other contestants and a camera man, by himself and carried all those logs at once and split wood good. A great fire but the tent scene was pretty sad. Scout spirit is what it is all about. But this a reality show and drama sells.

  16. aboutscout // March 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm // Reply

    And yes some of the skill/safety miscues are hard to watch. It seems like that would be an easy fix by keeping an experienced scouter on set and in production.

  17. Jason Hadley // March 21, 2013 at 1:11 am // Reply

    Just checking out the word around town, and I’ll say that the GPS and Jetski were new to me, however I learned some new skills and had a chance to do things I’ve never done before. I feel I came out of it a better person!

    Jason

    • Great job, Jason, and thanks for stopping by the blog!

      • Jason Hadley // March 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm // Reply

        My pleasure! You’re a fantastic writer! I shared this with friends.

        My best,

        Jason

    • Steve Toole // March 21, 2013 at 9:00 am // Reply

      Great to have you chime in Jason! Love to get your “behind the scenes” perspectives, particularly in light of some of the feedback being conveyed in this forum. You may be sworn to secrecy ;-) but anything you could share I’m sure would be appreciated by this blog’s readers. I think reality shows look for the most drama in the experience and that’s what airs, for example. Would you say the final production was true to the dynamics of the experience, or did much of the “reality” end up on the cutting room floor, yielding to the moments that made good television?

    • Patrick Justice // March 21, 2013 at 10:26 am // Reply

      Jason,

      I too would appreciate any insight you can provide as a participant. Did the people running the show tell you in advance about the physical nature of the events? How much time did you have to prepare and practice skills?

      Please don’t take any criticism from my post above or any others personally. You were “game” and gave it your best given the situations you were presented with. You ultimately performed the best of the adults in your group, both physically and skills-wise. Most people here, if not all, are looking at the show from the perspective of experienced and passionate adult BSA volunteers, and I know I was looking at the impact of the show on the image of BSA in general and individual troops in particular. That’s quite different than the perspective of the general viewing audience.

      If you had been the least physically fit adult in your group, I wouldn’t have had an issue, but it turned out you were the most physically fit and the other two adults both had significant problems dealing with the physical challenges in the heat. That was scary — as presented on the show, I was quite concerned for the health of the other two adults — and it ran completely counter to how we as adult scout leaders would handle those situations. Prevention is vastly preferable to treatment, so we’d avoid strenuous activity during heat like that and have frequent breaks to avoid heat exhaustion. But prevention measures didn’t fit with the timed nature of the events or the most convenient time of day to shoot the episode.

      I’m glad you had a positive experience. All the best to you.

  18. If you think Jason is going to give away such behind the scene info, you should think again. That would ruin it for everyone and maybe get him in disclosure hot water.

    If one did not respect the contributors here from past valued postings so much, one might think there was a little jelousy of Jason and the other men on the show going on. A scout is brave and these adults were indeed brave to do this at all.

    • Steve Toole // March 21, 2013 at 11:55 am // Reply

      Are you his agent, or his lawyer? LOL! Seriously, though, that’s why I said “anything you could share.”

      Um, jealousy? Wow, that hadn’t occurred to me. I don’t see it. Would it be fun to go on the show, sure. But I wouldn’t say that the comments on this blog are particularly laced with jealousy. That’s the beauty of a forum like this, we can each express things the way we see them from our own individual perspectives. Thanks for sharing yours.

      • Jason Hadley // March 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm // Reply

        Whoa, didn’t mean for things to escalate. Hehe

        Most of the paperwork I signed was related to disclosure before the air date.

        As far as casting, I knew nothing about the other contestants as we weren’t allowed to speak to each other after the initial handshake. I will say that the first day they showed up in BSA offical pants, belts, etc., so my gut sank in sizing these guys up as the real deal, leaving me to think this was a big set-up against me. …and then who would have thought it would turn out like that?!

        The competitions were straight up as seen, though John and Marc both took longer to recover than the final edit showed. The real enemy was the heat. They were both fine and there was an on-set medic and forced hydration all day. I’m assuming the scouts didn’t step in to help for insurance reasons. I never felt like I was in any danger…uneducated, underskilled, but not in danger.

        Otherwise, it went pretty much like they showed it. They filmed interviews before and after the events and used them as needed. Personally, I had some way better one-liners. Hahaha

        Again, I can’t thank you all enough for the support. It seems I kinda “told on myself” as far as how hard I can push for what I want.

        Jason

  19. Steve Stockham // March 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    I’m Jason’s size and I KNOW there is NO way that I am more physically fit than those current Eagle Scouts on the show. As an Eagle Scout myself and a current Asst. Scoutmaster, I would rate my knowledge as the equal of the “scouts” on the show. What I wouldn’t have is the physical stamina to keep up with them! What impressed me was the attitude that, “I’m not gonna quit!” even though common sense would seem to indicate the opposite! Maybe it’s just my perception but “tougher” does not necessisarily equate to faster! Ah, but that is the nature of the program.

  20. David Richardson (Obiwan) // March 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm // Reply

    I know that this is going out right field, but I have just finished watching episode 3, and for the first two challenges I was scared for the health of John and Marc. I know that these shows would have medical staff there, but I have to agree with what Patrick said about early intervention.

    I assume that to be an Eagle Scout one has to have done a first aid merit badge. Even tho there as trained medical personnel there it was disappointing to see 4 Eagle Scouts standing around with their hands in their pockets, they could have at least started first aid treatment.

    Sorry but in my opinion the winners for episode 3 are the adults

    Congratulations John, Marc and Jason, it’s just a pity in the adults win, they can’t vote off on of the scouts that they competed against.

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