A Life Lived in Scouting Essay

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A Life Lived in Scouting

1986: Introduction to the Mystery
After the skits, songs, and cheers, the Camp Director (bearing a white sash embroidered with a red arrow and two bars at each end) came forward. The crowd instantly grew quiet and somber. The wind rustled; the branches swayed and cracked; the lake gently lapped the shore. Sitting with my father, I watched bats flutter above two great fires. In a clear yet reverent tone, the weathered old man invoked the beauty of nature, the mystery of life, and the Great Spirit. In solemn words, he added, “Each has his own path, let the Scout Oath and Law light that path.” A quiet tenor, the Camp Director began to sing. With intimate familiarity, uniformed men, women, and boys rose adding
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With locked knees and clammy skin, each young man hoped for the honor of induction into the Order of the Arrow. The mystery was before us, made flesh in Mateo, Allowat Sakima, and Kitchkinet. Together we embraced the mystery that each would come to understand on his own.

“In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed” – Lord Baden Powell

1991: The Secret World of Boys
The night was heavy, perspiration soaked through the fatigue bottoms and black tops. After completing the usual niceties and retiring to our tents (ostensibly for the purpose of sleep), we donned black and painted our faces. Timeless rituals governed the preparation of Troop 54 for “Capture the Flag”; boys examined each other, checked equipment, and consulted. In the dark meadow beside the shower house and just above the Staff Campsite, the leaders met for parley. “You ready?” Casey, the reigning War Lord of Troop 54, asked. The long faced boy from 48 answered, “We’re ready. We’ll play between the lake and the Trading Post. Left and Right boundaries are the Ranger’s House and the woods at the end of the field. The field is fair for play. Jail breaks are legal, full contact.” Casey answered, “Understood. If any one gets caught, their Patrol Leader covers for them— everyone else, gone.” In agreement, the two War Chiefs departed and lead their parties into position.

Sweat gleamed on

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