‘Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?’ air date confirmed

tougher-logoLet the countdown officially begin.

Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?, the National Geographic Channel reality show I first told you about early last year, finally has a confirmed air date.

Mark your calendars for 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) on Monday, March 4. The six-episode series continues every Monday night until the season finale on April 8.

A Monday night show seems tailor-made for Scouting, because many Scout units meet on Monday nights. Why not make watching the show a part of your weekly meeting? Scouts or Scouters could facilitate a discussion about the show during the commercial breaks and after it’s over.

Now’s the time to check your provider’s programming guide to make sure you subscribe to a TV package with the National Geographic Channel. Here’s the channel number for a few major TV providers: DirecTV, 276; Dish, 186; Verizon FiOS, 121 (SD) 621 (HD); ATT U-Verse, 265 (SD) 1265 (HD).

Need something to tide you over until March? First read Scouting magazine’s behind-the-scenes look at the show. Then watch a new, official trailer after the jump… 

Watch a new trailer


  1. I think that Scouts should be doing something else than watching TV during a meeting. Maybe have the Scouts watch it at home & then spend 5 minutes discussing it at the next meeting. We need to keep the Outing in Scouting.

      • Yes, but they still need guidance and direction, and that comes from the scout leaders. WE need to set the standard of what scouting is all about. The boys don’t do that.

        • As an Eagle Scout and currently a JASM in our troop and being fifteen years old I would like to agree that the scouts choose their meetings and what they do during these meetings. Scouting is more about being scout led and having the motivation to do constructive things during these meeting this is why we have PLC meeting monthly to plan the agendas for meetings. One of the very key traits in an eagle scout is motivation and the ability to be motivated and being able to motivate their selves and other to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. I think that the scouts should be able to decide for themselves wether or not they want to view this TV show during the meeting. Also our troop, Troop 523 in Hartsville, SC has our meeting on wednesday nights which would make it easier to view these episodes during the meeting.

    • I agree. I can’t remember ever having enough time in a scout meeting to add television to it. However, I like the idea of taking some time to have a discussion about the episodes at the meetings. This would be fun AND productive!

  2. I think it is a great idea to include it in the meeting. For boys who have not had an opportunity to experience the “outing in scouting” this will be a perfect illustration.

  3. I agree with Mr. Pendleton, why would I want my troop to spend meeting time watching TV – they might as well stay home and I’m sure this will only be as ‘real’ as the producers want it to me. You want reality – go outside and be tougher than a Boy Scout (or at least tougher than the Boy Scout you were last week/month)

  4. I don’t have anything against the show but it should be recorded and watched on their own time not on my Troop meeting time. I’ve been a leader for 26 years 19 as Scoutmaster and 6 as Crew Advisor and one of the rules is … no electronic games or celulars on our meetings or camping, there is a box for them and they have a chance to use them after dinner foe 2 hours after that back to box and Scouts activities.

    • “Not on ‘my’ Troop meeting time.” Since when is Scouting all about the adults? If you are trying to relive your youth, find some other way. Let the boys lead in order to become leaders. It is their Troop or at best our Troop, but its hour never belong to the adults.

      • I guarantee a troop focused on watching TV will fail. I took over a Venture crew that had four boys who weren’t meeting, and the first indication of failure was seeing they were listed as a videogame crew. Pathetic? Yes, especially considering what Venturing offers. When we put adventure AND social aspects back into the program, we exploded in both membership AND interests.
        Yes, it is their troop. But letting them decide without guidance is NOT the way to succeed. Why do you think the remote control merit badge is a spoof badge?

  5. A big, national TV show that frames Scouting in a positive, modern light doesn’t come around very often. So I’d jump on the chance to somehow incorporate it into my Scout unit, personally. Scouting is youth-led, so perhaps the best bet would be to ask your SPL whether it’s something he would want to make a part of your troop’s weekly meeting.

    Remember, we’re talking meetings, not campouts. Meetings are usually held inside and are more sedentary than outings. A Scouting-related show that provides inspiration for your Scouts is no different from having a guest speaker visit your troop. Heck, it might give them a few ideas for fun outdoor activities they’d like to try. At the very least, it’s BSA-related fodder for meaningful discussions. “Did Scout A make the right decision here?” “What would you have done in Scout B’s situation during the final challenge?”

    That’s how I see it, at least.

  6. I agree with Bryan wholeheartedly. Whether you watch it at the meeting is up to you and maybe it was a poor decision on the network’s side to have it that day and time but this will bring new light into the Boy Scouts at a time when it is needed most. Do not be so selfish only thinking about your troop. You should think outside the box and believe that maybe you will actually gain more members this way. Use it to your advantage when speaking to potential people about joining. Did you see all the cool things we do on tv? To outsiders, the scouts have always seemed to have a strange role in society where if you have never been a scout, you tend to be more unaware of what values and strengths it holds. This is a step in the right direction and it will let the public know that we are not just a bunch of strange guys hanging out, tying knots and reading the whole time. I had a great time in scouts, it taught me a lot, made me a stronger person and I am a better person for being in it. Proud Eagle Scout speaking out.

    • Our Troop spent the last meeting watching ‘A Time to Tell’ our son is only 11. I understand the need for the discussion but, I’d like to see this at a Troop level too.

    • I wonder if one can tape the episodes & use the best one on a loop & TV at some recruiting function. I guess I’ll need to check into that.

  7. Looking forward to it. I can guarantee we’ll be seeing segments of the show at our Troop Leadership Training in May. This will also be something I will encourage each and every one of our Den Chiefs to have their dens sit down and watch – it’s a great way to keep Webelos engaged and jazz them up about “what’s ahead.”

    And, yes, I agree that meeting time should be spent on other things.

    SM/The Iron Scouts (T571)

  8. Agree with you Brian – Let the Boys decide an hopefully get energized with new ideas. I bet you’ll have lots of “We can try that next weekend”

    SM Dennis
    T71, Steilacoom WA

  9. Sometimes, PBS produced shows offer supplemental materials to teachers who will use their shows in the classroom — wouldn’t it be great if the producers of this show got with scouters and made a “how to host your own competition” (safely) at your next meeting — get troop dads or local alumni to compete against current scouts. The booklet could have ideas that would probably look a lot like klondike derby events, but it would be a way to capitalize on the show’s (hopeful) success and popularlity, have fun, do an activity and get some publicity for the unit (if local press wanted to cover it).

  10. Hi guys! I’m Claudia and I’m a Scout Chief in Argentina, South America. I’m brazilian but I’m living in Buenos Aires now. I work as a translator and I would love translating to portuguese and spanish anything has to do with that amazing serie. Please let me know how to receive more information about the show and if I could make some official channel on facebook to join southamerican scouts to follow it. Siempre Listos! From South America!

  11. I am really surprised about some of the earlier comments here, about the electronics policies in their troops and the Scouts not being active. *It’s a TV show*…Watched on their own time. If your troop meeting is on Monday, there is this new technology called DVR…record it. Then the Scouts can watch it on their own time.

    As Bryan says, the show is a tool to get Scouting into the mainstream, and in a good way. As we are in a time where National is talking about reversing it’s policy, and where the “lists” are out there, and all the other bad press the BSA receives, this is a great thing.

    Heck, they have a show about a little girl…Honey Boo-Boo or something like that. You name it, there’s a reality show for it. It’s about time that Scouting got their niche filled. It’s “Wipeout” combined with “Survivor”, with a little touch of “Survivorman”…

  12. I am the wife of an Eagle Scout with three Eagle Palms, God and Country, Explorer Sea Scout with rank of Quartermaster, Order Of The Arrow, Wood Badge and district trainer. My husband has been in the Scouts for 49 years. Has been a Scout Master, Assistant Scout Master, Cub Master, Assistant Cub Master, Tiger Club Leader. Den leader for Wolf, Bear , Lion and Weblos. I am also the mother of an Eagle Scout. I feel that I have earned a rank to express my opinion! Let the kids watch the show at their meeting if possible. If not, have it recorded for them to watch. The show only airs for a short time . It will really add allot of fun to their meeting….and fun is one of the reasons for scouting!! Remember that many children do not have this channel to watch at home.

  13. Amazing !! I’m from Brazil ! I’m a Scout master of São Paulo City. This type of initiative, Scouting values​​.

  14. Only problem I have with the 8 pm air time is that our troop meets from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. I’m assuming that it is a 60 minute program, so if we watch it during the meeting, my boys will miss most of it. Closing begins at 8:20, parents are waiting, boys have homework, so staying till 9:00 is not a option.

    • Hi Charlie,

      Going back to the 1980s, threre’s been capability to load any TV broadcast onto some sort of recording device. In fact, if you have a satellite, cable, TIVO, VCR, DVR or computer, you can watch any show later than during your meeting time.
      You are welcme. Glad to help.

  15. Help teach them to not let it be a distraction. Banning it won’t teach them self-control.

    Back when Scouting was started the activities they did were life skills, AND common entertainment (maybe not the pool table). Knowing how to use electronics can be both Fun and teach Life skills, yes the ipod too. Cell phones can be used for communication much like smoke signals. MP3 players with audio lessons, instead of headphones bring speakers to share music with the group, much like getting together and playing music. Computers to write, create, share. I find it much more likely in today’s society to need knowledge of electronics than say Canoeing. There is a time and place for both.

    (And for those of you who require credentials , I have worked at a scout camp for 5 year, and am an Eagle Scout)

  16. Im a Eagle Scout..t719 Sykesville,md. This should be a good show.. Why not do a show Older scouts verses newer scouts.. I have noticed over the years that Badges and skills have changed..

  17. As a scouting mom of 3 “Special” scouts, I have to say that the Scouting program has done wonders for my boys over the years. 2 of them are now working on Eagle projects. Throughout the years, my autistic son was allowed to have his audio books and, later, his iPod for travel. Life skills change with the times. I think that electronics, like most other modern advances, have a place in scouting. Lets open a dialog with the people who actually run the program. Lets talk to the boys and listen to what they have to say

  18. Step back for a moment and realize what a wonderful opportunity this is for the Boy Scouts of America to refresh the image of the organization! In a time where our Scouting is competing for attention with video games, sports, band, church and other extracurricular activities, we have an opportunity to show the world what Scouting has done to take a boy and make him self-sufficient and resourceful, preparing him for adulthood. Kids have so much to choose from now-far more than I had when I joined Scouting as a Cub in 1970.

    Our troop meets on Mondays at 7:00. I would totally support sacrificing ONE troop meeting to have a shared experience with my boys by watching the first episode TOGETHER. The program might be compelling enough to spark greater interest in advancing or learning some new skills. The boys will probably get some good-natured laughs in on the adults when they get winded or lose.

    We have a “no electronics” policy at meetings and outings, but for an opportunity like this I’d make a one-time exception for the program. There are only six episodes and there is no guarantee there will be more. Watching the first episode individually, at home, would not have the same effect as watching together as a unit with guys who can relate to it. Same reason why we hike together, camp together, do community service together: The shared experience.

    I’ve been involved with the program for more than 40 years and I haven’t seen an effective image campaign from the BSA in decades. Any of you older guys remember “Scouting Rounds a Guy Out”? As a young boy I remember seeing TV ads for boys hiking and doing cool outdoor stuff. “Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?” has the opportunity to make a great impression on boys who might have considered joining Scouting, but opted out because of peer pressure or the lack of knowledge of what the program is all about.

    Still, the ultimate decision lies with our PLC. If they voted to watch it, I’d support it.

  19. What’s great here is all of you adults and leaders discussing ideas and whats best for the Troop and the Scouts. The fact that you all care is just awesome… No matter how you do it this new show will inspire new ideas to the Troop and show non-Scouts what they can achieve if they want to join the BSA. I hope membership soars and we are all slammed with apps to join the our Troops!

    Now… Are you tougher than a Boy Scout Leader. Thanks to all of you!

  20. I think BSA should be proud to have these fine young men in the national spotlight. They look like very capable scouts (one of them looks spot on like my son!!) and to showcase the skills they have learned through scouting may change how some of the public, both scout aged kids and adults, stereotype the BSA. As leaders, we know they get far more life lessons than the actual knots they are tying, but maybe America will see that too. That it’s about leadership. Honestly, I’ve learned more than my kids have!! Let’s just cheer for the scouts, pray for the 3 leaders!! and enjoy each other’s company here and let the rest of the world bicker about it. Yours In Scouting, FF

  21. Not all our boys got a chance to watch the show tonight. Is there a way we could download the show to show at a meeting, like HULU or youtube?

  22. As a life-long Scouter and current Assistant Scoutmaster, I like the general “patrol competition” concept of the show and the exposure it gives the BSA.

    That being said, I’m troubled by a patrol competition in which one patrol acts a “judge” of the other patrol then votes members of the other patrol out, while keeping all of IT’S members. That doesn’t represent Scouting’s values or aims very well.

    Every patrol competition I’ve seen has been judged INDEPENDENTLY on a points system.

  23. Glad to see the show coming back. Have used some of the program ideas on campouts with my troop. Theme for Expo 2014 this year is “Are you tougher than a Boy Scout?”, playing off the theme of this show. I disagree with the statement that “Monday night is a good night to air the show since many scout units meet on Monday” — that is the worst night to air the show. My unit meets on Monday night and although we may use troop time to talk about the show and make use of the ideas included, our scout meeting will NOT be used to sit around watching TV – no matter how good the program.

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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  2. Don’t miss the ‘Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?’ website, new trailer « Bryan on Scouting
  3. ‘Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?’ air date confirmed
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