Scouting, Volume 82, Number 2, March-April 1994 Page: 40
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trail to follow, they turned Boy Scout-
ing into that same kind of trail for me.
I became a Boy Scout with them—
which was not easy to do in those
days. One father told me, "Women
should stay home and sell cookies!"
But many times the troop was one
driver short of the whole group going
camping for the weekend or no one
going. I turned out to be that extra
driver and so by necessity was al-
lowed to go.
During one camporee the most
popular activity was climbing a tele-
phone pole. All weekend I watched
the boys do it. It seemed simple
enough: Dig the spikes that were
clamped onto your shoes into the pole,
lean forward a bit, at the same time
slip the belt which was fastened to
you and wrapped around the pole up
the pole a bit, hike your feet up and
beads, and animal claws.
I built models of Indian homes and
hunting traps to teach the boys bet-
ter. Soon I was being asked to help
other troops and to instruct Indian
lore programs at Cub Scout day
camp and den meetings.
Again, I expected a lot
from the boys and so did our
whole troop committee. Boys
who earned the Indian Lore
merit badge with my guidance
learned at least twice as much as
This was true of near
ly everything we did.
And we had at least
12 boys advance to
Eagle rank during my 10-year
stay with the troop. They were proud
of having a troop that made them
work hard and thereby prove to
what Scouting is really about.
Another time we drove south to As-
sateague, a rather isolated island off
the Virginia coast. Sat-
urday morning start-
ed out cloudy and be-
came more and more
rainy, windy, and
the day. The radio
of a bad storm, so
we battened down
Just as I was
about to fall
asleep, the park
ranger drove by with a
bull horn, warning us of the
approaching storm and advising us to
be prepared to evacuate the area. I
decided to sleep in my street clothes,
"Our Scoutmaster introduced me with
the ultimate compliment: 'This is Charlott, one of our most active
Scout fathers.' I was simply one of the gang."
dig into the pole again, over and over.
After most of the Boy Scouts had
left and just before the pole was to be
taken down, I asked for a turn. You
should know that I am terrified of
heights. However, I got to within
inches of the top before fear became
I believe that each time
we push fear a little far-
ther away, we become
more and more its
I got a good dose of it.
How good it feels to
say, "I did that once!"
And it feels just as '
good to the boys.
My Cub Scout work in
Indian lore helped in my
Boy Scout experience.
Several times I coun-
seled the entire troop
in earning the Indian
Lore merit badge. Ev-
ery few years we got
more new boys who
I made quite a few In-
dian items to encourage
and to show the boys
what I expected. Some of
these included rattles of deer hooves,
rawhide, gourds, animal teeth, and
shells. I made jewelry of buffalo
teeth, fish vertebrae, turquoise, bone
themselves and others that they were
Philmont! Everyone wanted to go
to the Scout ranch, even big sisters.
Ours had been a very family-oriented
troop. Each summer we had taken a
canoe trip of four days or more
with at least one-third of the
families in attendance. So we
organized an Explorer
post which was active for
four years and which en-
abled the girls and me to
As Explorer Advisor, I
camped in tents with
them during winter. One
Saturday afternoon it
began to snow and blow,
and the temperature
started to drop. By
morning the wind-chill
factor was well below
zero. French toast was on
the breakfast menu. We
had to set the egg mixture
in boiling water to keep it
thawed long enough to get
it onto our bread! The toast
and a cup of hot chocolate surely
But solving problems, devel-
11 oping ingenuity, conquering dif-
° faculties, developing confidence,
creating friendship and coopera-
tion for boys, girls, and adults are
the only time I've ever done that.
That night all our tents blew over
several times. Some of the men and
older boys dashed out into the storm
and put them back up, as we lay in-
side, asleep or simply huddling in the
dark. We wondered if morning would
Dawn finally broke and I found my
suitcase full of water. The only dry
clothes I had were the ones I wore.
The same was true for most of us. A
disaster? No way! It's now our fa-
vorite trip to talk about. Again, ad-
venture, facing fear, building confi-
dence in ourselves and in each other,
ties of friendship that will never be
totally lost, no matter how far apart
our paths may spread—that's what
it's all about.
We went camping once a month,
every month but August, for 10 years.
We camped in tents except on the
February outing. That winter camp
was unique and a favorite in many
ways, so we repeated it every year.
We are Pennsylvanians, which means
that our winter camping is cold. So,
for the Febmary trip we worked out
of a hunting cabin in the mountains.
Some ask how, over the long haul,
men regarded my Scouting participa-
tion. I had struggled hard to be ac-
cepted, to keep up, to conquer fears,
to do what everyone else was doing,
to be useful and a worthy camper.
Scouting «$• March-April 1994
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 82, Number 2, March-April 1994, periodical, March 1994; Irving, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth353616/m1/40/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.