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Why I don’t like Boy Scouts October 31, 2005

Posted by eric22222 in General.

Today, Brad gave us another round of his conversational questions. We went over the trouble we got in K through 12. It wasn’t very enjoyable. Looking back, all the trouble I was in was due to the teacher’s misunderstanding of an event or blowing it out of proportion.

Sometime during the questions, the conversation shifted to Boy Scouts. Zach (who happens to be an Eagle) started talking about he and some guys used to mess with the scrawny guy. And then all the supressed memories came flooding back. Looking at them, I find it quite obvious that I didn’t like Boy Scouts. I was the scrawny guy that everybody picked on. I have vivid memories of being put in a box and kicked around. They ripped my tent during a camping trip in the winter. The list goes on.

They always made us recite the Scout Law. It talks about how scouts are friendly, kind, etc, but they didn’t seem to have a problem with violating their promise before the night was over.

Camp was horrible. No moral support from anyone (quite the opposite), I had no idea what I was even supposed to be doing, and I feared for my life on a regular basis. I do, however, remember one good event. Walking back from the river one morning, after nearly drowning, one of the older scouts actually walked alongside me for a while and told me that I did a pretty good job out there. I barely acknowledged him the whole way back to my tent, but that right there meant the world to me. That admist all that, someone took the time to try and cheer me up. That guy deserved his rank. Not by proving his survival skills, or being able to tie thirty different knots, but by seeing someone in need, and fulfilling it.

Just a little food for thought. Hope that inspires you to go out there and help somebody.
: )



1. The Matt Luc - November 2, 2005

Sorry that conversation brought back those memories. Yeah… the Scouts of yester-year are no more, and the ones that exist today don’t hold true to the Scout Law. Since I’ve been the scrawny kid that got picked on, the mean guy who bullied the scrawny kid, the older guy who punished the bullies, and an Assistant Scoutmaster having to watch all of them, I can tell you that almost all kids, Scouts included, are cruel and mean at some point. It just sucks that had to happened to you to the point of disliking Boy Scouts. I’ve got some great memories from Scouts, all of which I would never trade for anything. But I’ve felt your pain… here is probably one of my worst experiences in the Boy Scouts:

We were out on a three day hiking trip at some place called Cherry Creek. I had only been in Scouts for about four months, an hated it… the only reason I was still in was because my father would have been heart-broken had I quit. So I was out in the wilderness with 29 other boys, 28 of which I was scared of, one who was just as scared of them as me(who was also named Matthew), and six adult men, who all seemed oblivious to the constant hazing that the other Matthew and I endured.

The hike was hard for me… my pack weighed nearly as much as me (over-protective mom packed enough stuff for me to live out there for a month) and I was getting pushed, smacked, and proded by walking sticks the whole 10 miles out to the site. During the second day which we were spending at the site, I got the wind knocked out of me in tag football, knocked my lunch into the dirt, and tried to get me lost going snipe hunting. I was already depressed by the time we sat down for our closing campfire. The older scouts had prepared a skit for our entertainment. They called it Buddha’s Disciples and it was basicly like Simon Says, “Buddha” would do something, you would repeat what he’d do, and at the end he would announce whether you had passed or not. The first guy came up and passed. The second guy came up, messed up, and still passed. Then I got called to come up.

Well, I didn’t want to be the loser, so I repeated every thing he did to the T. During the routine I felt some push a chair up behind me. Then “Buddha” made the motion of sitting down, I went down, but only to just above the chair for fear that they had stuck a tack on it. The routine became longer, and several times he did the sitting motion and I would go down but never touch the chair. Finally they figured out that I wasn’t going to sit on the chair, so when he did the sitting motion, one of the other guys placed his hand on my shoulder and pushed me down onto it.

Nothing seemed to happen. Feeling relieved, I completed the routine. “Buddha” stood looking at me for a moment with a look of contempt before he turned to the audience and announced

“You have not passed! Turn around and you shall see why.” I turned slowly and looked at the seat of my pants in horror. I had sat in a peanut butter sandwich, and it was all over my rear. Laughter errupted from the audience, and, mortified, I watched as Scouts and Scoutmasters alike rolled on the ground in glee. I stood for a moment before pulling the PB sandwich off of my nice new Scout pants and running back to my tent. There, rocking back and forth with my head between my knees, I cried until I fell asleep.

The next morning I discovered that the hazing was not over. I had been dubbed “Peanut Butter” and someone put the stuff in my freeze-dried eggs when my back was turned. The whole 10 miles back to the cars were torture, I was tired, sore, and “Peanut Butter” could be heard ringing throughout the forest. It took three years for that nickname to come to rest, and even longer than that for me to look back and laugh at the whole thing.

2. Bren Hughes - November 3, 2005

Wow. Matt’s story was hideous.

I’ve been lurking on your blog, Eric, ever since your mom told me about your ambitious anagram project (very cool).

I’m an eagle scout, too, not because I wanted to be, but because my dad always regretting not getting his eagle. I did the whole thing — from Tiger Cubs on up.

The thing about my troop was that most of the kids were bad boys whose dad put them in Scouts to straighten them up. So there was always some volatility there. I was often the small guy, but I was clever enough to earn the big kids’ respect (e.g., by sneaking in the woods at night and scaring the oompa loompa out of them).

The Jamborees were the pits, though, because there were all these boys there from all over the region who didn’t know me. One night a gang of them accosted me and stole my brand new Boy Scout hat. I never did replace it, but I never will forget it.

So, Eric, why not check out my new blog (brenhughes.blogspot.com) and homepage (www.brenhughes.com)? I’ve always thought we had a lot in common (like our literary pursuits), so you might some cerebrum-stroking goodness in there!


3. Bren Hughes - November 4, 2005

Thanks for adding me to your Friends’ Blogs list, Eric. It’s an honor. I wish I could figure out how to do it for my blog.

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