I am a list maker. I feel compelled to organize my life by listing, among other things, things to do. Blogs, such as this one, provide me a place to capture (list) my ideas and experiences. Of course, making a list isn’t enough. I need to share them.

I was a cub scout and Mother took her turn leading our den. She meant well and was committed to raising the bar when it came to our craft activities. I recall the day we tried making wampum belts with tiny Indian Beads. Our clumsy fingers were no match for the beads and for months afterward you could hear them as she vacuumed the carpet in our den. I don’t remember many details. We were, I believe, chartered by the local Methodist Church and I attended a pancake breakfast there.

The minimum age for Cubscouts was 8 and that’s when I joined. There was no “Arrow of Light” award but I was a Wolf, Bear, and Webelos. There were no cross over ceremonies. For me, the last year of Cubscouting was a waiting game. Waiting to be old enough, finally, to become a Boy Scout.

I remember how my early childhood haze rapidly cleared and I took ownership for my advancement. The earlier dependence on my mother to tell me what to do was gone. I consumed my Boy Scout Handbook and with my fellow Panther Patrol members, I learned Semaphore, fire building, and many other challenges thrown at us. I participated in an Ordeal and joined the Order of the Arrow Lodge. What I did not do, is make the final transition from Life to Eagle. I was ridiculously close. I completed my Eagle Project (a conservation project to prevent erosion and provide a trail for residents of the community to visit the banks of a creek that flowed through our community. But I did not complete my Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost…”

I don’t want my work with these scouts to be a vicarious attempt to regain my lost splendor and redeem my failed attempts. What I do want is to support them, encourage them, to guide them. Let’s see what happens next, shall we?


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