I mean no disrespect to Follow Me, Boys!, an an American classic. But that 1966 film doesn’t speak to most of today’s 30-something parents in need of a character-building organization for their son or daughter.
It especially doesn’t resonate with those parents in America’s inner cities who desperately want a way to steer their children away from violence and crime.
That’s why anyone considering Scouting needs to see Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions.
It’s available on DVD this month.
The film from Praphetic Praductions is a work of fiction, but the premise is all too real:
A middle-schooler named Tristan lives in the inner city. His mom, wanting to keep him off the streets, signs him up for Scouting. Soon after, Tristan witnesses a murder, and the local thug demands his silence. He’s left with the choice between Scouting’s values and the code of the streets. He learns, with the help of his Scout friends, that doing the right thing isn’t easy.
Watch the trailer below, and you’ll want to see this powerful film that encapsulates the power of Scouting but does so in a way that’s gritty and avoids sentimentalism. Learn more and pre-order the DVD at the film’s official website.
The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, in its writeup about the movie, reveals that the film’s writer and director grew up in Scouting in Richmond. He “attributes much of his core values to the time he spent with his troop: leadership, achieving goals and helping others,” according to the story.
The Boy Scouts “is a counter to gang culture,” Patrick Ricks told the newspaper. “The acute need for it is still there.”
I should warn you that there is some strong language in the film — not unlike what actual Scout-age children would hear on the streets. I’d encourage you to watch it yourself before screening it for older Scouts.
How the BSA is using Troop 491
The Boy Scouts of America is harnessing the power of Troop 491 to recruit chartered organizations into Scouting.
As this Scout Wire post explains, the BSA is developing campaign materials for councils to use Troop 491 to help “start conversations with churches about organizing a Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop as part of their ministry to youth.”
Expect to see that campaign early next year.
In the meantime, watch the trailer below and order the DVD here.