Back in the 1970s, my big brother was a cub scout and our mom was den leader. We put paper bags on our heads and beat each other with rolled up newspapers and went to the state capitol in Salem but that is about all I remember. Never once did I think, “How can my mom teach boys to be men?” The scouts have rapidly changed for the worse since then.
My experiences hiking near scouts
At sixteen years old, after a lifetime of my super dad teaching my brother and I to hunt, fish, shoot, fight, hike and swim, I took a seven-day hike alone in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness prior to my senior year in high school.
There, one afternoon, as I set down my lightweight, streamlined pack to set up my small tent, a scout troop of pudgy kids my age showed up. The entire twenty-boy group showed up in a delicate pristine alpine lake meadow and dutifully began attacking every tree in sight with the hatchets they had carried in their clunky, falling apart ancient-ass backpacks.
After thoroughly destroying the meadow full of trees that took a hundred years to grow ten feet tall in order to build a bundle of sticks they called a “raft,” they all tried to light the remaining trees they had cut down on fire to cook the cans of beans they had brought.
Since I had been hiking alone for a week I hung out with them and learned that they were all Mormon boys from the same “ward.” The ones who could swim jumped off some cliffs with me into the lake. One ran off because there was a bee chasing him (recall that we were all about sixteen). Out of the twenty, maybe ...
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