Monday, December 14, 2009

B. S. A.

I was at the 2 year mark in art school when an instructor of mine told me this is usually the point where fine art students drop out, as it gets much tougher from here.
Well, even though my interests were not in fine art, I took it as an obscure sign and bailed.

A similar scenario played out in my youth. Only this time not as student, but as a Webelo.
A Webelo is like the junior high of scouting. You start out as a Cub Scout in elementary school then graduate to Webelos. Then, if you decide to cross that hurdle into geekdom, you're a Boy Scout. Finally, the ultimate in uniforms. The WW II like, Khaki shirt and matching shorts with the thick-knit, knee high socks that can only belong to...the Eagle Scout - the Frat Boys of scouting.
Only I never advanced to Boy Scouts. No, I didn't have a scout leader pull me aside to say "Look son, you either got it or you don't." This was my own undoing.

Two memories emerge from my numbered days as a Webelo. Each one at opposing ends of the enjoyment spectrum. The first one I took as a positive. And could have even motivated me a bit to continue into scouting.
It required me to participate in the making of a meal over a fire at a campsite. One of my 2 directives here, involved me rummaging through the woods for firewood. The other was the careful implementation of the varied vegetables that were destined for the roiling pot and the eventual devouring of said meal, which, as turns out, was a pretty tasty vegetable stew. These two difficult tasks gave me points towards some distant merit badge, kinda like S&H green stamps.

The second was an overnight, father and son camp-out at the Gerber Scout Camp. It is with great emotional pain and scarring that I describe this. Unfortunately, my memory blocked everything BUT the early morning hours just after sunrise when I awoke, as did everybody else in a 1 mile radius to my father's paint peeling, concrete busting, jack-hammer snoring. I sat up horrified, imagining a ring of scouts outside, snickering and elbowing each other as they pointed toward our tent. It never occurred to me to wake him, after all, he sounded like he was gonna inhale his own face inside out. You'd think that would do it.

My scouting Days? Finished. I couldn't bare the potential ridicule. So I bailed.
Besides, I was about to enter the 6th grade and the chicks I knew were definitely not into uniforms.


  1. I bailed after Webelos too.

  2. I couldn't bring myself to wear the shirt with pins and badges to jr. high with the Webelo kerchief around my neck. The roughians would've had a field day.

  3. I was a roughian, so I couldn't do it either.