Monday, July 7, 2014

I Made Eagle: The End of my Boy Scout Adventures

As I stated earlier, I was on track to make Eagle Scoutbefore my 14th birthday. Well, it took me almost four years to get my last three merit badges and to complete my project. Why? Well, to be blunt, earning my Eagle Scout meant nothing to me at all. In fact, I was resolved not to pursue that award. But I was so stinking close that I had a change of heart.

In February, 1978 I was contemplating what to get my Dad for his birthday on February 26. I had a job and I had money. But for a teenager to find an adequate gift to give to his parents is always a challenge. If parents truly want something, they have the resources to go get it. So, I was stuck with no idea of what to get my Dad.

Then it hit me. What if I gave him my last three merit badges? By now, the challenge of earning a merit badge was over. These requirements were designed to challenge 12 year olds. I simply had to swallow my pride, read the dumb merit badge book, perform the requirements, (making sure I chose the easiest ones possible), and need go see a merit badge counselor. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scouts: The Beginning of the End

At last, after three years of Cub Scouts and one year in the Guide Patrol/Blazers I was finally a real Boy Scout. But, as I said, just before I turned 12, Dad was released as Scout Master and made Elder’s Quorum President. The new Scout Master was Steve Barnes.

Steve was a towering figure in the ward. Well, he was about seven feet tall and wore size 18 shoes. So, he was physically towering – his size made quite the impression on us. He was a great man and we enjoyed him as Scout Master and he enjoyed being with us. But he didn’t have the spark that made scouting fun. I had seen how Dad had made scouting a joy. So I had a benchmark and the troop I was part of fell way short of my expectations.

Of course, being the overzealous person that I am, during my first year of scouting I was totally into it. By the time I was 13 I had all but two or three merit badges for Eagle. I was on a pace to meet or exceed Matt’s accomplishment of being Eagle before I was 14. But then I stopped.