The Boy Scouts live and breathe their motto: Prepared. For Life. They are strong, resourceful and self-reliant. Honest, helpful and brave. They are downright tough. Would you be able to reach into a bag of snakes, shimmy across a rope stretched over river rapids, canoe across a lake without a paddle and rescue an injured hiker?

New series Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? premieres tonight, March 4, at 8 p.m. Hosted by ex-Army Ranger Charles Ingram, adult “civilians” battle it out with scrappy Scouts in a series of challenges — all based on the Boy Scouts’ 100-year-old handbook — designed to test their physical and mental stamina to determine if these adults have what it takes to earn their own “merit badge.”

Each week, an elite team of Scouts from across the country, ranging from Webelos Scouts to Eagle Scouts, gather in the Sequoia National Forest to take on three new (and brave) adults in a battle of brains and brawn.

Before the adults can go up against the Scouts on their own, they must prove their worth through a series of grueling, merit badge–based challenges. Whether crossing a gorge on a commando line, finding their way alone in the woods during an orienting challenge, administering first aid to an injured hiker or feeding breakfast to a group of hungry Cub Scouts, each challenge reinforces valuable Scouting skills. But for these adults, the rigorous competition can be a hard-hitting reality check. Tough days and even tougher nights mean that they must constantly be ready for the unexpected. And the grown-ups are left to question: how much do they really know about surviving in the wilderness? How far can their life experience really get them?

As the Scouts evaluate each adult’s physical endurance, strength, agility and smarts, the adults are gradually eliminated until only one man is left standing. The worthy opponent will go on to challenge the Scouts in one final test to finally learn if he is truly Tougher Than a Boy Scout.

Tonight at 9P on Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?: Canoe Jousting The Scouts are at Sequoia National Forest to face three new competitors who are all looking to recapture their Scouting glory: Dan wants to prove to his two Eagle Scout brothers that he could have been one, too; John, a single dad, wants to show to his soon-to-be Eagle Scout sons that he can participate in their activities; and Mark wants to chase his childhood dream to be a Scout. Their first challenge, The Boy Scout scavenger hunt, tests the merit badge skills for orienteering, climbing and lifesaving. Compass in hand, the pressure mounts for the adult team as they struggle to find the right direction to head in, giving an easy lead to the Scouts. At the end of the challenge, the Scouts must cast their vote on who will be the one to abandon his boyhood dream and be sent home. Next, in the Canoe Wars challenge, the contestants compete in a series of canoe-based contests: a race, a tug-o-war and a joust. After a hard-fought battle to win, the final wilderness challenge puts the last adult contestant through a series of trail competitions. Armed only with the bare essentials — a flint striker, a knife and a blanket — and being pushed to his physical limits, will he be determined enough to prove that he is Tougher Than a Boy Scout?

Tune in to Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?: Canoe Jousting tonight at 8P!

Comments

  1. P Hoyle
    Kentucky
    March 4, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Great concept. How can I audition (and perhaps my brother)? Both of us are Eagle Scouts.
    ~P~

  2. Nancy Miller
    Whitehall, Michigan
    March 4, 2013, 8:48 pm

    Yep, just as tough – was a Girl Scout Cadet and have killed rattle snakes that were attacking my son in Florida and faced down gators, if you think that makes someone tough. It’s a shame that the really tough kids that deal with the horrors of discrimination and homophobia won’t be addressed on this show. Now those kids would be tough boy scouts. It’s a shame they don’t have a show. Maybe you can create one for them?

  3. Mike MacDonald
    Marshalltown, Iowa Mid-Iowa Council BSA
    March 4, 2013, 9:26 pm

    This Scouter is excited and interested in the show, how does one audition for the show.

  4. william simpson
    Delaware, Ohio
    March 4, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Sheath knives have been frowned upon for decades, banned by many troops,District, and Councils yet debuts on the premier show? I would suggest better comformity to the current rules and “guide to safety” used in todays scouting methods.

  5. Sarge47
    Illinois
    March 4, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Several mistakes on here. One that stands out, the use of the Magnesium block to start a fire. The announcer mistakenly called the striker rod a “magnesium rod.” The truth is that the rod is a “ferro rod,” the Magnesium is in the block that is supposed to be shaved into the tinder to start the fire quickly, yet neither contestant did. The knives were way to big and having them “chug bugs” quickly was silly. Also the shelter thing. The contestants should have been told to spend the night in their shelters and use the so-called rations as bait along with homemade fishing gear to catch fish in the lake, then prepare and cook their fish over their fire and then eat it. This all had the feeling of a “TV game show” for me!

  6. N Lutz
    Florida
    March 4, 2013, 10:26 pm

    Fun to watch. Lookinjg forward to the rest of the series!

  7. Mchael
    March 4, 2013, 11:21 pm

    This show is terrific!

  8. david slater
    United States
    March 5, 2013, 1:01 am

    I too would like to know how to audition. I aged out before completing my Eagle project. As a Assistant Scout Master and step-father to a star scout and a father to almost Webelos Scout, I would love to take the challenge!

  9. Louise Cardillo
    Honeoye Falls, N.Y.
    March 5, 2013, 1:28 am

    Love the whole concept of scouting? The BSA needs to worry more about how local leaders fail to be leaders, driving good scout out, instead f whether they are gay or not!

  10. Daryl Stermon (Scrooge at camp HCC)
    San Diego CA
    March 5, 2013, 2:26 am

    As a long time BSA summer camp staff member, Order of Arrow Vigil Honor, Tribe of Taquitz member, National Camping School Instructor and Woodbage Graduate (all in my former yonger life) … I’m excited to see the Boy Scouts be shown in a positive light and particularly the focus on Boy Scout Skills …. Which for me has always been the heart of the program….

    I’m wondering however if anyone looked at the Boy Scout Handbook to get a few things as right as you can. For example you had both groups follow a compass bearing to find their next activity .. Groups were given ROUND lensatic compasses, instead of the retangular SYLVIA Pathfinder or Explorer model, which is much more usable with a map (that might have been included as part of the activity) and missed a really key point of occasionally shooting a back azmath … to keep any group ON COURSE as they travel over open ground…

    None of this is terrible … But you really have a great chance to focus and showcase for viewers…. the complete set of outdoor SKILLS that scouts and particularly eagle scouts … Master and learn… to achieve their rank and become confident in outdoor skills.

    I still think the show is great .. And I’m happy that you all are doing this … I hope you will continue

    Thanks….. Scrooge….. (every long term camp staff member gets a nick name … Some are hard to live down … Insert laugh here!!!!)

  11. ed
    March 5, 2013, 7:46 am

    I was looking forward to this show since I have 2 Eagle Scouts myself that I know can kick butt in the outdoors. I really think the Scouts threw it at the end and let that guy win. None of those men where any match for any of the Scouts. HOWEVER, I love the positive light the Scouts are being shown in. I like the fact they are showing skills they have learned to a public that doesn’t think much of Scouting. It did a world of great things for my boys!

  12. Scott Benfer
    Pennsylvania
    March 5, 2013, 8:10 am

    Great show! Finally a show that depicts the Boy Scouts are tough.

  13. Bill Mitchell
    Fort Payne, AL
    March 5, 2013, 9:07 am

    As an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster I was looking forward to this show, but somewhat disappointed, as it is just like all the other “reality game shows” around. The biggest disappointment is in scheduling it on Monday nights when most Boy Scout Troops meet, thus depriving you of a large part of what I would think your target audience would be. The show is obviously very contrived but I did get some glimpses of the training, leadership and discipline that we try to instill in boys involved in the Scouting program.

  14. Debrin
    Michigan
    March 5, 2013, 9:56 am

    We missed the first show and are trying to find out when it will air next. Does anyone know?

  15. Linda
    Illinois
    March 5, 2013, 10:48 am

    I don’t have Nat’l Geog. channel is there anywhere online I can see this show? I have my own Boy Scout who will be earning his Eagle in the next year and I would like to sit down and watch it with him.

  16. Russell
    March 5, 2013, 11:27 am

    A #ToughScout can be gay or straight. Please honor your company’s non-discrimination policy and speak out against the Boy Scout’s ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.

  17. Damian wolf
    March 5, 2013, 11:27 am

    Tv is crap.
    I do appreciate the positive exposure for the Boy Scouts, but as usual Hollywood has put together another unrealistic reality show.
    Making a speed competition out of survival skills is just bad form. Running through a compass course, throw together a survival shelter, who can build a fire faster and then run away from it, throwing the safety ring and rope into the water should have been immediate failure of that station, giant knives and slingshots …… SLINGSHOTS!!!
    Good googly-moogly, leaders have a hard enough time keeping scouts adhering to safety standards without Hollywood advertising scouting things that aren’t scouting things!
    Can’t wait for next episode, mumbypeg, exploding gasoline cans, and a guest appearance from bear grills showing how to jump off a cliff and drink urine.
    By the way, the first ranks of Scouting are about physical skills, the Eagle is focused on tenacity, leadership, and depth of character.

  18. RB
    March 5, 2013, 3:14 pm

    It’s ironic that the pro-gay lobby calls for tolerance while being stridently intolerant of others’ beliefs and opinions. Please be tolerant of us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. We’re not high-minded enough to be tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. [/sarc]

  19. Stuart
    March 5, 2013, 3:52 pm

    To the couple of non-BSA fans who want to argue against the constitutionally granted right of freedom of association on a blog that is supposed to be about a television show, show a bit of wisdom and take up that discussion in an appropriate forum with an appropriate audience. Ranting or complaining or petitioning here won’t change “anything”.

    That aside, Bill Mitchell hit a nail on the head with his comment that the Monday night schedule lost NatGeo a huge chunk of potential audience. By my count at least 9 out of 10 Boy Scout troops meet on Monday nights.

  20. Tim
    Indiana
    March 5, 2013, 7:20 pm

    Letting homosexuals into the Boy Scouts is like letting a tiger run a chicken coop.

  21. Sarge47
    Illinois
    March 5, 2013, 11:15 pm

    I agree with Damian Wolf, the whole “survival” competition was bogus. In a true survival situation conservation of energy is essential. Running through the woods, half naked, with spears, leaving a hastily, untested shelter, eating the bait that they could have used to catch fish in the lake…c’mon man! The should have been graded on each thing by a dependable judge. This sort of reminded me of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” with Jeff Foxworthy!

  22. Craig Oakford
    Simi Valley, CA
    March 5, 2013, 11:55 pm

    Just watched the first episode. Enjoyed the games and enjoyed scenery–Camp Whittset, my favorite summer camp. However, I couldn’t stand the attitude of the winning adult. He isn’t an example of what a scout should/could be. Not sure if I’ll watch the show again.

  23. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  24. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  25. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  26. Joe Propst
    United States
    March 6, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Where do I apply to be one of the adults?

  27. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  28. [...] by SOUL on Mar 7th, 2013 in TV Shows SCENE TVRageHomepageNFOAdults tackle challenges based on the Boy Scout Handbook. First up: a scavenger hunt; a canoe [...]

  29. colton valenta
    cedar rapids iowa
    March 7, 2013, 10:34 pm

    I am an eagle scout i have 65 merit badges and i would like to point a few things. The first thing is I like the idea but in the cut scenes it shows one scout walking with a lantern and if they wanted to be correct it should have two scouts. My second point is that canoe jousting I am pretty sure that no where in the scout handbook it isn’t really safe and if you go to any scout camp you will not see any scout doing this and if they are it is probably without the BSA lifeguard knowing or consent.

  30. Lisa
    NJ USA
    March 11, 2013, 8:12 pm

    My son is almost an Eagle. How can he apply!! He would be great

  31. Brian
    Altoona, WI
    March 11, 2013, 10:36 pm

    Love the show and really enjoyed the first two episodes. Didn’t like the contestant on the 2nd shows repeated irreverance. I did like the way the scouts showed their scout spirit and gave the finalist help and encouragement. The Cub scout taunting was borderline behavior at best. Love Scouting and the show. Producers know you’ll never make everyone happy, but did an admirale job on the show.

  32. kimi takazawa
    United States
    March 12, 2013, 4:16 am

    Great entertainment!

  33. J.Darrell Brown
    Nashville, TN
    March 12, 2013, 3:18 pm

    I have two friends that would be great on this show. One is and eagle scout and he is 34 and him and his wife just had a son, the other was a scout master and help both his sons get there eagle. They would ROCK on this show.Great concept National Geographic!!!

  34. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  35. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  36. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  37. Yvonne cornish
    ne
    March 14, 2013, 11:19 pm

    Please this show can’t be serious I never realized scouting was a competition I thought these boys were supposed to learn camping skills and living out doors teaching these skills and earning their badges as a reward for accomplishing this not to see if some so called adults can belittle the boys since when does swearing in front of those boys prove you’re an adult REALLY that was necessary Nat. Go is getting worse and worse programming won’t be watching another show just a

  38. Jack
    Penna.
    March 15, 2013, 6:39 pm

    My son Ed would be a great on the show. He is a Life Scout , an assistant scout master, merit badge councilor, and very active in his troop, and his son is an Eagle Scout

  39. JD
    March 16, 2013, 9:24 am

    Wonderful show! My sons are cub scouts and they enjoy watching the show. My wife has been very impressed by all the knowledge that the scouts have to learn in order to acheive Eagle. I have been telling her but this show really made it hit home!

  40. Mike Baker
    Boynton Beach Fl.
    March 16, 2013, 7:23 pm

    Very disappointed with the lack of respect the Boyscouts show their elders. As a Star scout with a brother that made Eagle we always had respect for elders, even the cub scouts did not show respect they should have. I would hope that the Eagle scouts would make an effort to be more supportive and respectful of the contestants.

  41. jordan rope
    United States
    March 17, 2013, 4:35 am

    hi everyone. i think i could be a good candidate for this show :

    when i was a younger lad my brother and i were both in boy scouts. One evening meeting I quit because i thought i was much more experienced than the other scouts. my brother stayed a couple more years thereafter. I have yet to be tested in my lack of boy scouting experience to this day. I thought it would be cool to have my dad or brother and I since they both second guessed my departure from the scouts

  42. Gary Harris
    United States
    March 17, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I would like to try out for the show. I am an eagle scout (acquired the rank in 1974) and think I could compete with these guys. I still work out and am trying to run a half marathon in all 50 states (15 states completed). I still love the outdoors and take my daughter backpacking. Scouts was the most important thing in my childhood growing up in LA county. I still live by the scout motto, oath and laws… Love the show! Bring it!!!

  43. Bradley Yates
    Roseburg, OR
    March 18, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Roseburg Oregon, Oregon Trail Council
    My uncle and I are wondering how to audition, I’m an Eagle Scout and my uncle is a life scout. Please get back to me a.s.a.p

  44. Ken Gott
    Leavenworth, Kansas
    March 20, 2013, 8:06 am

    I was able to catch most of the show and was very happy to see the Scouts in a very favorable light. I would suggest to the producers to find adults that are in better physical shape….

  45. Jon
    March 20, 2013, 6:45 pm

    This has to be the most horrible show I’ve come across… My son is a 12 yr old and in the Boy Scouts. We thought this would be a good show to watch together. But boy am I wrong! Not only does the show play constant “exciting music” to hype up the competitions, the overall events are boring to watch (unless you were actually participating in the events, then it may be fun). I love the National Geographic channel but this show is an all new low… from now on, quality time with my son will not involve this pathetic show. Instead, we will find something else to do together.
    Not hating on the Boy Scouts but hating the NG channel for airing an awful show (nothing worse than watching a bunch of old guys who couldn’t hack it in life)

  46. Robert Traxler
    Washington, D.C.
    March 20, 2013, 7:52 pm

    I am trying to like the program but I am having trouble enjoying it. I wish the show the best as I am not watching it anymore.

  47. Russ Erman
    Camarillo, CA
    March 21, 2013, 8:59 pm

    I was very disappointed with tonight’s show (3/19). I’m an Eagle and a Scoutmaster. First of all, why do they pick (sorry) fat, non-conditioned adults for this physical competition? Two of the men had obvious signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and NO ONE called a “time-out” to help them. TRUE EAGLE SCOUTS would have recognized this and realized that taking care of them is more important than continuing a game. They could have progressed to heat stroke or even had heart attacks. Lastly, Geochaching and Jet-Ski’s? They didn’t have these merit badges in our time so it’s not fair and a stacked deck. Shame on you producers, but shame on you MORE group of Eagle Scout boys. Get back to challenges of true, core Scout skills and teamwork, and less of ridiculous jet-skis and rubber band catapaults. Furthermore, how about competing against some non-Scout boys? Contact me if you want some real ideas to improve your show.

  48. Dissapointed Scout Leader
    Northern California
    March 22, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Wow…….this show really scraped the bottom of the barrel to find 3 out of shape adults to feature. Part way through I had to double check the listing to make sure I was not watching an episode of the “Biggest Loser”. At 105 degrees there was no indication that heat exhaustion was being addressed. No hats to protect from the sun, etc. I agree that in a real setting, the Boy Scout participants would have stepped in to help out and prevent further injury.
    I don’t know that I can stand to watch another episode if it continues like this. TOO BAD. This could really be an interesting concept but it looks to be poorly produced.

  49. [...] National Geographic, in their brand new TV series, is asking us Are You Tougher Than a Boy [...]

  50. [...] National Geographic, in their brand new TV series, is asking us Are You Tougher Than a Boy [...]

  51. Mike
    March 23, 2013, 6:36 pm

    Ok Gay Lobby time to go back and crawl under the rocks from where you came from – please leave your political discrimination comments at home.

  52. Scott Cooley
    Logan, UT
    March 24, 2013, 7:02 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed watching these episodes with my 11-year old Scout. Like many others, I too would like to inquire about participating in the show. I achieved Eagle Scout and am currently an assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 360. It would be a great opportunity to prove that I can still hack it with the young elite.

  53. Emily Pont
    Evansville IN
    March 25, 2013, 9:47 am

    I was wondering if and how to try out to be a conestant for the show I know a wonderful scout master that was not able to get his eagel when he was a child and I feel he would be good for the adult team. I know this season is full but I was wondering if you would be needing any for future seasons or shows. Please let me know how to complete the application proccess. Thanks Emily K Pont

  54. 30 year of Eagle Scout
    La
    March 26, 2013, 3:24 am

    This show is b.s!! who the hell picked the adult scouts?
    Of course 17 yr old kids would be able to beat obese adults in any sort of physical activity. This is f’n embarrassing! Go ahead and pick fit adults and they’ll totally kick their ass. All the producers need to be fired. Such a waste of people’s time and money.

    I had a lot of hope for this show. I guarantee that it will not see a second season.

  55. [...] Links: HOMEPAGE – TVRage [...]

  56. Ken
    Hermosa Beach
    April 1, 2013, 10:40 pm

    How do I get on this show? I am a 50 yr old former Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm and a member of the Order Of The Arrow. Lets get some real former scouts on here that aren’t complete embarrassments to the old cats out there!

  57. Brooke
    Colorado
    April 5, 2013, 1:50 am

    When do we get to see if some moms are tougher than a Boy Scout?

  58. Woody McKay
    Glen Mills,PA
    April 6, 2013, 7:08 pm

    I was a Star Scout and Order Of The Arrow Member as a teen. I’m now 59 years old and I know I could still beat those younger Scouts!

  59. Ken Gott
    Leavenworth, KD
    April 11, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I’m just a few years behind you Woody and feel the same way. I would certainly do better than the out of shape adults they had out there. Embarrassing to say the least.

  60. Daniel
    United States
    April 12, 2013, 8:09 pm

    How do I get on the show as a Boy Scout? I’m almost Eagle, and want to be on the show. Please let me know how to audition to be a Scout on the show

  61. Daniel
    April 12, 2013, 8:16 pm

    Also, sheath knives are not restricted by national, they are BSA legal to have, as long as they aren’t being misused, and aren’t super long. And some of you people saying scouts isn’t about competition, yes it is. Camporees, Troop Meetings, OA, all of them have competition, that’s what makes it fun. If all you did was get lectured and do nothing but merit badge workbooks, it’d get boring, it’d feel like extra school, and no one would like it. I’m the SPL of my troop, and we’re actually planning an “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout” Day event where the boys are split up into different groups, and all those groups (plus a group of leaders) do four different challenges, and the team that wins the most, is the winner, and gets a small little prize. I think this is a good show, and there’s no need to be so harsh to it. It’s giving examples of what scouts is like, and trying to bring more boys into it. And these “new merit badges” that are unfair to use, some of it’s normal stuff, like canoeing merit badge is new, but if they did a challenge with a merit badge that the adults had when they were kids, but the scouts probably hadn’t done, like pathfinding, or carpentry, or signaling, something like that, then I’m sure the scouts would still do really good.

  62. Daniel C
    April 12, 2013, 8:17 pm

    Also, sheath knives are not restricted by national, they are BSA legal to have, as long as they aren’t being misused, and aren’t super long. And some of you people saying scouts isn’t about competition, yes it is. Camporees, Troop Meetings, OA, all of them have competition, that’s what makes it fun. If all you did was get lectured and do nothing but merit badge workbooks, it’d get boring, it’d feel like extra school, and no one would like it. I’m the SPL of my troop, and we’re actually planning an “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout” Day event where the boys are split up into different groups, and all those groups (plus a group of leaders) do four different challenges, and the team that wins the most, is the winner, and gets a small little prize. I think this is a good show, and there’s no need to be so harsh to it. It’s giving examples of what scouts is like, and trying to bring more boys into it. And these “new merit badges” that are unfair to use, some of it’s normal stuff, like canoeing merit badge is new, but if they did a challenge with a merit badge that the adults had when they were kids, but the scouts probably hadn’t done, like pathfinding, or carpentry, or signaling, something like that, then I’m sure the scouts would still do really good.

  63. NL
    Virginia
    April 19, 2013, 11:59 am

    Does anyone know if the show will be returning for a second season?

  64. Ja boo
    Canada
    April 25, 2013, 10:58 pm

    These scouts piss me off. This show was a big disappointment for me just because the way they act. Terrible.