Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Was Once a Boy Scout

Scouting is a movement which encourages the development of young people physically, mentally and spiritually so that they may become positive and respectful members of society. The origins of the scouting movement reaches back to 1907 when Lord Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, organized the first Scouting encampment in England. Since then, scouting has spread throughout the world. Today there are over 38 million members reaching into 216 countries.

A close friend of mine, who is a descendant of Lord Baden Powell, is very proud of what her ancestor has done for children around the world. As a matter of fact, it can be safe to assume that his scouting movement has created many positive experiences and lasting memories for hundreds of millions of children in each of the countries where scouting movements are active.

I was a boy scout for a number of years. Throughout those years, I learned many skills, visited many places, formed many great memories and made many new friends. My best experiences as a boy scout were when we went camping. After each of the camps that we attended, we were awarded a scouting badge (sometimes called patches) of that particular campout. Over the years, I collected many of them and I still have them. I will always have them as they are an integral part of my youthful experiences. When I think back, I often laugh at some of the fun we had. If I was to live my childhood over again, I would never change a single thing that had to do with camping as a boy scout. These memories will stay with me forever!

One of these memories had to do with when we went camping in the middle of January. Now, if you have experience with Canadian winters prior to Global Warming, you would know how frigid it was in the middle of January and how insane it probably was to go camping in a tent out in the middle of nowhere. I remember one time when, because of a recent snowstorm, the leaders were unable to drive the vehicles close to the campsite and so we had to hike in like a bunch of pack mules loaded down to the hilt. When we got to our destination and after shovelling off a clearing, we pitched tents, built a number of campfires and proceeded to enjoy a hot meal. Later on in the evening, as the temperature dropped, we huddled around the fire. Now, because of the not-so-good winterized rubber boots of mine, my feet were freezing. Hoping to alleviate this situation, I straddled the campfire. After awhile, I couldn’t help notice that my boots were melting with the intense heat of the fire. Fortunately, I was able to remove myself to a safe distance before they completely melted onto my feet! I had to spend the entire two days with damaged boots. Upon returning home, my father was most certainly not impressed with how I destroyed my boots.

Now, I am sure that I had a great time regardless of almost cooking my boots and, if given the chance, I would winter camp all over again… not today, mind you… I am way too old sensible for that nowadays!

“Akala, Akala… we’ll do our best!”


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Yoda dave,
should have known that on top of everything else, you were a scout.

My friend, Charlie, whom I spoke so fondly of in my latest post, once was required to cook the chicken over the campfire. Instructions were provided including how to remove feathers. Being above average intellegence, he didn't see why he had to work so hard when he could burn the feathers off in the fire. Needless to say, dinner was inedible and it was one of the rare times his popularity plummetted.

Wendz said...

My oldest son is a cub scout - it is a fab fab thing for him - he just loves it! (I don't like sewing the badges onto his shirt though!)

My Dad was a Scoutmaster too - both my brothers were scouts - and it just seems to be something to so special for kids (I was a brownie then a Girl Guide). I know my Dad just loved what he did - he was such an outdoorsy, go-getter type of person.

Do you guys now mix the sexes in Scouts? Here in France they have girls and boys together.

Nathan (my son)is attending the 100th French Scout anniversary camp in April...should be a blast.

Smalltown RN said...

my ex husband was a Queen Scout...and his father was a leader. I have heard many of the scouting stories....especially the one where they built their lean to in the snow and camped out overnight in the snow....oh the stories and the memories....

Thanks for dropping by my blog...


Em said...

When I think of you straddling the campfire, I'm thinking your boots weren't the thing at greatest risk!!!

I love to camp, but props to you. No way am I going out there in the cold. I'll stick to summertime when boots of all kinds are unnecessary.

Sue said...

Ahhh how your post brought back a great childhood memory for me. ;-)

My dad was the district scout leader back home and I remember how my mom would argue with my dad that he spent all of his spare time with his scouts and not with his daughter. (I'm sure my dad secretly wanted a boy/tom

My dad brought me on one of his winter camping trips with his scouts. There was igloo making, skits, meal prep and camp fire singing. I probably wouldn't remember this event so vividly, however during one of the skits the boys were putting on I laughed so hard that I peed my pants.(I was probably 7ish) I was so embarrassed and changing in the winter cold was awful. I will never forget the fond memory of spending this time with my daddy!

My dad will occasionally sing the song that caused the incident. lol (And it wasn't a Queen song even, 'cause beleive me I sure didn't feel like no darn "champion", more like Ty's rendition of the "your such a looooser" lol)

Have a great day,

Josie said...

Dave, what a great story. I can just imagine it. My brother was a Scout and for some reason he preferred winter camping. Go figure.

I was a Girl Guide. I remember camping out and making s'mores over the bonfire. We also made bananas and chocolate. You slice open a banana, put chocolate inside, wrap the whole thing in tinfoil and put it over the bonfire. Yum.

Great memories.


Monika said...

There was a scout's group in the town I grew up in. As a child I wanted to join, because a lot of my friends were scouts, but my parents wouldn't let me, because the scout leaders where from the "wrong" political party. I joined them secretly in a few activities and envied them for a while.

Janice said...

Loved reading this Dave and knowing some of your precious childhood memories. I am certain having been a boy scout has added depth to your character and helped mold who you are today.

Dave said...

Hi LGS!... Cooking experiences! I have many of them. I have no doubt I will be sharing them as time goes on! LOL

Hi Wendz!...You know...That's a good question! I think boys and girls are still seperate but I am not sure. I will have to check up on that one.

Hi Smalltown RN!... Leen-to in the snow??? That's worse than a tent! Not for me!! LOL

em... AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!!! lol :-)

Well Sue... I will try to never remind you of that experience! What did you say the name of that song was???? :-)

Hi Josie!... SMORES ... Now there is a great campfire food that I forgot about!

Monika... Hmmmm A person who crosses over to the other side of the house of commons in order to enjoy a little fun! Hmmmmm ... Good for you girl! LOL :-)

Hi Janice!... Thanks for your comment and "Yes'" I think it did help build my character.

Sylvie M said...

HI dave!
My name is Sylvie, also from Ontario, and I jumped from Sue's blog. Just thought I'd put my two cents worth in and add what a wonderful post. Really enjoyed reading it. My son was also a scout and to answer Wendz question, yes, the cubs and scouts are co-ed now but the brownie's and guides( my daughter was in that too) are still exclusively, for the girls.

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