ScoutingJanuary-February 2000

Worth Retelling
Worth Retelling

Edited by Jon C. Halter
Illustration by Bill Basso

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The best kind

My son Jake had just purchased tickets for himself and friends to see the newest "Star Wars" movie. As he entered the theater, however, he realized the ticket window clerk had given him $10 too much in change.

He went back to the booth and returned the money. Some adults had observed his action, and one of them asked cynically, "What are you, some kind of Boy Scout?"

Jake answered with one word: "Yes."

His friends also said he was crazy to give the money back: The clerk had made the mistake—what's the big deal?

When I picked him up, he asked me why the adults had acted the way they had. I said some people don't always share the same values we do, while others don't believe they apply to "little things" like $10.

I told him I was proud of his actions and asked how he felt.

He said, "Good, a little embarrassed, but good."

We drove home talking about "Star Wars."

James Curtis
Unit Commissioner, Troop 46
O'Fallon, Ill.

'Suspect carrying smoky candle'

At the first meeting of the program year, our Bear den couldn't wait to begin the "Be a Detective" theme. We had lots of law enforcement activities ready, but before starting, we paused to inaugurate the good conduct candle.

Solemnly, the boys lit the candle. It would remain burning as long as no discipline problem occurred and, when completely consumed, would result in a special treat for the den as a reward.

Within moments the candle began to emit an unusual amount of smoke. I envisioned smoke alarms going off and the sprinklers coming on, converting our law enforcement meeting into a fire-prevention session.

The assistant den leader quickly carried the candle outside, placing it in a spot where it could burn safely. Back in the room, we resumed our meeting.

After about 20 minutes, we headed outside for some physical activity. To our chagrin someone had stolen the good conduct candle—while we were inside working on law enforcement!

It was an unplanned lesson in detective work—and crime prevention.

Mark De Wett
Evans, Colo.

The Ironmen's Good Turn

A nother assistant Scoutmaster and I were partners in the "Ironman competition" (canoe a half mile, swim a quarter mile, run two miles) at Many Point Scout Camp in Minnesota.

Our goal was to finish, not to win, but we felt we had a chance to come in near the top in canoeing. We were passing other canoes when we noticed a swamped canoe with two Scouts hanging on to the sides. Thinking they were Scouts from our troop (they weren't), we went back to help them. We succeeded in getting their canoe righted and back in the race, although we were now far behind the other Scouters.

When our canoe reached shore, a number of people thanked us for helping their boys. We went on to complete the swim and walked the two miles, finishing last. But when we arrived at the finish line, the boys from the canoe and adults from their troop were there to thank us again.

At the closing campfire we were recognized as "real Ironmen." The Scouts presented each of us with a carved canoe neckerchief slide.

We thanked the boys for the recognition, which was the highlight of our camp, but we've always thought we only did what any good Scouter would have done in similar circumstances.

Richard Nylin
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 534
Minneapolis, Minn.

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