Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy 100 to the Boy Scouts

Happy 100th Birthday to the Boy Scouts. They have produced a large group of men who have contributed greatly to this country and still work hard in that area. This is just a look back sixty years to when I was in the Scouts for the first time.

The first is in 1951 at my Cub Scout pack, and yes that was Ted Williams! I sat next to him for dinner, and when he asked me what I thought of baseball my answer was, "What was baseball!" He then tried to convert me all night. I have yet to watch a baseball game!

This Cub Scout Group was at a Presbyterian Church which was a bit upscale in the area. One can see by the attire of the scouts that they were well groomed and pressed. Our Den Mother was Mrs. Cooper whose husband was a Captain on a major ocean liner, Cunard I believe, and thus in those days was quite well off with a beautiful home overlooking the New York Harbor, with the typical Captain's Nest. Mrs. Cooper was an ideal Den Mother and she did a superb job with the group of Cubs.

The second is about 1955 at my Boy Scout Troop! Yes indeed, I am the tall one with the straight up hair! On my way to Eagle! This group is in stark contrast to the Cubs. This was at the local Catholic Church, primarily blue collar, Police, Fire and the like, and much more scruffy. The Troop leaders were almost without exception just back from World War II or Korea. We had an Assistant Scout Leader who had one of the first VWs with the turn signal coming out of the side door edge! It was a mixed group of Scouts and of course had its normal set of problems. The first Scout Master was Fred Droste, a wonderful leader and quite competent having been an Eagle Scout himself. The second was Gill Benn, a rather incompetent man, in my view, who managed to let the Troop just dissolve. Strange the extremes that can occur in just a few years.

Notwithstanding the Boy Scouts have done very well in their first 100 years. Wish that they have many hundred more!