Don't get all tied up in knots about it, but February 8 marks a milestone. That's when the Boy Scouts of America organization reaches its 100th birthday.
Many high-achieving adults (such as President Gerald Ford) have credited Scouting with helping shape their lives. Eleven of the 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon had been Scouts. (The twelfth was, understandably, unprepared when the others filled his spacesuit with Cheeze Whiz.) Scouting lessons on character, citizenship, and personal fitness are invaluable to the movers and shakers of society. ("Why, I can name every species of flora and fauna that my company bulldozed out of a home.")
Compared to the general population, the U.S. Senate contains a disproportionate number of former Scouts. The senators never forget their Scouting lessons. ("As I look around at my esteemed colleagues who have gathered to fix the deficit problem, I remember a similar incident in Scouting when we were also up the creek without a paddle..."). Of course the politicians' policy of "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" would probably have gotten them kicked out of the tent way back when. The senators' ideas about "first aid" have certainly changed over the years. ("First, aid the lobbyists...")
There are currently more than four million youth members in the different age-based divisions of Scouting. It's unfortunate that a lot of kids (myself included) sort of fade away after the Cub Scout phase. Alas, members become distracted by cars, jobs, and what's that other thing that interests so many teenage boys? Oh, yeah. ("Hey, kid --this g-string is made for dollar bills -- not merit badges!")
The squeaky clean Norman Rockwell image of the Scouts (slogan: "Do a good turn daily") has been tarnished in recent years because of lawsuits and PR blitzes from avowed atheists, agnostics, and homosexuals (none of whom are allowed to have leadership roles in Scouting). I understand the left-leaning multiculturalists would like to make some more changes, such as:
1. The group's name would change to Boy Scouts of Territory Seized From The Indigenous Peoples.
2. Pack 200 would make reparations in perpetuity because in 1973 one of the Scouts swiped some Girl Scout cookies.
3. Scouts must demonstrate that they can navigate by the constellations and successfully find their way to...a place where they can hand out free condoms.
4. Scouts would be famed for helping little old transvestites cross the street.
5. Carbon footprints at the Boy Scout Jamboree would be minimized by telling ghost stories around a roaring solar panel.
6. Members would be tested on outdoors survival skills such as starting a fire by rubbing two embryonic stem cells together.
Although some treat the name "Boy Scout" with disdain (dismissing Scouts as too idealistic or goody-goody), we should all be willing to donate our time and money to help the program thrive in its second century. The world is a better place for the presence of a group whose law is "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."
Of course, Pat Robertson is quick to point out, "Change just 12 of those words and you have a pact with the Devil!" *Sigh* Maybe if we kept Pat's mouth sprayed full of Cheeze Whiz...
Note: Danny Tyree welcomes mail at 1801 Snake Creek Rd., Belfast, TN 37019.