ScoutingSeptember 2001

Worth Retelling
Worth Retelling

Edited by Jon C. Halter
Illustration by Bill Basso

Do you have a Scouting story—serious or humorous—to share with our readers? If so, write it up in 200 words or less and send it to us: Scouting Magazine, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. If we print it, we'll pay you $25.

Memories of Boys' Life

In 1935, shortly after joining the Boy Scouts, I was flabbergasted when my parents informed me that they had subscribed to Boys' Life for me.

Those were the Depression days, and money was scarce. Sixty-five years later, I am still a subscriber.

During World War II, I served for nearly four years. Going overseas, 80 of the men in our outfit were crammed into the hold of a freighter built for coastal service, not the ocean, and it took our convoy 21 days to make it to England. The two most popular reading materials on board were a copy of Boys' Life and the Sears Roebuck & Company catalogue.

I wasn't the only one who reread the Boys' Life umpteen times (including all the ads).

While I was away, my mother saved every issue of Boys' Life for me. After I returned, I spent many an hour catching up on all that reading. I think it helped me get over many nightmarish memories.

Harry J. Deyo
District Scouter
Endicott, N.Y.

Listening saves a life

As parents and as Scout leaders, we sometimes are surprised—but always gratified—to learn that our kids actually listen to us.

Last winter, Pam Nemechek's den in Pack 164, Quinter, Kan., reviewed what to do if someone should fall through the ice. And Cub Scout Skyler Wittman was listening.

On a local farm pond a few days later, Skyler's brother, Brandon, and their father, Randy, fell through the ice into deep, freezing water. Remembering what he had learned at his den meeting, Skyler located a good-sized stick and pushed it to his father, enabling Dad to break enough ice to reach a place where he could touch bottom.

Skyler then used the stick to pull his brother from the water, and the brothers then pulled their father to safety.

This story has two heroes: Skyler, who kept a cool head and helped avert a tragedy, and den leader Pam Nemechek—who, like all our great Scout leaders, takes the time each week to prepare young men for life.

When good people teach, boys will listen.

Ed Weisshaar
Coronado Area Council
Salina, Kan.

(Editor's note: The above first appeared in "The Coronado Scout," newsletter of the Coronado Area Council, Salina, Kan. At the time, the writer was council Scout executive; he has since assumed the position of director, Registration Service, Council Services, at the BSA national office in Irving, Tex.)

Troop 1 or troop of one?

Every year, as part of our troop's trip to summer camp in Rhode Island, we make advance reservations for the passenger ferry ride from Long Island to Connecticut and pay for the tickets on the day of travel. There are always 15 to 20 other troops aboard the ferry on the day we travel, all following the same procedure.

After paying for our tickets last year, I was coming out of the reservation office when a man approached me and said, "You have really caused me a lot of problems!"

A lot of images immediately popped into my head. Did we do something wrong during the trip to the ferry? Had one of our Scouts been misbehaving?

When I asked what we had done, the man explained that he had a reservation under his name, but the clerk kept giving him a hard time.

I still wasn't sure what our Scout troop had to do with his situation.

"My last name is Troup," he continued. "Every time I asked for my reservation, the clerk kept asking what troop number!"

Allan Heid
Scoutmaster, Troop 184
Sayville, N.Y.

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