How many people do you think you pass every day and don’t know they’re part of Scouting? What if you wore your Troop 79 pride in public? Well, your own Asst. Scoutmaster had the chance to do that recently. The reaction was terrific!
On a trip to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I wore the custom T-79 Philmont crew shirt from last summer’s expedition. On the trail to my backcountry camp, I stopped to talk to anyone who would engage in a little hiking banter. If nothing else, to catch my breath hauling a 30lb pack up 3,000 vertical feet.
One of those chats was with Steve, a former Scoutmaster of 25 years and his wife, Denise, training for a trip to the Grand Canyon. What caught my eye was Steve’s decorated hiking stick complete with the Philmont Bar PS brand. It turned out they were headed for the same campsites to make an attack on Guadalupe Peak, 8,751 feet above sea level.
A terrific conversation ensued. What became obvious, whether you’re from a town of 1,600 people in the middle of Texas, or a big city in the Midwest, is how many of our Scouting stories were similar. Whether reveling in the laughs, dealing with bugs or rain, or toughing it out on a long hike, we both saw Scouting through a similar lens. But most of all, it came down to doing things that were just a little more than you thought you could do.
And that’s where the confidence comes to conquer whatever life throws your way. Hike on!
[PHOTO] Guadalupe Peak @boylesfour