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Friday, September 21, 2007

Gone For The Weekend!

I am headed to a cub scout overnighter just after lunch today, and will be gone for most of the weekend. In the meantime, please visit those who are linked on the left.

I was a scout from about 6-7 years old until I turned 15. I don't remember scouting at 6 years of age, but my mom says that was when I started. Since she was my den leader for several years then I guess she would know. My dad took over when I got to the Webelos stage (about 10 years old) and I finally gave it up when I discovered girls and was into football and baseball.

I have a couple of friends who stayed with Scouts and became Eagle Scouts. They are the kind of people I would like my son to be when he grows up, and I always regretted not staying with Scouts. They know what it means to serve others, and do kind things for other people. They are self-reliant individuals who exude confidence. They also have a hunger for new things and to learn. (After my son finishes Scouts, I want him to head to Annapolis to become a Marine Officer, he just doesn't know of my diabolical master plan!)

This is a great chance for my son and I to share experiences. This weekend is a fishing rodeo, and even though we have fished before, each time he is a little older and a little smarter and this time we are going with no sisters. I volunteered to be a den leader. We have 45 new Scouts in our pack, so we needed eight people to step up and I gladly did so. I have no idea where I will find the time for Scouting, but I know that my son will remember for the rest of his life that his dad was his Scout leader, because I remember it about my mom and dad.

My dad is really my only hero. Lots of people are heroes for what they do, but I mean the kind of hero that I really try to emulate. When I was 8 or 9, we were on a Scout hike at Horseshoe Bend in Alabama. It is the site of a large battle between Andrew Jackson and some Indians. There is a 15 mile historic trail that is hiked, and my Pack decided to make the trip one weekend. Well, probably about halfway through the day and the trail, my pack got too heavy. My dad encouraged me for a mile or so and then (probably got tired of hearing me complain) he took my pack and carried his and mine for the rest of the way. Now this was a one night trip and the pack probably didn't weigh 20 pounds or so, certainly not a combat load, but at that moment my dad was superman. He still is.

My dad joined the Marines when he was 18 specifically to go to Korea. That is why our military is made up of young men, because they aren't too bright. More B***S than brains, as the saying goes. Anyway, he was in Korea for 14 months as a machine gunner, and has more scars than the three purple hearts he wears indicate. He was later an advisor in Vietnam, and earned another one. He retired after 20 years with an impressive career. That extra 20 pound pack was nothing to him.

He was my baseball coach. He was my Scout leader. He taught me about fishing and hiking and using power tools and how to put an alternator on a car and how to cut the grass. He showed me how to throw a curveball and where the on-deck circle was located. He taught me to sew buttons and tears so that I could be self suffficient. He taught me to be kind and yet stand for principles. He taught me that man is strongest when he is on his knees before God.

And that is why I am doing Scouting. If my son remembers me the way I remember my dad, my job on this earth was a success. See you Monday!

1 Posts From Readers:

Wadical said...

Have a great time. Looks like our weekend here will be spent hunkered down under a tropical storm.

Wish I was campin' with my dad.

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