January 01, 2012

Adventures with Boy Scout Troop 66

Thomas J. Crane

My son joined Troop 66, a local Boy Scout troop in San Antonio, Texas, in 2003. Boy Scout troops today require some adult involvement. Long gone are the days when a scoutmaster managed a large troop on his or her own.

Like many parents, I attended almost every campout my son attended and many of his summer camps. And, trust me, the first year was a killer. As first-year scouts, the boys were in their own patrol. Some six boys, all in sixth grade, were required to plan and cook all their own meals and clean up afterward. The boys agreed pretty quickly on what they wanted to eat. The only restriction was they could not use canned food or prepared meals. But that first year, almost always, they would fuss over who would clean the big pot with crusted food stains. Cleaning a pot like that is hard enough in a modern, home environment. But try cleaning a crusted pot the size of Rhode Island when you are 11 years old and you have nothing more than one big bowl of semi-soapy water with which to clean it.

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