Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's Anniversary Time!

Today is Boy Scout Anniversary Day! Well, in America anyways. For those that are unaware, the Boy Scout movement was founded by British Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Born February 22, way back in 1857, Baden Powell was born into a family that was left rather poor after the death of his father when young Robert was only 3. His mother began his education at home until he got to school and won a scholarship[ to sent him on his way. He was an adventurous youth who liked hunting rabbits and even canoed all the way down to the source of the Thames. After his schooling he ended up in the military where he penned the book Aids to Scouting.

The book was to launch the movement at large. Starting with a camp on Brownsea island he brought 22 boys to try his ideas out. He took those ideas and refined them into a new book called Scouting for boys. In September he set up an office to deal with all the inquiries from his book. It turns out that after reading his books, boys had begun forming troops all by themselves.

Over the years his idea has grown and spanned the globe resulting in a global presence.

This all leads me into memories of my time in scouting. I was involved in scouting when we lived in a less well to do area and that resulted in a pretty ragtag bunch. Most of us had our uniforms, but for a few key components. A few of the kids had trouble coming up with the 50 cent meeting dues and we were all mostly clean.

We practiced our skills like any other scout troop. Knots were practiced by taking turns tying up kids to the jungle gym that was folded against the wall. We practiced carpentry by making Birdhouses that would be better off as shelves and shelves that couldn't hold stain, let alone books. A fine piece of work, like me!We studied the stars by reading tabloid magazines (althought they were probably thing more of Orion and Ursa Major than David Hasselhoff and the like). We were disorganized and a little nuts but we had fun. Camps were always a delight when on the opening day there was the formal assembly in the field where the flag was raised and our scruffy bunch stood next to troops so well polished you could see yourself in their shirts.

Another fine structure erected by the boys in The Fighting 57thOnce the tents were pitched it was on to dinner where we would, after extinguishing a few fires and losing a few eyebrows in propane related fires, burn up some food. All in all our merry band of misfits did fairly well considering that locals had dubbed us the fighting 57th. I'm sure some of the other kids still have nightmares about us. If they had been nicer then maybe we wouldn't have gone out in the dark to cut tent strings and such. Oh well.

We did what we could to follow the Scout Promise

    On my honour
    I promise that I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and the Queen
    To help other people at all times,
    And to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.

and the Scout Law

    A Scout is helpful and trustworthy,
    kind and cheerful,
    considerate and clean,
    wise in the use of all resources.

I can't say much for the helpful of the clean but we were definitely cheerful, especially after some twilight revenge sessions.


Blogger JODSTER said...

I hoped being a scout would mean going on Indiana Jones type adventures. turns out it was just camping in crummy weather.

I took a pass. Learned to tie knots from a book. Eventually, I just switched to velcro.

11:21:00 AM  
Blogger ...just-rambling... said...

Happy anniversary, young scout!

2:15:00 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I'm too old to do the whole "camping" thing anymore. Give me a hotel room, a soft comfy bed and a hot shower and I am one happy lil' PQ. :)

2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

You made that up! You want the truth? The boy scouts were invented by Michael Jackson back in 1981. Nuff said! :)

3:20:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

The area I grew up in was so poor we didn't even have Boy Scouts. We all belonged to a group called the Toy Smouts. But we did have fun making cheap knock off Rolex watches on the assembly line..

9:41:00 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

It's a real pity that nowadays scout leaders get looked at sideways and suspected of an unhealthy fondness for young boys, eh?

2:27:00 AM  

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