You've read what I have had to say for the last three-plus years. I write about what I feel is important. Not too many have written back to me in disagreement with what I have had to say. Not too many have written and agreed with me either, so I have no way of knowing if I'm reaching you or not. I can only hope you agree with what I'm promoting. If you've ever wondered what Boy Scouting was all about then I'll explain what a boy pledges to do when he joins.
I believe in the Boy Scout law because it says, "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."
(There's not much you can add to this time-honored law. Millions of boys have said it and have never regretted saying it. Those millions have lived by it and some have gone to war and died for all it has to say.)
I believe in the Boy Scout Oath that says, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
(It's a pledge not unlike what I took when I raised my right hand and was sworn in to the service of my country. Not many realize that when they pledged to protect their country that they were pledging to protect it for life.)
I believe in the Boy Scout Motto that says, "Be prepared."
(I believe in being prepared for anything. Money in the bank for emergencies, candles and flashlights in case of power outage, a food stash in case of severe snow storms like in the past when we couldn't get to the store, first aid kit in case of injuries, camp stove with extra fuel in case the electricity goes out since we have an electric cooking stove, a gas log fireplace in case electricity goes out because even a gas furnace needs electricity to operate, and, well, you get the idea.
I believe in the Boy Scout slogan "Do a good turn daily."
(A good turn can be as much as running a store errand for a shut-in neighbor or as little as just saying a warm hello to a stranger with an arm load of packages when you open the door for them at the post office. To a person, they have all smiled back and said, "Thank you."
Parents, this is what you can expect your son to learn when he joins the greatest organization in the world. Come on down to 'your' local Scout Cabin at the corner of Lower Huntington Road and Ardmore Avenue any Monday night between the hours of 7pm and 8:30 and see for yourself.
What you won't find: Unsupervised boys putting money in electronic game machines, shooting dope, gambling, smoking, drinking, cursing, or 'just hanging out'.
What you will find: Boys learning First Aid, rope making, proper manners, knot tying, orienteering, cooking, Indian crafts, how to properly pitch a tent, how to become leaders, and how to wear and take of uniforms. I have even held a class on proper table manners and how to set a table with silverware. (You wouldn't believe the bad table manners I've witnessed.)
What boys do at summer camp: Learn to row a boat, paddle a canoe, sail, swimming, life saving, leather craft, Indian craft, fire building, starting fires without matches, fishing, snorkeling, hiking, bird study, cooking without fire, camping, game skills, camp songs, proper nutrition, primitive skills, mountain biking, rock climbing, wild edible foods, fire arm safety, shooting shotguns, shooting .22 rifles, archery, wilderness survival, emergency first aid, proper use of a knife and axe, how to build emergency shelters, leadership skills, pioneering, about the Order of the Arrow, skits, personal responsibility, and . . . the list is almost endless.
What do boys learn that don't go to camp? Go back up the page and read about, "What you won't find. If you have a son between the ages of 8 and 17, I challenge you to let him join a Cub Pack (8 to 10 years) a Scout Troop (11 to 18 years) or a Venture Crew (both Boys and Girls ages 14 to 20). If your boy isn't changed for the better in one year then I'll apologize for taking up your time. It wouldn't hurt if you joined with him. We can always use more volunteers; you'll see why and you'll enjoy every minute of it, I guarantee.