Calling All Youngsters: A lot of interest has been generated recently in an article put together by the Scouting Association and Discovery Channel in which they claim “you lot” don’t have many of the practical skills that our generation possessed.

So, while you might be able to update your status on a social network site, only seven percent of you can tie a reef knot. A reef knot? It’s a knot that can hold or slip, depending on… oh, forget it.

Come to think of it, the expression: “He couldn’t tie his own shoe laces” was regarded as the ultimate insult, implying that the person had the intellectual capacity of a geranium.

Other skills that our generation possessed by the time we reached young teenager-hood included the ability to use a compass and read a map.

Well, according to the people behind this article, you might be able to burn CDs and wipe out the enemy double-quick on Call of Duty, but if you dared to adventure outside into the real world… you would get lost. 

Mind you, as a Scout I also learned how to play “Knifie”, which involves a sheath knife and your mate’s splayed legs… Took balls, that did. Sometimes literally! Ah, the days before elf ‘n’ safety.

Anyway, back to the point: the report also suggests that another lost skill is your ability to mend a puncture. So you know what YouTube is, but not Inner Tube. If you got a flat tyre you would be left sitting by the side of the road until Daddy came and collected you.

And all those skills are about to be lost forever. You see, me and my generation are getting ready to shuffle off to the Old Folks Home for the Bewildered. There, we’ll pass the time swapping stories of our Glam Rock clothing exploits and singing the old songs such as Joe Dolce’s “Shaddap You Face” (And if you don’t know what that is, then Google it.)

So, as we go shambling off, we are passing the torch on to you. All we ask is that you take it boldly, and hold it with pride – preferably by the end that’s not on fire.

Thank you.

Drew McAdam


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