Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"The Good Scout"




Someone was showing me the latest Norman Rockwell Calendar today and I got to thinking about when the first time was I ever actually took notice of his work.

It wasn't one of his wonderful covers for The Saturday Evening Post, but rather when I was eleven years old and joined The Boy Scouts. The Boy Scout Handbooks always had a Rockwell cover illustration ( pictured is as the one I had, and is a 6th. Editon/3rd. printing from 1961).

Pulling out that old copy and looking through it got me to thinking about my days as a Scout, of course. Living in a small town there wasn't a whole lot of activities for pre-teen age boys to enjoy outside of just playing with the neighborhood kids (and, of course like myself, collecting/reading comic books). So The Scouts was an opportunity to relieve the small town boredom (and also a good excuse for my folks to get me out-of-their-hair from time-to-time, and given the choice between Scouts and the Summer Christian Service Camp, well...you get the picture).

And I must admit that I DID have a fairly enjoyable time as a Boy Scout. It really wasn't anything new to me having been a Cub Scout for 4 years before I joined, and as a Cub Scout you always seemed to aspire to become like the older Boy Scouts you saw at the Camp Jamborees we attended(usually held at Mammoth Cave National Park Campground).

I can't say that our troop had all the basic qualities a picture-perfect troop should of had. They weren't always a good team, nor did some of them even get along very well together, but somehow, someway in those 4 years or so that I was a member, specific qualities and morals that are part of the Boy Scout Organization DID creep into that young mind, and those have basically remained with me to this day.

Things like respect for women and elders, knowing first aid, respect for religion and government, and obeying The Law. Not to say I haven't slipped from those basic ideas occasionally; I'm not Jesus Christ, but I do still try hard to carry those qualities with me every day in my adult life.

So I guess I learned something.

It's a shame that The Boy Scout Organization has gotten so much flack in the past few years. This country to USE a few more Good Scouts.

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