Friday, May 15, 2009


Early in my youth I was for a few months, like many boys, a Cub Scout. I had the blue uniform and the yellow kerchief and the upside down wolfcub button that got righted when I took some silly oath (or something like that, I was 7 for cryin' out loud). It all seemed rather cool at the time. It was some boyhood ritual that you went through with your dad, only less frightening than when he taught you to ride a bike (thanks for the push straight into that tree old man!) or swim (tossed straight into the deep end with shouts of encouragement such as "live boy, live!"). But the best part was getting into Kansas City Royals games for cheap (well, everything's cheap when you're a kid and don't have to pay), the most pressured-filled part was remembering it was a "TWO" fingered salute (actually, that may have been dad's problem).

But after the baseball season ended, that was pretty much it for me and scouting. I never made it to Boy Scout and to his credit, my dad didn't really mind or push it on me. Blame it on Amos Otis (I still love that name all these years later) or something (probably moving to Minnesota).

So I've watched with more disdain than usual as I've seen the scouts become some sort of a freak organization that hates gays while simultaneously not having anything as delicious and overpriced as the girl scouts' cornered market on cookies (damn you, Tagalongs!)

But this, this is the final Rubicon.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

You used to be able to do a simple test of America by saying Germany had the "Hitler Youth", we have the "Boy Scouts".

The gap used to be a hell of a lot wider.

1 comment:

big and tall suits said...

Thanks for sharing your experience :)