Being nostalgic ain’t all bad!

Boy ScoutsThere is a point where the youth need to learn to grow up and take on responsibility and that adults need to learn what it means to be youthful again in order to rejuvenate life and regain a sense of imagination as a child. –Curate

Growing up, while being a Boy Scout, I learned leadership, patriotism, how the government worked, what it meant to be an American, I learned to be a responsible citizen, respect, honor, skills that pertained to survival, both in the woods and in the city.

I learned how to survive in the deep woods and through various storms.  I slept in the snow under the stars in the winter while remaining toasty warm, even in 40 degrees below zero (wind chill). I learned about astronomy, signs and tracks in nature. I’ve done lake but also white water canoeing even in class IV rivers, climbed cliffs, hiked many, many miles in one day, orienteering, learned how to work and plan with others in a patrol and troop, set up camp, swim, tie knots, use knife, axe, bow and arrow and even the respect and use of a gun.

Also learned first aid and CPR, and learned how to use different formations of cloth to take care of a broken bone or a quick bleed.  I learned how to respect nature and above all, one another.  Well the list goes on … not all troops are good troops.  When I joined Troop 12 after my Arrow of Light, I joined a troop with a great history, but this troop had dwindled down to about 9 scouts when I arrived as a new member. When I became SPL (Senior Patrol Leader), the head boy of the troop, I read an old version of a Patrol Leaders Handbook you see on the left side of the picture above and sought the guidance of my brother (an experienced Scouter and Eagle Scout) and in one year we went from about 9 Scouts to about 30 Scouts.  The secret is effective leadership skills and investing in the people around you.

I think it is interesting, that after being involved with a number of organizations in my youth, how in adulthood, the simplicity and imagination become lost in the array of a disillusioned society. So many things replace the fundamentals of life.  In some way, I think this is what James Bond, “Skyfall” was all about.  (I grew up watching James Bond movies)

In the olden days, youth organizations were fun events but also many youth groups were to prepare the youth for adulthood.  I met with an adult church group when I was in the parish and handed out some high school yearbooks from the 50’s.  I asked them to look at the class pictures in the yearbooks and asked them what the youth already looked like, and they said they look like adults.  I said, yes, there was the idea that society prepares their youth for adulthood. This rarely happens today, my opinion anyway.

Not only that, I noticed how many youth do not interact with adults.  The question might be is how will our traditions be passed down or how will the interaction and respect with others practiced or developed by our youth?

Today it is about the individual, not family; it is about the now, not culture, history or tradition; it is not about values, beliefs or morals, it is about gratification and survival. It is my opinion, and I am right you see!

Hopefully Boy Scouts hold out a little longer against a growing “socialistic” (politically speaking) culture ….

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” – Henry David Thoreau (Walden)

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