Edited by Jon C. Halter
LENDING A HAND
I was driving six uniformed Cub Scouts to day camp when we stopped at a discount store for a few last-minute purchases. I explained to the boys that it was important to set a good example while we were in the store.
Inside, people would notice us, point, and smile. And at the checkout, a cashier complimented the boys on how good they looked and how well behaved they were.
Soon we drew so much attention from the other cashiers and customers that the boys began to feel like they were celebrities.
I commented to one customer that these Cub Scouts were indeed “the best of the best” and always ready to help out. Then I noticed a woman who had just finished getting her groceries bagged. I turned to the Cub Scouts and asked if someone could help carry the woman’s groceries. All six boys jumped forward to lend a hand.
Everyone in the store was truly impressed with the boys, who had more than lived up to their Cub Scout promise.
Javier F. Ruiz
A 'Best investment'
My son, Joe, was so inspired at his first troop meeting by the Scoutmaster’s encouragement of new Scouts that he informed me afterward he was going to be an Eagle Scout.
He was so confident that I went out and bought him a Scout uniform shirt, a major financial investment for a family with five children, not to be made without some expectation of return.
However, when school started in the fall, Joe told me he didn’t want to stay in Scouts. I replied that we had paid a lot of money for his Scout shirt and he was going to have to stay in the troop for at least a year.
He advanced to Star and Life and no longer talked of quitting. With Eagle in sight, we bought him a new shirt, as he had obviously outgrown his original one. But he declared that he would be wearing his first uniform shirt when he received his Eagle Award. And two years later, his younger brother, Paul, wore that same uniform shirt when he, too, became an Eagle.
That Boy Scout shirt was one of the best investments we’ve ever made..
At day camp our pack was combined with another, which included a 9-year-old boy who had cerebral palsy. He was very smart but had difficulty walking, and his speech was hard to understand.
When buddy assignments were made for the day, two boys from our pack, Garen and Luke, were asked to be the Cub Scout’s buddy, a designation they took seriously.
When the other boys ran ahead, Garen and Luke stayed behind, sticking with their buddy. When he spoke, they listened closely and tried to understand what he was telling them. When he fell, they helped him up. When he cast a fishing line, or shot a BB gun, they cheered him on!
By the end of the day, they no longer saw the boy’s disabilities, only his abilities. And, they had made a new friend.
I, for one, learned a lot watching the example these two boys set.
SAIL on, OLD TENT
On our troop’s 14-mile canoe trip down Village Creek, near Kuntz, Tex., we stopped to set up camp on a deserted sandbar.
The day was very breezy, and we warned the Scouts that stakes would not hold their tents in place on the sandy surface. As soon as possible, they should anchor their tents down by putting their gear inside.
As I worked on setting up my own tent, I looked up to see a fully assembled tent floating down the creek.
It was such a pretty sight, as if the flowing water was exactly where the tent belonged. Fortunately, an alert Scout rescued the tent before it disappeared around the bend.
Luckily, the tent dried quickly and was returned to the amazed Scout from whom it had disappeared. He immediately anchored it with his gear, to prevent another unauthorized trip down the creek.
John R. Becker
THE REAL WINNER
At the high school track behind the church where our troop meets, some new Scouts were taking their initial quarter-mile walk/run for the physical fitness requirements for Tenderfoot rank.
They all took off running, and we kept cheering them all until the last Scout, way behind, finally crossed the finish line.
We thought he might be discouraged by coming in so far behind the others. But, after catching his breath, he exclaimed, “Boy, that was great! I can’t wait to do it again!”
To me, he was the real “winner” that day.
WHAT A STATE WE'RE IN
We were returning from a camping trip to the Niagara Falls and Finger Lakes area in upstate New York when my 6-year-old Cub Scout asked the inevitable question, “Are we there yet?”
After I explained that we were still in Pennsylvania, he thought for a moment and then asked what the shape of the state was.
“It’s rectangular,” I answered.
“Then why do they call it Pencil-vania,” he asked, “if it doesn’t look like a pencil?”
Robin Suerig Holleran
Copyright © 2007 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.