This evening I attended my first Eagle Scout court of honor in, oh, probably twenty-five years.
Follow that link, it has some pretty cool information about the Eagle Scout rank, the badges, and the requirements. It's something I never managed to do. I believe I had the requirements for Life Scout done, but they came back and told me I needed one more merit badge. I probably could have contested it, but it just wasn't that important to me in those days. It probably wouldn't have taken much pushing to get me to finish it, and in some ways I wish I had that push. But, that just wasn't the way things were done in our house.
The direct eldest male line of our family is 4 generations of scouting. My grandfather worked as a neighborhood commissioner, what is now known as a unit commissioner. I don't think he was active as a boy, probably because he immigrated at age 9 and language differences and culture shock might have kept him out. I don't know, and it's too late to ask.
My father earned the rank of Star scout, but showed he had the Eagles Stuff as an adult leader. He was my Webelos leader. (My mother was Cubmaster for a spell.)
Here I am in 1975, a 10-year-old Webelo heading off to Webelos Weekend with my Webelos Leader, Mr. Novy. He was never "Dad" in uniform. I'm the guy on the right. And, yes, I did earn Bear but mom didn't sew it on the uniform yet. It was eventually. She didn't make me start sewing them on until I earned First Class I think. I still sew them the same way and I despise the glue-way to apply patches. Must sew them on. I have a devil of a time getting mine off when it's time to change them, but I don't leave a big spot of goo.
My first scoutmaster was a guy by the name of Kermit Momson. I still remember chanting "Kermit! Kermit! Kermit!" Kermit's boy turned 18 and left troop 82 leaderless. My father stepped up to the plate and became Scoutmaster. He stayed Scoutmaster for a year or two after I left for college, stepping down only when he moved to Missouri.
I will argue to the day I die that I earned Life. I became co-Tiger leader when my son started Cub Scouts. I then served as Committee Chairman, Cubmaster, then Assistant Cubmaster. When we crossed over into Boy Scouts, we joined Troop 316, where I am a newly minted Assistant Scoutmaster.
Russell earned all the cub scout ranks and just two weeks ago earned the rank of Scout. Only 6 more to go and we will have the first Novy Eagle.*
I heard a rumor today that the BSA is changing the uniform again. (Last time was when I was about 15.) I have not seent he new uniform but I'm told it is designed to be very functional. If anybody has a link to a picture, I would be interested in seeing a preview.
* I should point out that my sister's husband is an Eagle, and their eldest is working on his Eagle Service Project. (See comments yesterday's post.)
This is my mutant orange tree. There's new growth on it every year, but it never gets bigger. (!?) It does have the sweetest oranges I ever tasted. Sometimes the birds leave a few for us.