Cub Scouts

Cub Scout: (n) a member of the junior division (ages 8–10) of the Boy Scouts.


It was supposed to be a weekend trip to see if I liked it.

“It” referring to an outing with the Cub Scouts.

I was nine years old but much larger than the other boys. Actually, I was much larger than my dad. So when I asked to sign up for the troop, there was a hesitation I had not seen when the other boys expressed curiosity.

Here is what they told me:

  1. We’re not so sure you’ll like it.
  2. There’s a lot of walking and hiking.
  3. The tents are small.


  1. We checked. They don’t have a Cub Scout uniform in your size.

Much to the chagrin of the Scout leader, his wife offered to sew me one, so that I could be part of the troop. After he gave her a sour look, we proceeded on to plan a trial excursion, where I would join the Cub Scouts—uniformless—for a weekend, to see if it was (pardon the expression) a good fit.

Even though I was young, I realized quickly that the leader was so reluctant to have me join his little conclave of Cubbies that he found it difficult to converse with me, and was a bit bitter when he attempted to answer questions.

I tried my hardest—and when that was not good enough, I tried my damndest.

I thought I had some moments where I sort of resembled one of the guys doing guy things out beneath the pines.

But I was slower in the walking.

I was stuffed into a tent instead of placed there.

And it was obvious that for me, bending and crawling were not fluid endeavors.

At the end of the weekend I decided to drop my application. It was obvious to me—and probably the other dudes—that our leader was relieved and thankful to return to fearless.

I will never know whether I quit because of the strain or because I felt unwanted.

Unwanted is more than a feeling.

It’s a sentence—a punishment.

And if you’re a young, fat boy, it can be a demand to eat more, to escape the condemnation of having eaten too much.


funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Boy Scout


Boy Scout: (n) a member of the Boy Scouts of America

I tried to join. I really did.

It’s not that I was interested in campfires, forest animals or hiking. It’s just that one of my friends was a Boy Scout, and he convinced me we could have more time goofing off together if I donned the scarf and signed on the dotted line.Dictionary B

So I came for an interview with Mr. Randall, the Scout leader. He was an interesting man. He was not married, but very fussy, with a soft voice. In my day and age, we just considered him to be an oddball. Today I think most people would assume he was gay.

Yet he was dedicated to the Boy Scout cause.

He could tie a knot in anything.

And all the guys from the troop really respected him and loved him, although some of the more judgmental mothers were a little frightened that his softer ways might rub off on their masculine munchkins.

My interview with Mr. Randall did not go well.

It began to deteriorate when he took my measurements for a uniform, and realized it was unavailable except in the adult leadership size. So he set out, in a very kind way, to discourage me from joining the Boy Scouts, explaining all of the walking, lifting, carrying and struggles involved in a weekend pack meeting.

His technique was very effective. Even though I wanted to have a yellow scarf and a Scout uniform, I was not willing to pay the price for such a benefit.

By the way, Mr. Randall did not stay in our community too long. I never knew the entire story, but eventually, one by one, the young men who were receiving great training and quality lifestyle direction from this leader, left the scout troop at the bequest of their mothers and fathers.

Soon Mr. Randall was a troop leader … with no troop.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adventure: (n) an unusual, exciting and possibly hazardous experience or activity.

Make up your mind.

Is it unusual? Or exciting?

Is it exciting? Or is it hazardous?

Sometimes the dictionary sounds like my grandma. One of her favorite sayings, when she occupied grumpy human space, was, “I know it sounds like fun, but it also sounds dangerous.”

First of all, that’s not a great deterrent to a teenager who thinks that “fun” and “dangerous” should be the same. I think we greatly inhibit our progress as human beings–and also rob ourselves of opportunities–by trying to evaluate everything based upon whether it’s unusual. I also believe that connoting that the definition of “adventure” fits into one of those three categories is probably the most efficient way to keep people efficient–and boring.

I disagree with Webster. Adventure is just the way it sounds–it’s adding a venture.

It’s taking on something new, seeing how it flies, and making sure you don’t get TOO far off the ground–so if it crashes, there will be no loss of life or limb. Otherwise, you start believing you’ve got to do something truly weird to express yourself, or worse, totally expensive.

I have friends who can’t have fun unless they spend money. To a certain degree isn’t that the antithesis of fun? Because even as you’re enjoying the surroundings, you’re lamenting the loss of income.

No, I think “adventure” should be adding a venture to your life every week, different from the previous week, which does not involve much capital, much time or much loss of anything. For instance:

  • Once in your life you should volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  • You should probably go hiking.
  • Get on a lonely stretch of road and drive your car real fast.
  • Surprise a stranger on the street with a five-dollar bill.
  • Be in a good mood when people think you probably shouldn’t.

Just find things that are already built into nature which are intriguing and take them on, so when the subjects are brought up, you can have a story.

There you go. That’s what life is all about. Granting yourself enough ventures that you can always come up with a story … often describing how much you despised the addition.