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The BSA doesn’t have the budget for a big national advertising campaign. But this show does one better, says Stephen Medlicott, marketing group director for the BSA. “Teens think about the Cub Scout image more than the Boy Scout image,” he says. “These young guys have amazing skills and activities. There are lots of ways to tell our story, but this a unique opportunity. It’s a game changer.”


the end, they performed serviceably: “Unless there was a big downpour, we would’ve been OK.” Host Ingram, the former Marine, defends


Mondello, admitting, “I’d probably be fumbling on that myself.” The Scouts remain pretty unflappable, even with


the cameras on them and the knowledge that America will soon be watching. They insist that they forget the cameras are dogging them. “The pressure is more in the competition,” Keegan


says. “When you’re in the zone, you really don’t think about the cameras. They stay far enough away; they’re not in your face and not telling you what to do.” Diallo Whitaker, another Scout participant,


agrees. “You’re really into the challenge; you’re pumped up, adrenaline going, and you’re just trying to win. The camera crew doesn’t put much pressure on you—they say, just do your thing because they want it to be natural.” Rio adds with a laugh, “When you’re in an inter-


view and the cameras are on you, that’s a lot harder.” The Scouts all say they hope the series will bring


Scouting’s reputation into the 21st century, depicting it as fun and exciting in addition to its character- building qualities. “I’m hoping the show will give people a better


idea of what Boy Scouts are really like,” Diallo says. “Seeing us do all these cool challenges, it lets people know Boy Scouts are about more than just earning merit badges.” Rio echoes the sentiment: “I want to change the


stereotype of Boy Scouts going door to door selling popcorn. I want to show people that we also rappel off bridges, jump into rafts, and beat adults. I want kids to want to join Scouting, not that their parents make them.” Keegan adds, “Get it away from the stereotype of


a bunch of boys tying knots or starting fires. There’s so much more to it. It’s more a lifelong experience, and I hope people see that.” Scouting’s Medlicott says, “Teens think about the


Cub Scout image more than the Boy Scout image. These young guys have amazing skills and activities. We don’t have the budget for a big national advertising campaign. There are lots of ways to tell our story, but this a unique opportunity. It’s a game changer.” Producer Beers says he hopes the show combines


Scouting’s good-deed ethos with an extreme-sports sensibility. With a laugh, he describes the show in a single sentence: “Help the old lady across the street and kick your old man’s butt.” ¿


DAVID KRONKE has written about television for many publications, including TV Guide, Variety, The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and The Huffington Post.


TUNE IN TO Are Y ougher? on National Geographic Channel ou T


this spring. For a list of show times and more information, check scoutingmagazine.org/tougher. Plus, you can find recaps of each weekly episode at blog.scoutingmagazine.org/tougher.


JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2013 ¿ S COUTING 37


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