My Boy Scout troop, Troop No. 4, met in the basement of Santa Barbara Junior High School. Our volunteer scoutmaster helped to guide us through the various scouting merit badges. His ability to shoulder the acute responsibilities of taking a large group of young boys into the mouth of Mother Nature is only now better understood.
Our basement meetings always started with, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Our ventures out into the world of pup tents and sleeping bags included Davy Brown Campground and Black Butte, in the desert.
These, and a host of others, gave me a pioneer spirit of self-reliance.
Then as a father of boys, I had the “scouting confidence” to take them on a seven-day backpacking trip into our backcountry. Many life lessons were learned on that trip, and it is with sincere thanks to the Boy Scouts of America.