In the 1960’s, military brats made good Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I was a Cub Scout in Arizona, a Webelo in Sequin, Texas and a Boy Scout in El Paso, Texas.
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Every Friday night from November 1964 to January 1966 found me attending Boy Scouts. I learned many life skills. I learned many skills I used in the US Army. It was fun spending time with the other boys. It was exciting hiking and camping every month. I still remember the Boy Scout Oath or Promise:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
In the fall of 1965 my troop went camping in the mountains of southern New Mexico at Camp Wehinahpay Boy Scouts Camp, 319 Potato Canyon Road, Sacramento, NM 88347. We road in US Air Force provided transport vehicles from Biggs Air Force Base to the camp.
I earned my totem chip there. It gave me the right to carry a knife and hatchet. We learned compass skills, how to pitch a tent and prepare it for rain. We needed that rain preparation as it rained on us the first couple of nights. We had bears come snooping around the tents and camp another night. I remember smelling them as the walked and brushed up against my tent. I hid in my sleeping bag.
In the evening, we sat around the campfire singing Kumbaya and other folk songs. I had played the guitar since I was nine years old. I brought my six string acoustical on the camping trips. The scout leaders transported it for me where I didn’t have to carry it. Playing the guitar made me “cool”. I enjoyed the attention and adoration.
One of the best parts of camping was my dad being one of the sponsors. He was the smartest and coolest dad ever. I’ll tell about camping as a Boy Scout in the deep snow during the winter another in another post.
The Boy Scout Motto is Be Prepared! Boy Scout Slogan is do a good turn daily.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffee house, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.