Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG)
Tue, 5 Sep 1995 13:06:16 EST
Yes, I have returned from the hinterlands of Maine, stuffed with
lobster, tanned from swimming, and in desperate need of a diet!
Lobster itself is very low calorie, but the drawn butter...well,
that's another story. So, it's salad, broiled fish and mineral water
for the next month or so.
Girls in the BSA
Anyway, it's good to be back. I see that girls in the BSA has been a
very long thread, which I won't belabor. My only comment is that I
was not at all surprised to learn from one of our colleagues that
Gloria Allred is the little California girl's lawyer. Ms. Allred
seems always to be around cases like this.
OA a "survivalist" organization?!
I also noted someone asked about the OA, and whether it is "some kind
of survivalist organization" of "ex-scouters." I have little to add
to the fine commentary on this; I would only point out that the
history of the OA and a couple of OA handbooks are available for sale
at any council scout shop, and are sold to anyone, OA member or not.
Anyone interested in learning about OA might want to check out these
Scouting Memorabilia at Yard Sales
I got in a bit of informal scouting on vacation. I picked up a copy
of the 1967 edition of the Scout Handbook for a buck at a yard sale
(the same price it went for in 1967, interestingly enough). This was
one edition after the one I used, but was still close enough to bring
back some memories. A lot of the drawings were the same. It was kind
of dated in some ways--for example, under the discussion of "kind" as
one of the points of the scout law, it advises that scouts should be
kind to most animals, but a good scout always kills poisonous
reptiles, as these could harm humans.
Good grief! What could we possibly have been thinking in those days?
I also acquired a couple of books from a series of kid novels from the
1920s centered around scouting. One is called "Boy Scouts on the
Trail", and the second one--I don't recall the title--seems to credit
the defeat of the Kaiser in WWI to a couple of boy scouts with the AEF
in France. I got these for $5 bucks each from a friend who picked
them up at an auction. My wife saw a couple of others in the series
at an antique store near Belfast ME on sale for $22 each. Those
yankees know how to stick it to the tourists, lemme tell you.
Fortunately, I know all about yankees, both my parents being Mainers.
Scout Booth at a Fair
I also saw a scout booth at a labor day fair in Blandford, MA. It was
manned by scouts and parents from Troop 112, apparently the only troop
in Blandford. Sorry, don't know the council--it's in Western MA, near
Westfield, about 40 miles from the New York border. The scouts were
selling food--french fries, etc.--as a fundraiser. They do it every
Scout Spirit Defined
Regarding scout spirit, I heard a good thumb nail description of this
at the NCAC University of Scouting last March. It can be summed up by
The first is "attendance". I think former President Bush once said
that 90 percent of life is just showing up.
The second is "appearance". It shows pride in being a scout to show
up in uniform all the time. It also apparently requires not a little
bravery in some places, as scouts around here are frequently derided
by the so-called "cool" kids as being nerds, geeks, wimps, etc. Thus,
even boys who love scouting often would rather die than let anyone who
wasn't a scout know they were one.
The third "A" is "attitude". This is still somewhat subjective, but
like art (another "A" word) a scouter knows it when he (or she) sees
I think the requirement in question, that is, "demonstrate scout
spirit by living the scout oath and scout law in your everyday life"
is probably the most important of the advancement requirements. It
gets to the heart of what we are trying to do; earning badges,
camping, etc., are all just methods of scouting. Demonstrating scout
spirit is a requirement for every rank from second class up. I don't
know about others, but I take it real seriously, and am going to make
absolutely certain my scouts and their parents know it. Quite
frankly, two of the scouts who went to Lenhok'sin with me this summer
won't get their Eagle badges (if I can help it) until I see a major
and sincere effort on both their parts to fulfill this requirement.
Anyway, a few random thoughts on a bunch of topics out of the last ten
digests, which I skimmed over this morning.
It's good to be back!
SM, Troop 113
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City