If my past blogs have painted an abysmal picture of abject misery I may have exaggerated. It is true I had very few friends and did poorly in most classes. But I made do with what I had and by my 8th grade year was pretty active in boy scouts. I had been a cub scout for several years but shied away from boy scouts when I saw the big rowdy guys at the meetings.
When I rejoined up with the boy scouts in my 8th grade year there were just a handful of boys about my age. We didn’t work hard on earning badges or rank. We hiked and camped. Our first campout was at the beach after a seven mile hike. We got to the campsite with and our scoutmaster was there with his tent and truck and music playing. But then he didn’t cook our meals. We had to do that. We had to build and light our own fires. We had to set our own tents up. Mine blew over in the middle of the night.
This first campout with Troop 26 was a deliberate wake up call to us that we were no longer in the cub scouts where our needs are catered to. Our scoutmaster began to teach us in earnest after that.
A year later we would arrive at a campsite and set our stuff up. We would cook dinner open fire we made ourselves. Once we shared a campsite with another troop and watched incredulously as their scoutmaster arrived early and set the tents up cooked their meals while they played and drove the boys home before returning to break camp. We weren’t jealous, we felt pity for them.
In my junior year of high school my scoutmaster had to ask me to repeat that I was attending a Thespian conference instead of a troop meeting. I drifted away from scouts to the theatre after that. But I can still build a decent campfire thanks to him.