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Piece #13 - The Boy Scouts

If there was one program I was truly grateful for my parents signing me up in, it was the Boy Scouts of America. I'm sure the next question you're thinking is did I earn the final badge that is given...Eagle? The answer is...heck yeah! I'm very proud to say that I'm an Eagle Scout, since 1986! (Man, I'm gettin' old!) The other cool thing is that my brother is one as well! They were able to provide so many experiences and interesting times.

One thing I wished I knew was how many times my wife and I had crossed paths as we were growing up. There is one thing I can say though; every year our local mall (Metro North) would host the Boy Scouts exhibition. My troop, 314 (Sponsored by the Platte Woods United Methodist Church – My old church), would do the Indian dancing in the middle of the mall for literally, everyone to see. Jaimee remembers the times when she would watch us dance and make funny comments about the outfits...or there the lack of! It was more fun when I was older and I got to dance in the middle with a modified Indian outfit...I was a firebuilder in the tribe of Mic-O-Say; my name was Glowing Swift Red Bird. I think many of the adults thought that was an odd name, but I was an odd kid. The whole Indian tribal stuff originated at summer camp in Iconium, MO. (The H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation) The first time I went to camp, it was difficult because it was nine days and it was a long trip home. (Remember gang, no cell phones at the time!) It was a good place to earn several merit badges in a short amount of time. I was even able to do the mile swim and became a part of the 400 club in shooting. (I was a good shot!) There was one time when my good friend Chris S. and I had laid out food in the middle of the night and when we heard some rustling around; we quickly turned on our flashlights and saw several baby raccoons all huddled near the tree where the food was located. It was quite dangerous if you didn't know what you were doing because you could find scorpions, copperheads, water moccasins (Both venomous snakes), poisonous spiders...I think you get the idea.

You would think someone with Asperger's like me would try to stay away from any leadership rolls because of the attention that it would draw, but I always took advantage of any opportunity to lead. I was never a patrol leader, but I was the assistant. When I was older, I joined the Leadership Corp. and tried to run for Senior Patrol Leader (on several occasions), but I was never voted in. However, I did make Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and there was one time when we had a water skiing camp out and I was made acting Senior Patrol Leader for the trip. The funny part was I hated this camp out because I hated water skiing. (There's a good reason why, but it takes too long to explain right now.) Needless to say, I was running the show, from the activities, the dinner and the campfire fun; I did it all. Later that night, a strong storm had blown in and I remember being the first person up and checking everyone's tents to make sure they were all stable to handle the high winds that night. The next morning, I ran the church service and then we went home. It was great! After becoming Eagle, I joined a special Eagle Post and became the president of the group. I was able to organize a snow skiing trip to Nebraska which was awesome. (I do like snow skiing...weird, huh?)

I have to tip my hat to the Scouts for giving me the lifelong lessons that carried me through my young life. (The girls did try Girl Scouts, but they didn't like it very much. Oh well.) I'm glad they gave me a chance to do different things, even though I was very different myself. They challenged me and I rose up to it...all the way to Eagle.
If you would like to know more about their organization, here is their website:

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes!]:

Song: "Live Life Loud"

Artist: Hawk Nelson

Album: Live Life Loud

Here's the video from the selected song:

Sigh...this is the only picture I could find of myself in my Boy Scout years. Why did it have to be the Indian outfit?!!!

I was in the raven patrol so that's why I had the raven, not by choice because everyone in the patrol had the same thing. (Unless you were in Mic-O-Say, but I was too young at that point.)

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