Rest easy, fellow scouts. The new CEO of BSA is a former navy SEAL named “Smiley.” But does he whistle while performing every task?
I am moving my brother out of my house. So much physical, moral and mental strain has reminded me of my BSA roots, and brought me back to you. You’re welcome.
While for you, an ordinary citizen, moving a sibling into a new apartment would be exhausting, I am a more advanced human, because I am a Boy Scout. I Smile and Whistle while performing every task.
Here is how I adhered to the Hiking guidelines of a Second Class Scout while moving my brother out:
1) I walked like an Indian: “Imitate the Indian when you walk - he knew how to hike. … come down lightly on your heel with your toes pointed straight ahead, or even a little pigeon-toed, and push off with your toes. Lean forward from the hips, and keep your chin up. Twist the hips slightly with each step, and swing your arms easily. In this way, you will glide along with a natural movemnet of the whole body.”
This method was so helpful in moving my brother’s mattress, that I was soon asked to step aside and hold the door open.
2) I rested: “For a real rest, lie down on the ground with your legs up against a stump or a rock to make the blood run from them.”
I really think the moving team appreciated that I knew how to rest.
3) I demonstrated silent signals: “In Scouting, the leader doesn’t have to say a word. He makes a hand signal, and the fellows see it and obey it without a sound.”
Everyone appreciated my signals for “hurry” and “halt”:
4) I did not molest animals: “Cows give more milk when left in peace …Scouts do not molest them.”
5) I scooped a “cat hole” latrine with the back of my heel:
It was difficult to stay true to all of these boyscout guidelines, but I was steadfast. And tomorrow is another day of making everyone’s lives better by adhering to the Boy Scout Law.
- Lady Eagle Scout
I can’t say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. — Daniel Boone
A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances. — Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Scout Movement
My new Hero
“Feet that are strong and well-cared for are your most important gear for hiking … .Wash them often… . . Trim your toenails straight across.”
This gross passage makes me put shoes on. Apparently, they are the wrong shoes, because they are not “Official Boy Scout Shoes,” which are best paired with a fine “Official Scout Sock.” Here we go, BSA. Your Bible is selling your products. You’ve even got your own version of “Lather, Rinse, REPEAT.”:
“Some hikers like to wear a pair of thin nylon or rayon socks inside their stockings”
Really, the best thing about long socks is that they look so distinctive with shorts. Especially, what I would call “parachute shorts”
So, I’ve been a tenderfoot for more than a month. This, believe it or not, is one of the things that will promote me to Second Class (how about that for stupid seniority). Anyway, we’ve also learned a lot about the flag, knots, the boy scout law and ourselves, haven’t we? But forget about all of that because today, TODAY, scouts, we are going to PREPARE to hike.
We aren’t actually going for a hike. No. We aren’t ready for that. Today, we will look at the
and HIKING FOOD
Is it just me, or does this level of preparation put boy scouts about the same place on the “bad-ass” scale as this Victorian Misses, ready for her holiday:
BSA seems to anticipate my giggles. “[This] kind of hiking is not for softies,” warns my handbook. Among other things to watch out for, we are bound to come across “un-expected holes in the swampland.” Yikes.
Anyway, I’m about to go to a Ranch for the 4th of July. Granted, there will probably be little venturing out into the wilderness. This promises to be more of a “eat bean dip and drink cocktails indoors” kind of hike. But I want to make sure I’m prepared for anything.
I’m sure there comes a time in the life of every blogger when she realizes that she doesn’t WANT to blog, but she feels like she SHOULD. Since I spend about 60% of my time following what is most shiny, this feeling of obligation has come early. However, I think about what a boy scout would do (Brave Loyal etc.) and I blog onward.
The Scout Law is really 12 adjectives toward which I should now strive. This was a particularly fun post to write, because it led me to answer such timeless questions as “which fox news clip says what I mean?” and “Should I use June Cleaver or Donna Reed do get my little ol’ point across?” Life is full of choices!
I am told “(if) you should willfully break the Scout Law, you are not a Scout. It is as simple as that.” Heavens. It’s only my third week! Let’s see how I measure up:
A Scout is …
Highlights: “All of our dealings with others are based on trust . . we buy a can of food and trust the manufacturer to have filled it with only wholesome ingredients. We listen to the news on the radio or on TV and trust reporters to tell us the truth.”
Can Lady Eagle Scout be trustworthy?: Um, I think that you can trust me farther than you can throw me.
Usefulness Rating: 8. Yes, I may be a curmudgeoness, but I know that trust makes life worth living and the relationships in it bearable. This is a good one, BSA. However - take a closer look at your examples next time.
Highlights: “You show loyalty best by turning yourself into the kind of boy your parents would like you to be … “
Can Lady Eagle Scout be loyal?: I can absolutely be loyal. But this whole passage asks me to be obedient - and brain-washed. It’s this kind of mixing up terms that got poor Beaver out the tree and home for a spanking.
“Beaver, come out of that tree!” “If I do you’ll hit me!”
Usefulness rating: 2. Loyalty is good. This definition of loyalty is not.
Highlights: “If you do a Good Turn in hope of receiving a gift, it is not a Good Turn at all”
Can Lady Eagle Scout do it?: I like the concept of a Good Turn - and the desire to always be helpful. But everyday? That might just be too much.
Usefulness rating: 9. I’ll agree this is useful even if I am not the best candidate.
Highlights: “Friendship is like a mirror …Among the finest expressions of this brotherhood are the great world jamborees”
Can Lady Eagle Scout do it?: Sometimes I don’t like people. How about when you are telling a person about how something sucks and they say “at least you’re not starving” or “how about people in that (most recent natural disaster) - they’ve got real problems” I don’t know if I can pledge to be friendly in these situations. However - WORLD JAMBOREES? Sign me up.
Usefulness rating: 3. Plenty of good people are terrible at friendly.
Courteous: Like, Tea Time?
Kind: Good Turn!
Obedient: Man, this one is the worst
Cheerful: Shit-eating grin
Thrifty < Shoes for no reason + large percentage of budget spent on entertainment + indulging in fresh flowers and nostalgic candy bars.
Brave: Is it brave to write a blog?
Clean: Well, right now I haven’t showered in 36 hours, but my shirt was not from the laundry hamper, so … B+
Reverent: Hmmm. This is the worst adjective you could have chosen in association with religion, BSA.
So, in response to my nasty attitude, I abbreviated the last few characteristics. Admit it - you were getting bored too! At least we made it through them together.
Scout Spirit: DUTY TO GOD, DUTY TO COUNTRY, DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE (“A cheery smile and a helpful hand may serve to make life easier for someone who is weak or old, for a woman or a child.”) DUTY TO SELF
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like any kind of “spirit” comes from someplace other than the place rules come from. But Boy Scouts says that Rules GIVE you spirit. Hmmmm. Strange. I won’t over-think this.
Scout Oath, 1961:
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.
Now, a lot of things have changed in the Scout handbook since 1961, but this oath has remained exactly the same. The BSA has struggled with that phrase “morally straight.” Although the BSA claims that the phrase “morally straight” refers solely to honesty and good character, the organization maintains an anti-gay atmosphere. BSA frequently denies employment to gay men, and has been granted this right by high-level courts in recent years. In 2002, the DC Commission on Human Rights held that “to force Boy Scouts to appoint open homosexuals as Scout leaders would violate the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment freedom of expressive association.”
The connotations of the phrase “morally straight” have changed over time, but the BSA has passively allowed that change to continue rejecting gay lifestyles. Many of the lawsuits between open homosexuals and the BSA have focused on the fine lines in employment discrimination, with no great victories for gay rights activists yet.
For an interesting (if wordy) reflection on growing up a gay scout, see excerpts from Michael Harris’ “Morally Straight.” I have an affection for his project because it is so similar to mine! Ladies and Gays! You too can be Eagles as well - also!
I think, that when I get there, I would like to be hoisted and greeted like our country’s flag:
“You will want to greet it to show your love for it - by saluting it if you are in uniform, by holding your right hand over your heart if you are in civilian clothes”
“You should know that the flag is never used for drapery (use red, white and blue bunting instead)” I should know that.
If you would like to feel insignificant for a moment, check out all of the days of the year you are supposed to fly a flag. From dawn!
New Year’s Day, Inauguration Day, Lincoln’ Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Armed Forces Day, Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Father’s Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Constitution Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, the birthday of states, and State holidays. Phew!
This is why I have no upper arm strength! I have not been raising the flag on all of these many celebratory days! And now that I know that “joy is indicated by the flag at full staff” (teehee) I will have a better appreciation for what’s going on with the many flags about town.