Illustration by Bill Basso
A walk to remember
Doug was not excited about attending Webelos den meetings and even refused to come at times. He was not a very physical boy and had trouble fitting in with the others, but eventually he began to participate more regularly.
We planned a field trip for our work on the Traveler activity badge, riding a bus downtown, then walking a couple of miles home.
The ride was exciting, because none of the boys had ever ridden a public bus. However, they didn't believe they were capable of walking all the way home. Many feet were dragging as we covered the tremendous (to them) distance, but smiles of satisfaction appeared as our neighborhood came into sight.
Afterward, Doug's mother told me about her son's homecoming. She had heard yelling in the driveway and saw Doug running toward the house waving his arms and shouting, "I did it; I did it!" She had never seen him so enthused.
Doug went on to earn his Arrow of Light Award and most activity badges.
We're going where?
On our Venturing crew's trip to Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles, we ended up spending a night in a country we hadn't planned to visit.
When the airline announced that some in our group were among those bumped from our overbooked flight from Puerto Rico to Trinidad, we asked them to find another way for all of us to go to Trinidad together. As a result, they sent all of us on an evening flight to Barbados, where we spent the night in a hotel and flew to Trinidad in the morning.
We had a great time participating in the 90th anniversary camp of the 1st Queen's Royal College Scout Group in Trinidad, sightseeing in Tobago, camping with the Netherlands Antilles contingent to the upcoming world jamboree, and staying in Scout homes in Curacao.
And the stop in Barbados increased the number of countries our troop and crew have visited to 18, rather than the 17 we had anticipated.
History is everywhere
It was a perfect autumn day in Gettysburg, Pa., when Webelos Scouts from Pack 10 joined the Scouts from Troop 10 for a tour of the historic battlefield. Scoutmaster Gill Strosnider, who is very knowledgeable about the Civil War, brought the battle to life by describing the fighting and the mentality of the soldiers. It was very moving.
Later, as we cooked dinner, a Civil War re-enactor rode his horse into our campsite. Portraying his ancestor (a cavalryman who died at Gettysburg) and behaving as if the battle were actually taking place, he reported the latest news of the fighting, then rode off. It was awesome.
The boys were fairly subdued as we got ready for sleep. Then Joshua came to me. "Mrs. Lowe," he said in a serious voice, "we sure had an awful lot of social studies today."
I had to hug him.
The what patrol?
I recently received my beads for completing Wood Badge for the 21st Century training. Because I was a member of the Antelope Patrol during training, I had gathered a number of Antelope items for display in my home office.
One day my Tiger Cub son picked up one of my carved wooden antelope and asked, "Is this a cantaloupe?"
Phil C. Hagemann
'I got mine!'
A few winters ago, our troop held a junior leader training session at a remote cabin in the woods. Before setting out for the site, many Scouts piled their sleeping bags and other gear on a tarp, which a few leaders and some Scouts then pulled through the heavy snow. This required great effort to pull and to keep items from falling off.
"Hey, guys, come help with this gear," the Scoutmaster called to the other hiking Scouts. "Some of the stuff that's falling off might be yours."
Instead of helping, several Scouts grabbed their gear and raced on ahead, shouting: "I got mine! I got mine!" However, one Scout not only helped with the tarp but also offered to carry a struggling leader's backpack.
The next morning, the theme of the leadership training session became "I Got Mine" rather than the original planned theme.
The Scouts learned a lesson about selfishness, how they had been caring only about themselves and their gear. In contrast, the unselfish Scout demonstrated what it means to be helpful, friendly, kind, and obedient.
Every Scout vowed never again to be guilty of saying, "I got mine."
A small start, indeed
An assistant Scoutmaster and I were serving on one of our troop's regular boards of review. We noticed a younger Scout waiting his turn, neatly dressed in his Scout uniform. He had a new Scout patch on his shirt pocket, so we knew he would be going for his Tenderfoot rank.
When it was his turn, the new Scout confidently walked over, Scout handbook in hand, stated his name and proudly announced that he would be going for his "Tendertoe" rank.
We were quietly amused and asked if he meant Tenderfoot.
He sheepishly acknowledged the correction and went on to achieve his rank. He later became an Eagle Scout.
Harold (Howie) George
A tale of three matches
As a newly elected patrol leader on a junior leader training hike, I wanted to win the one-pound candy bar prize for the day's closing activitya string-burning, fire building competition.
We were allowed just two matches. With the sound of "Go!" I excitedly struck one match against a rock and broke the head off. My second match went out when I pushed it too hard into the tinder.
When my father (who had driven us to the event) saw my predicament, he tossed a third match to me.
This time the tinder went up with a swoosh, and the flames soon burned through the string.
The candy bar was mine!until I announced that I had used an extra match and therefore wasn't the winner. The real winner then received the candy and gladly shared it.
On the hike out, my father put his arm on my shoulder and said, "I'm proud of you, Son"a prize better than any candy bar.
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