Throwback Thursday: The Last Boy Scout, originally posted on August 7, 2017, reflects fondly on my time in Boy Scouts. This piece also serves as the perfect segue into Father’s Day weekend.
Besides all of the lessons I learned and the leadership qualities I gained and the growing up I had to do because of Boy Scouts, I now see how special those years were to me and my father together.
Because Boy Scouts was our thing. And that means something as schedules get busier and busier and time continues to dwindle. Make time for the memories and appreciate the moments. It all matters even if you don’t realize it at the time. You will eventually.
Happy Father’s Day to all, in particular my Dad. Thanks for getting up early to drive me and other people’s kids upstate, for coming to basketball and baseball games and having to tolerate people who probably sucked, for putting up with the growing pains, and for showing me how to be not just a man, but more importantly a human.
In elementary school, I remember friends nudging me to join Cub Scouts. They had weekly meetings, they made fires and played with knives and went camping and did community service. It seemed like the cool thing to do. Kids even wore their uniforms in school sometimes.
Then, in fifth grade, we moved up and became Boy Scouts. I remember crossing over that bridge and thinking I had made it to the promised land where all seemed to grow – the kids, their facial hair, the hikes, the knives, the adventures. And, of course, they all brought the nudey magazines, otherwise known as “bass masters,” to summer camp, so that was a plus too.
I was really on a high, strutting my stuff around these older guys that were talking about moves and sensations I could not even fathom at 11 years old. What this one did with this girl by the lake, what the other one did in the wagon, how this feels and that feels. It was a baptism by fire, a coming of age, the corrupting of youth, a rites of passage, a loss of innocence – whatever you want to call it – as I absorbed more dirty jokes about females, the LGBTQ community that wasn’t called it back then, and every culture, ethnicity, and religion you can think of. I was just happy that they let me hang around them and didn’t bully me. Because when you’re younger and they’re older, the greater the likelihood of that happening. Not that it’s right.