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.

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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