September 27, 2005

Life in the Boy Scouts

I was reading this post at Dax Montana's place and it brought back some great memories. You see, I was a Cub Scout, and a Boy Scout, and eventually an Eagle Scout. Camping and time in the woods remains a favorite pastime of mine. Unfortunately the rest of my family has no interest. The little one's sports consume most of the summer and it has been a couple of years since I went camping.

I joined the Cub Scouts as soon as I was old enough. I burned through the ranks, finally moving on to Boy Scouts. I was ready. Camping was fun. We usually set up the old tent in the back yard the day school was out. My brother and I slept in that tent probably 4-5 nights a week. It was pleasant and cool. Like most people my age, we did not have air conditioning, so the summer breeze that came in through the tent made sleeping outside a pleasant experience.

Summer camp was always a blast, I learned camping skills and had a great time. I saw snakes and wild life. I went on to join OA and became a Firecrafter (an honor society special to a few councils in the county and MUCH superior to Order of the Arrow). I stayed in after I got my Eagle just so I could go camping.

After college I became an assistant leader of a local troop. I loved working with the boys and sharing my knowledge. And there was camping! My new wife was not pleased when I used my meager vacation each year to go off with the troop. I considered for a time becoming a professional Boy Scout. Eventually as I had kids and began to work lots of overtime, the activities with the scouts lessened.

My oldest son became a Cub Scout, and I found myself as a leader again. We did it all, including day camp and then two years of week-long (overnight)Weblos Camp. I enjoyed it, but I think he only did it to be with me (I was doing it to be with him!). The little one has shown no interest in scouting.

If I desired, I could put more than 20 years worth of year pins on my uniform. I learned a lot from Scouts. I would not trade the memories. Can you build a fire at least three ways without matches? Could you go into the woods with just a knife and survive for days or weeks? I can, and I have the BSA to thank for it.

2 comments:

GUYK said...

Yeah, I can do it to-or at least I could when I was younger. I learned a lot I suppose from the scouts but more from my dad and granddaddy. And what I didn't know I learned in a couple of military survival schools. Did you know grasshoppers ain't bad if you have not had anything to eat in about three days and it is still a fifty mile hike to get back to the meeting place?

Jim - PRS said...

I learned many things in the Boy Scouts that were if immeasurable help when I found myself in the Army. I also learned skills that I regularly use to this day, such as first aid and knot tying.

Time well spent.

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