Monday, April 21, 2014

Cub Scout Dropout

When we were younger, we wanted to be cub scouts so badly. We wanted to go camping, and hiking, and shooting. We wanted to learn how to build fires and survive in the wild. We wanted to be the Bear Grylls of our generation.

So we both signed up for cub scouts, and we... lasted a whole three months before we quit, thanks to this guy.


Yes, that's right kids, long before Pharrell was wearing that big stupid hat it was the headgear of choice of the scoutmaster, aka the leader of the cub scouts. And Scoutmaster Steve was a huge buzzkill.

You see, we wanted to dive right into the rugged manliness of picking your teeth with tree branches or starting fires with your bare hands or making a bear skin rug with a live bear.


Unfortunately for us, Scoutmaster Steve had something else in mind.









For weeks at a time each "cub scout meeting" was nothing more than a seminar on how to not be a little snot. There was no hiking, or camping, or wrestling mountain lions. No, there was only learning how to be a polite young man. It was like charm school, but for wee little nerds wearing neckerchiefs and short shorts.

We were promised camping and hiking in the future, though, so long as we learned how to be responsible young men and so long as we helped raise money for camping. How would we raise money, you ask? We were forced to do this by selling... wait for it... the ever lucrative and desirable commodity of stale packing peanuts, aka the Boy Scouts popcorn.



We were the laughing stock of the girl scouts and their delicious cookies. And you can bet that not only did we not sell a damn thing, but we got so many doors slammed in our little faces.

Yet after suffering through this, somehow, someway Scoutmaster Steve finally allowed us to go camping...

And it was awful.








And so we quit, having never learned how to piss off the side of a mountain or arm wrestle a buck or fly majestically on the wings of a bald eagle.

...But we can still spot a green-winged Teal from a mile away and differentiate a siltstone from a sandstone like you would not fucking believe.

Anyone else ever in the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts? Was it as lousy and boring as our experience?

Cheers and stay wild, friends,
B&B

Music: Canon Blue
Beer: Lagunitas Little Sumpin'






121 comments:

  1. Crap, we should've traded Scoutmasters - the last thing I wanted to do was go out into the wilderness with the bugs and dirt, but that's what ours wanted to do.
    Maybe I went into it with the wrong attitude?
    Probably for the best that I became a band geek instead.
    Now, how many rocks can you guys name? Gravel doesn't count...

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    1. Oooh, this one's easy. Punk rock, alternative rock, folk rock, postcore rock... wait, we were still talking band geek stuff, right?

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  2. My son had a short stint in that prison. I thought, like you, they would do outdoorsy stuff and make him tired, I mean HAPPY, but they mostly only did lame tours of radio stations on Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Oh, and they did have that patch for tying knots in rope. Whoopie.

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    1. We didn't even get to tie any knots. I'm assuming it's because I would have just tied a noose and ended it right there.

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  3. Scout groups never really took my interest, I was more of a stay-at-home-bumming-around kind of kid.
    I did have a bit of a wonky teacher for self defense though, but god forbid those memories get out of the vault. All I remember is that if you're getting beating, you need to take it like the little shit you are, and not to cry too loud.

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    1. Those memories actually sound exciting. You don't know how heartbroken I was when I signed up for after school karate, only to realize it was a weekly class on how to not talk to strangers and what to do if someone offered you drugs. We probably learned a single digit number of useless punches and kicks in the full year I took that class.

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  4. I was in Girl Scouts. Sold the cookies. Went "camping" with my Brownie scout troop. Earned the badges. I actually enjoyed my time as a Brownie scout. I was promoted to a Junior scout with the teal sash, which meant changing from my former troop to a new group. The new leader was patronizing and the new group were essentially a pre-pubescent clique. I quit right after my first meeting. Such a waste of time and money.

    AND I never even learned how to tie knots.

    -Barb

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    1. I like how camping is in quotes. Was it in someone's backyard? Or was it in a fully decked out RV with TV and video games and air conditioning?

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    2. The first time was as a sleepover INSIDE of someone's house as a means to simulate what our future "camping" trip would be like.

      The second proper "camping" trip featured driving down to the Florida Keys to stay in little air conditioned huts. As far as roughing it was concerned, we had to traverse a wide area of palm trees in order to get to the bathroom, which had proper functioning toilets.

      Yeah. I've never really gone camping. --.--

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  5. I was a boy scout once. But after about 4 meetings and still not even a uniform to show for it and not a single second spent in the great outdoors, I decided to quit the boy scouts. And then I discovered pot.

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    1. We stuck it out longer than 4 meetings because we were naive chumps. So... are there any stories from you that don't end in "and then I got high?"

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    2. Well, there was this one time when I got high BEFORE baseball practice. At the end of practice I was very thirsty.

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  6. I don't know what i did as a kid. Seriously: Everybody else was in Scouts or took piano lessons or played soccer. I remember playing outside and that is all.

    I'm thinking I might have been abducted by aliens and my brain is merely trying to fill in lost time by hypothesizing days spent playing at the bayou catching turtles. Nobody catches turtles at the bayou for a full decade, do they?

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    1. Depending on how much of a romantic you are, spending 10 years catching turtles could either be the most wondrous childhood ever... or the most idiotic.

      "Mommy, I caught a turtle!'
      "I know, sweetie, you caught him yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that, too. Please go put him back and wash your hands. You're slowly killing him by constantly removing him from his natural ecosystem."

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  7. I've not been a scout or anything but I have a friend who's in some co-ed version of the Scouts called Venture Crew. She was in the girl scouts but she hated her fellow scouts and left. She seems to enjoy it, and they have some camping trips planned for the summer. I did always want to learn to know survival and stuff though. I guess I'll stick to Surviving For Dummies.

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    1. Everything we've learned about survival we've learned through trial and error. I mean, it worked for cavemen, so why not for us, right?

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  8. I played baseball in a little league and never had to time to consider Boy Scouts. Though I learned very recently that the Scouts require every one of their members to have a belief in God (well at least the generic Supreme Being) and if I remember right you also have to attend a religious building such as a church or synagogue.

    I assume if I wanted to work there they couldn't do anything because I'd be protected under federal law because they can't do anything to discriminate against religious views. But scouts as members don't have that luxury.

    The scouts still have the popcorn thing but in recent memory they also have coupon books. We had a reusable one that basically gave us a 2nd pizza every time we went to Dominoes.

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    1. Wow, that's odd, our Scouts troop wasn't religious in the slightest, nor were we ever required to go to church or profess any particular belief. Instead, we hung out at the Elks Lodge with a bunch of elderly Elks members all hooked up to ventilators while smoking like chimneys in our presence.

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    2. "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members."

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    3. Another group that does this is the Freemasons.

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    4. Yeesh. Thankfully ours wasn't like that. Not that it made the experience any better. I mean, I spent many a night praying for things to get more exciting, and well, we see how that worked out.

      (Actually, it worked out okay. Camping as an adult is so much more awesome than camping as a little kid could have ever been)

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  9. Yeah, that sounds like a pretty crappy camping trip. Your scoutmaster sucked.

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    1. I don't know how it was possible, but he was able to instantly zap the fun out of ANYTHING.

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  10. I was a Brownie - that's before Girl Scouts. I learned how to macrame, sew, collect money for Unicef and I vaguely remember making a cornstalk doll of some sort. My parents asked me if I wanted to try gymnastics and I dropped Brownies like a bad habit. Learning how to flip through the air sounded way cooler than sitting in some circle learning how to weaver a wicker basket. And, it was way cooler.

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    1. So did you actually learn how to flip through the air, or was it a weekly seminar on how to stop, drop, and roll if you were ever on fire?

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    2. Woah, fella! You're talking about a girl who was nicknamed The Rubberband. That's right, that's a capital T you're looking at right now. (so what if the nickname was from my Aunt. No matter.)

      Yep. I kicked ass in gymnastics until I got into high school. Then I choose to go a different route with my life. That's a story for another day, my young one.

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  11. I was in girl scouts for a year but ours wasn't your cookie selling one but the Baden Powell one. All we learnt was to sing some songs and shake hands with your left after spending some fortune on clothes and some carnivals and stores to collect money. Yeah, we did learn to do some CPR and first aid treatments for snake bites and all. When it came to learning knots my dad's job transferred to some other city a small town and they had something similar but it was all about cleaning streets and helping elderly cross the street, why do I have to sell candies and collect donations to learn to do that? I quit. I always had sports to bunk my regular classes , didnt need this one. Karate one was similar to my guide(scouts) story before I learnt to break terracota tiles my mom pulled me out.

    Apparently the rumor that started calling me my dad's son instead of daughter worried my mom and she feared that no MIL would marry off their son to me and it did come true. My mom should have let me finish till I got my black belt.

    good times Bryan. Good times..

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    1. So, an Indian stereotype here... how many snake bites have you had to treat in your lifetime? We never even learned CPR. I think we just learned to ask for an adult's help. But what if the adult is the one who's dying? I don't think anyone thought of that...

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    2. Thankfully none. Why I remember snakebite is because it was pretty graphic, cut and then suck the blood out after you tie your scarf tight to stop the blood flow. It was around 20 years ago. What is phobia for snakes called? I can't watch even pictures of snakes for long. CPR you try on a mannequin/dummy French kissed by zillions.

      if I ever have to fight a snake or save someone from snakes bite, I would try what Indian movies taught me not what my scout guide taught me.
      Play "magudi"- snake charmer's flute or whatever and in trance the snake would return and suck the venom out by itself from its victim.

      easy..

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  12. I was not in scouts of any kind, nor were my siblings. I was in gymnastics, my brother played every sport known to man and excelled at all of them. Seriously. Name a sport and he's best in his league at it. Even ridiculous sports like bar darts. Who thought that giving drunk people items that maim to throw around was a good idea? There's a reason middle school track does not involve the javelin. As coaches, we had a hard enough time teaching them not to drop the shot put on their toes...they were a really coordinated bunch, them shot putters...
    So yeah, gymnastics. I was in it forever, and did really well, and since it was every day for four hours, there wasn't much time for anything else, including homework, but I managed it all and didn't get my ulcer until I was a junior and had added cross-country, a job teaching gymnastics, marching band, and a boyfriend. Good times.
    I do know how to tie a bunch of knots though, because I sail. I could teach you. And take you camping. We camp a LOT. And we bring beer. You canNOT camp without beer, and it comes out fairly early in the day because there's no driving when you're camping, and when you're hiking, there's a trail to follow...good times there too.
    So let me know if I can be of assistance in teaching you any of these skills.
    So was it my tired brain (yes, it's not even 9 am yet...) or did the scoutmaster also teach you karate?
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. That was just a joke at the end, but yes the scoutmaster was also the karate instructor. I really did take after school karate, though, and after getting my hopes up that I was going to be the next Ralph Macchio it was nothing but a bunch of "Don't ever talk to strangers" and "Here's what you do if a strange man tries to offer you candy" bullshit.

      We both go camping a lot every year. We just had to learn on our own; thanks for nothing, Boy Scouts. And you don't have to tell us about the beer. Probably my favorite hiking memory is climbing to the top of a mountain and chugging a beer to celebrate as man triumphantly conquers nature.

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  13. That sounds like a terrible experience. Since the wildlife here consists mainly of tiny harmless frogs, if I wanted to go camping I could have just asked an adult. I think I did a few times. It wasn't as exciting as it would be now.

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    1. Camping as a kid - lame as hell. Camping as an adult - fucking awesome. Beer and guns and climbing mountains? All at once? YES PLEASE.

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  14. Ours was called Cubs, I spent like 2 years in that thing and I still can't name a rock, but oh we learned to tie knots, which I forgot, stayed over night at a luxury cabin, really ruffing it, went to some scout camp with all kinds of buildings, ruffing it again, even got stuck rooming with a guy who crapped his pants and had to take the crap out the next day on a shingle. I took a picture of him and got in shit, if I didn't give the film, I wouldn't get the cub ring, wow, such a threat. But I won the cub car races, yippee for me! lol

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    1. Wow, what a story.

      You know, Brandon won the Pinewood Derby car race too... Because he cheated and put lead weights in it. The moral of the story? Engineering wins second place, cheating wins first. Take THAT, little eight year old that actually tried.

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  15. My daughter is a Girl Scout...and I have the fifty boxes of Thin Mints all over my house to prove it! I think your experience in either Boy or Girl Scouts, all comes down to one thing: your leader! Our GS leader happens to be awesome, but if you get a dud, like you guys did, it's just not the same.

    BTW, here is a classic story of my Husband and his time in the Boy Scouts. He had the opposite of your leader- he had a guy who took the kids deep into the woods in the dark and ditched them! Wanted to see if they could find their way out! LOL. In this day and age he would be arrested. Good thing for that guy, The Hubs, (even as a kid) was a total badass. He calmed down all the crying kids, started a fire from scratch and was able to build a makeshift shelter. He got water from a nearby stream, and fed them all with the crap ton of beef jerky he had stuffed in his pockets the day before. He keep all the scouts from panicking, and then led them out of the woods, unharmed, the next morning.

    PS: I love the cartoon little boy Bryan and Brandon faces; too cute!!

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    1. Wow, that's insane. Our camping trip was not that bad, but was still pretty awful. You see, they wanted kids to earn the "Polar Bear Badge" by letting kids sleep out in the 20 degree weather all night. I didn't even have an insulating sleeping bag. So I told the scoutmaster I didn't want to do it. He warned me, "You can sleep with us in our big tent with heaters, but you won't get the badge!"

      Yeah, me not getting some arbitrary badge was totally worth not freezing my prepubescent nuts off for 12 hours.

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  16. I had the same bill of goods sold to me about a group called Explorers. We never went on the promised camping trips or nature hikes or anything either. All the girls just sat around in a church basement and talked about how much they loved that cute Davy Jones of The Monkees. Ugh. SO useless.

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    1. I once joined an art club that was kind of like that. Everyone just sat around and talked about how much they loved anime. I lasted about 30 minutes and then never returned.

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    1. You know, I still fit into my Cub Scout uniform. Not well, and I look like a rapist, but... technically I DO fit.

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  18. I was always envious of those town kids, with their tiny little military style uniforms and their troops that I wasn't allowed to be a part of. My dad was a firm believer that children were bred to be used for manual labour, and he took full advantage of my broad shoulders and weak mind. However, our rural community did try to start a ball team once, and somehow I managed to finagle my way onto that. I can only remember playing on game though. I suspect that the all the other local farmers got together and decided that there was too much productivity being lost, during that hour on a Saturday afternoon.

    Oh well, I'm off to line up jobs for my kids for the the day, since it's a day off from school.

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    1. Brandon's been working construction since he was 12, so... he knows the feeling, man. It's not just the farm kids who were labor bound straight out of the womb.

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  19. I never joined. Now I am very thankful for it

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  20. I tried a stint at cadets once. My friends' family was big into it, so I tagged along occasionally. It got to the point where I would have to "do stuff" in order to get a uniform and then show up more regularly than "occasionally". All that to walk around in circles in a gymnasium. I never went back and I've never looked back. I can tie a knot just fine, thank-you! (... ... ... it's the untying that's the hard part... ...)

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    1. Not only did we never learn how to tie any knots, I still, at 30 years old, cannot tie a tie. Thanks for nothing, scouts!

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  21. I didn't do the scouting thing at all. I have bought Girl Scout cookies, though:)

    When I was in the 6th grade my mom discovered this organization through our then-church called Pioneer Girls. They met weekly (or every other week... I can't remember now) and we didn't do much during the year other than crafts. And learn Bible verses. But in the summer you could go to CAMP. Now that was a life-altering experience for me. I LOVED CAMP. I went every year for longer and longer periods. Eventually I stayed five weeks - the most that was offered. And I went through their counselor in training program and became a counselor. Whole other story. But I loved Riflery and Archery the best. Not sure what that says about me. And building campfires every night and singing songs. It was great. I never did learn how to tie knots, but I can still kill a target with a .22 rifle... and by that I mean shoot a tight little circle right in the head. Those are skills a girl NEEDS.

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    1. You went to a camp that had shooting AND archery? Am I ever envious. Any woman that can shoot a target and build a campfire is alright by us. Much more useful that learning how to tie knots and macrame a sweater.

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  22. My brothers both did scouts, and they went on lots of campouts and learned how to play with fire. My son is in scouts, too. They do leather and wood-working, and at their day-camp last summer, he got his archery badge. I think your scout leader might have been broken.

    I never was a Boy Scout, you know, being a girl and all. But I never did girl scouting either. I wanted to, but my parents made me choose between that and taking piano lessons. I think I made the right choice.

    Oh, and a fun side note about the karate class thing: My son currently wants to take up karate lessons, having seen some serious martial arts awesomeness on TV and such, and his father and I keep telling him: "Now you know that you won't be learning all of that fancy stuff for a long time, right? You have to start at the top and work really hard..." To which our son responds: "What was that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me practicing my awesome karate moves that I saw on TV. HEEEYAAAHHH!!!"

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    1. **Start at the BOTTOM, not at the top. Freaking typos...

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    2. If the kids' karate classes are anything like the ones I went through as a kid, you learn a few basic punches and a few basic kicks and the rest of it is spent talking about not doing drugs and not taking candy from strangers, etc etc.

      Either way, though, while real karate is a lot of fun and super flashy it also holds absolutely no weight in a real fight. So, you know, make sure he knows that before he goes around challenging other kids...

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    3. I'd argue that karate has merit in a real fight, it's just that most schools are kind of light on the contact.

      The last thing you want is the first time you try to actually defend yourself with karate to be a real fight.

      Unfortunately, that means you're going to get hit a few times in the learning process. Because before you learn to block 'em or slip 'em, you're gonna take 'em.

      I was a lousy boxer, but I remember what my trainer said-"if you do not want to get hit in the face, keep your hands up."

      I was okay at karate because my boxing trainer had clocked me so many times, the higher ranked students getting a shot in did not faze me.

      At the end of the day, it was all not so useful as learning how not to get into fights.

      Karate Kid Part II wisdom-"best way avoid punch-no be there."

      For the most part, kids do not have to be Rocky or Chuck Norris-if they stick up for themselves, the bullies go elsewhere.

      I know no one asked for my two cents, but I gave it anyway!

      LC

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    4. Absolutely agreed with you LC, and that's exactly what I mean. As a young adult the basic stuff you learn in your typical karate studio, while cool looking, is not really that effective in a fight. I saw more than a few school fights in my day where a kid who knew karate would just get taken down to the ground and smothered/pounded. Uh oh, they don't teach THAT one in my dojo...

      Karate at that level fights under the assumption that everyone else is fighting fairly and is on their feet.

      And like you said, the best key to avoiding the big bully is just showing that you don't give a shit about what he says and standing up for yourself. I was a very thin kid but no one ever picked on me because the moment they started to try, I'd just laugh and say sorry dude, you're not even worth my time. And they'd just leave me alone.

      Oh, and you can toss in those two cents any day!

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  23. It's a wonder you guys didn't show him just how well you knew your rocks...by throwing them at his head...it might have knocked some fun into him.

    Also, I love your "not amused" faces lol

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    1. I don't know if giving him irreparable brain damage would have made him more fun, but it might have made us feel a little better after 3 months of our lives we couldn't get back. It takes a special kind of person to make camping boring and miserable.

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  24. BEER BOYS, this was extremely funny! (I almost spit up toothpaste while reading it.)

    I loved that bit about using a big knife to carve a tree branch into a big knife! YES! Let's reinvent the wheel using a wheel as our model!

    6-B, you'll be drinking a different Lagunitas brew soon!
    See ya tonight at the theatre (I'm looking forward to the laughs).

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Uh oh, do you read our posts while in the bathroom, or do you eat toothpaste? Or did it make you laugh so hard you almost puked up yesterday's toothpaste?

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  25. I'm still laughing at "drinking mtn dew to simulate drinking my own urine for survival." You guys were cute kids, and smart to leave that ultra-conservative, homophobic, pedophiliac organization early on.

    xoRobyn

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    1. On the plus side, the scoutmaster wasn't a pedophile. I think he loved those rocks and those birds more than he liked any of us.

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  26. I personally, think you dodged a bullet. (although probably not shot by a Cub Scout..I don't think they allow 8 year olds to have guns) I was a Girl Scout for a minimal length of time and was sadly disappointed in the experience. I did last one year but only because my mom was the Girl Scout leader and it would of been too embarrassing to admit that her own kid couldn't make the cut. I couldn't take the test of saying the Girl Scout oath in it's entirety. I don't think it was a memory problem as much as having to stand up in front of the crowd of girls and recite it. (at least that's the story I am going with.)
    Later in life, I became a Camp Fire Girl leader for my daughter. (I avoided the Girl Scout organization for fear my history of not being able to say the oath might catch up with me.)
    Turns out Camp Fire Girls really do camp....which I hate. If it weren't for the s'mores, I would of gone MIA...well that and my little 7 year old daughter would of been left holding the bag for having the only Campfire Girl leader that went AWOL.

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    1. They had a Girl Scout oath you have to memorize? I wonder if they have a Boy Scout oath you have to memorize. Apparently Boy Scouts was so terribly boring that I've forgotten more about it than I remember.

      And I know they'd never allow 8 year olds guns, but I hadn't watched A Christmas Story by then... "You'll shoot your eye out!"

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  27. Sorry that you never got to do any of the fun camping stuff, but you both looked pretty cute in your short shorts, and neckerchiefs! Our younger son was a Cub Scout, and one of the highlights was building a small model race car with my husband. I contributed by eating the crummy popcorn.

    Julie

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    1. We thought we were so cool going to school in our scouts uniforms for the day... we were so, so wrong. And really, I've had some awesome popcorn in my lifetime. Why is the Boy Scouts popcorn just so bad?

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  28. That's hilarious--sorry you had a bad scout leader; my husband made it all the way to Eagle Scout and he loved it. His scout leader was one of those rugged outdoorsy types and they went camping all the time. But my nephew is at the cub stage and is always trying to pawn that popcorn off on us. We buy some to be supportive but it's awful!

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    1. I think we probably would have stuck with scouts a lot longer if our scoutmaster was one of those rugged outdoorsy types. Sadly, he was not. He was more interested in being our popcorn pimp, and judging by sales, that wasn't working well for any of us.

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  29. All I'm going to say is that my boys had a much better scouting experience than I did and leave it at that. But neither one of them ever sold any of that popcorn. Except to us.

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the only people I managed to sell any popcorn to was my parents. And I kid you not, my mom still has that popcorn. In the tin. She just likes the tin, but knows that the contents, even back when they were fresh, were awful.

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  30. So your progressed from Mt Dew simulating your own urine to craft beers simulating...what? Just kidding! Can you tell I'm not a beer drinker? I did a very short stint as a Girl Scout, but I was a Girl Scout Leader for a short time. We did fun things like learn how to build really big fires, shoot,sail, and survive outdoors in Florida. The GSA got wind of what was going on with my troop. They wanted us (me) to conform to their standards and we started going round and round. I finally lost all respect when they wanted my girls to do a flag ceremony for some big deal in Atlanta, GA (how was I going to get this poor kids to GA). I was dumfounded, until I found out that I had the only integrated GS troop in their particular council at the time. I was leaving the South anyway, so it all went by the wayside.

    It's a shame that organizations like BSA and GSA which should be good and really help kids (especially city kids, IMO) have become such political entities, not to mention a breeding ground for some serious nefarious activity.. Ah, the way of the world. Scouting has become a great place for some basic social engineering. Hitler knew that and used it to his advantage.

    Sit back enjoy a craft beer, smoke a joint, and listen to the music. Maybe if more scout leaders did that, the world would be a better place. Well, maybe not, but the kids sure would have more fun.

    OK, I'm done. You can have your blog back now.

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    1. If I ever want to simulate drinking my own piss with beer I just chug a 12 pack of Coors Light and then feel a tiny shudder of buzzedness after consuming all of that terrible tasting 4% alcohol.

      You know, I understand what they were going for with our BS group (pun completely intended) and that we needed to learn some responsibility before doing the fun stuff, but I just remember even as a little kid being 3 months in to "you have to be responsible, you have to be responsible" week after week after week and thinking okay, for fuck's sake I'm responsible now, when can you show me ANYTHING I will use in the real world? You can't even just TELL me how to start a fire safely or set up a tent?

      Our scout leader definitely did not partake in the green, otherwise if he did he might have wedged that enormous stick out of his ass from time to time and let us be kids.

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  31. I didn't need scouts. I was into super heroes.

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    1. I was into video games (the original Nintendo) and after 3 months of torturous scouting, picking between "stop, drop, and roll part 7" and "Legend of Zelda" was such an easy choice.

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  32. I never did the girl scouts because I thought the outfits were ugly.

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    1. The boys' outfits were not any better, trust me. We looked like we were going to hike our way straight into an atomic wedgie.

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  33. I briefly wanted to be a Cub Scout because a bunch of the kids in my class were in Scouts, and I was envious of their crisp blue uniforms with the snappy yellow scarfs. Parents said no, though, without explaining why. But it went to prove that they knew what they were doing long before I did.

    Rather than spending my time in a gym, tying knots, or "camping" in a local metropark, I instead whiled away my free time playing baseball, going to the pool, and tormenting my brother. Good times!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I couldn't imagine being a scout in a location that didn't even have proper camping. "Well, Nebraska Scouts, we don't really have 'mountains,' so we're going to go camping in a cornfield! Yay! ...Watch out for stray cows."

      Meanwhile, we have beautiful Colorado here with its tons of mountainous areas and nature trails and we were stuck inside learning why we should always be polite to old people.

      Delete
  34. I remember the Cub Scouts being run out of my school. They had meetings right after the bell, so all the Cub Scouts in my class wore their uniforms all day. I was so jealous at the time, but thinking now... shorts and black knee socks all day in class. They were like eight year-old retirees in Boca Raton.

    Does crack me up the sheer amount of fund-raising that the Girl Scouts do compared to their male counterparts. Shouldn't the Girl Scouts have a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier by now? And a fleet of drones shooting death down on "Britney and those other stuck up bitches at Carver Junior High"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they donate it to the Boy Scouts as a way of saying, "Sorry we have delicious crack-laced cookies while all you have is salted cardboard"?

      Delete
  35. Is that what Scout Leaders look like?

    I was Spotted Owl for my two girl brownies for a while. We had an exciting campout with several troops of little Brownies. There was a small kitchen fire, they dumped baking soda on it as a fire deterrant, a girl with asthma inhaled it and we had to call paramedics. I think it's the only trip I accompanied them on.

    And I was not in the kitchen when they dumped the baking soda on the grill, I was elsewhere recording things with my camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really what a scout leader looks like, big stupid hat and everything.

      Delete
  36. Ha! I was deprived as a child and didn't participate in any of that. I wanted to be a brownie, because...brownies. Nom nom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, girl scouts have badass cookies AND they have brownies? Boy Scouts really got the shaft in the food department, didn't we?

      Delete
  37. Oh my gosh! This totally mirrors my Brownie/Girl Scout experience! We met in the local fire hall, week after stinkin' week, and did NOTHING. NOTHING. The most I can remember is bringing home a handmade Christmas ornament that was a styrofoam pear, spray-painted gold...by someone else, because we were not allowed to spray the paint ourselves.

    I do like the sweet little innocent Brandon and Bryan faces today, though. You almost had me convinced you were really like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You weren't even allowed to spray paint? Wow.

      "Okay kids, let's learn how to be responsible... by not giving you any responsibilities whatsoever."

      Delete
  38. That sounds really, really lame. Why not just subscribe to Your Big Backyard and be done with it?

    I was never in Girl Scouts because I thought it sounded - you guessed it - boring (except for the cookies) and I didn't want to wear a uniform. (Don't go there.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a young kid I thought, "Wow, this uniform is cool!" As an adult I think... "Wow, what the fuck was I thinking?"

      Delete
  39. I was a boy scout for about a year, but I was never much of a joiner, and I think my father enjoyed it more than I did.

    All I remember is a camping trip to the Poconos mountains in December, and freezing in a sleeping bag on a canvas tent floor.

    Who the heck goes camping in the mountains in December?

    Larry

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    Replies
    1. We omitted this from our post (didn't have enough room) but our camping trip was actually in the winter months. They wanted us to earn the "Polar Bear Badge" by sleeping out in the cold overnight. I didn't even have an insulating sleeping bag. It was just cloth. So I said to hell with that, I don't want to do it.

      The scoutmaster said, "If you want you can sleep in the parents' tent with us, but you won't get your badge." Like it was some kind of punishment. Gee, stay in the parents' gigantic full-sized tent with propane heaters, or get hypothermia for some arbitrary badge...

      Let it be known I wasn't the only one who stayed in the parents' tent that night, and while everyone was freezing their nuts off we were playing cards and having a blast.

      20 years later, and I still fully support that decision.

      Delete
  40. Hahaha, amazing. You give me such a lovely insight into American life! Categorising rocks sounds so much fun - that's a skill for life right there. I remember being in Brownies as a kid, and all I remember from that is drinking juice that tasted like piss and colouring things in. I think it really prepared me for the adult world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I see they gave Brownies Mountain Dew also.

      Delete
  41. I had a mixed experience being in scouts and cub scouts. Fun at times but I mostly just wanted to be at home and playing some vidgya games. Now as an adult camping sounds like more fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I quit scouts, I played so many video games. It was wonderful. Now that I'm an adult, I go camping so much. It's wonderful. Funny how life works out like that.

      Delete
  42. Yeah, I was in both the cub scouts and boy scouts, but gave up on scouting when I found out one night that in order to be promoted to the next level, I would've needed to write a two page essay on why. Plus mine was so cliquish I was way beyond the outside looking in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing an essay? What is this, high school? I thought scouts was supposed to be learning about the great outdoors. I can see why you dropped out.

      Delete
  43. I lasted less than you. I was really looking for the knife, but apparently you had to be all responsible and stuff to get that. BORING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's okay, responsibility is highly overrated. So are knives. But you know what's not? Guns. Lots of them, and the bigger the better.

      Delete
  44. My sister was in Brownies, but I was never good in crowds. I decided to just be a brat and have some fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were brats but we didn't have any fun. I wonder where we went wrong?

      Delete
  45. I was a Brownie, never quit making it to a full-fledged girl scout. I honestly don't remember much about it, so it must not have been too exciting...but the important thing was I was completely adorable in that uniform.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least you had some positive aspect to look back on. We looked like mini Ned Flanders with neck scarves.

      Delete
  46. I survived Girl Scouts for one whole meeting. I'd have bolted during the meeting, but it would have meant walking out in front of people. My kids lasted about three months and then quit because they didn't like doing the "homework".
    I always buy the popcorn. I like the dark chocolate drizzled kind. It's as expensive as gold!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They actually have chocolate popcorn? They've come a long way from "salted, unsalted, buttered, unbuttered." That doesn't sound terrible. Not that I'd be in any rush to go check it out.

      And homework? Wow, just when I thought OURS was bad, you dropped the H-word.

      Delete
  47. My son did the boy scouts for a year. They did hiking and went to a hockey game, which was pretty cool. But yeah, that popcorn is awful - and expensive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiking - very cool. Hockey - wtf? I love hockey, but what does that have to do with scouting?

      "This, kids, is how you get in a fight with a man wearing ice skates if he checks you in the neutral zone."

      Delete
  48. Everyone knows the Eagles only drop you halfway to where you need to go anyway, lazy gits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we quit long before that even came about. I mean, if Gandalf wanted that ring gone, he should have just done it himself. Lazy bastard. "Oh look at me, I'm a great and powerful wizard but I can't even get rid of a stupid ring."

      Delete
  49. Hahaha, I had a similar experience with Brownies (the UK version of girl scouts) when I was about 8 - we had to draw round our hands and, over a week write two helpful things we'd done that day in each finger. I pointed out that there were only 5 fingers so it didn't really add up. I also may have written, "Brown Owl is a lesbenin" in three of my fingers, and I got asked to leave the following week. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if she really was a lesbenin, then they couldn't fault you for tellin' it like it is...

      Delete
    2. Wait, which three fingers? The Brown Owl might have appreciated it after all.

      Delete
  50. Haha, I flunked out of the girl scouts as well. I didn't do well selling the cookies and could not cook a burger wrapped in foil and buried in the dirt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They made you cook burgers? As a boy scout, we never cooked burgers. Sheesh, even the girl scouts were manlier than our boy scouts...

      Delete
  51. Haha, I flunked out of the girl scouts as well. I didn't do well selling the cookies and could not cook a burger wrapped in foil and buried in the dirt.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I made it through the Cubs and into the Boy Scouts, but around Junior High had had enough of the retired Navy scoutmaster and his "let's clean the brush from every church property in east Tennessee" bullshit. This guy was one of those "swab the leaves!" kind of jerks who thought close order drills marching back and forth in the sun was educational for guys our age. The only thing that DIDN'T suck about being his scout troop was camping trips, because some of the other dads went along on those, and THEY were fun to be with. The scoutmaster himself was a total prick. We hated each other... and probably still do, if that bastard's still alive somewhere. On a lighter note, I almost got sent home from a Jamboree for using bug spray to help start our campfire during a multi-troop competition. I think the initial explosion tipped someone off that we were using accelerants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as no one burned any eyebrows off, I'd call that a success. Rub two sticks together until you get bored and say "Fuck it, I'll be cold" or spray that shit with aerosol until it leaves a mushroom cloud over the forest... that second one definitely shows initiative.

      Delete
  53. Oh, ugh. I was a Girl Scout. It sucked. Selling cookies; yeah, not fun. Especially wearing that outfit and looking like I did in those days (just take a gander at the picture to the left of this comment!). Gooooood times. Even my parents refused to buy cookies from me.

    "Get off my doorstep, you grotesque, cookie-wielding child! Oh, wait! You're my daughter. Well, come on in, I guess."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judging by the fact that my mom bought 1 tin of popcorn from me out of pity and buys at least 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies a year, I'm guessing she wishes I'd been born a girl. Either that, or I had worn a wig and infiltrated the Girl Scouts in order to get to their delicious thin mints.

      Delete
  54. I don't know if this is how all boy scout units are run, but when I joined way back when, you had to graduate from tiger scouts to wolf scouts in order to even step foot outside.

    Our scout leader was, oddly enough, a woman. She was basically a more jacked version of Chyna, and she had a voice that made Michael Clarke Duncan's seem like a Cabbage Patch Kid in comparison. Our meetings would usually be something along the lines of, "Gather around children, we're making macaroni art today."

    We did do the little car race thing. My creation came in dead last. Should've listened to everyone and weighted it.

    Having typed that all out, I think my mom might have enrolled me in girl scouts instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judging by the comments we've gotten thus far, all scout troops were completely different and based on the scoutmaster/leadership, because we didn't have tiger scouts or wolf scouts, and we got to go outdoors as cubs... just not very much.

      I admire that you call your car a creation. I call mine neither a creation nor a car, as it was a block of wood with poorly drilled wheels that just fell off the side when raced.

      Delete
  55. My brother was in the scouts. I was jealous..well not anymore. He was also in little league baseball. I was jealous...still am. The only thing I was in was called Blue Jays. I told my mom after a couple weeks I didn't want to go anymore. Two reasons, I had mastered the art of peanut butter and bird seed pine cones and Blue Jays was where all the super gay kids that didn't make cub scouts hung out and I didn't want no part of that shit!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was one of the first female members of our area's Cub Scouts (the stage before Scouts - so it went Keas, Cub Scouts, Scouts before Rangers - covering primary, intermediate and high school...) I just remember playing games and singing about peanuts getting run over. Oh, and scroggin, lots and lots of scroggin. Throw in some damper then that's my memory of scouting...Plus, my mum became one of the leaders so no weird bird watching - mum was a practical lady...short, but practical...

    ReplyDelete
  57. Such a late comment. I am so behind this week omg.

    I was never in anything like that. I did a gymnastics class when I was six but the day I learned how to cartwheel, they closed down. I never cartwheeled again...

    (Mostly because I fall too much and now I have no upper body strength...)

    ReplyDelete

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