When I wrote my novel I wanted the young male hero to be a well-rounded, moralistic, caring, upright young man the military would love to have as one of their own, so I made him a Boy Scout during his growing up years. He was also an only child, so the Scouts gave him a family of brothers, a place to belong and best friends. Later in the story he mentors another youth in the Boy Scouts so some of the badges they can earn are discussed. The five most common are First Aid, Camping, Cooking, Swimming and Citizenship in the Community. Good everyday living skills.

Reading information about the Boy Scouts I was surprised at what it takes to earn the Eagle rank. It is not an easy task. It takes fortitude, determination, lots of hours and a willingness to serve others, or a community and probably help from a couple of adults who are willing to give of themselves too. You can find out the requirements by searching the Boy Scouts of America website. It gave me a whole new admiration for the guys that I know who did it and the fathers and mothers that guide them along the way.

My first dance was at a Boy Scout function. I can remember shopping for that dress better than I can remember my prom dresses. The young man who I went with played trumpet in the school band. Part of his serving the community was to play Taps every Memorial Day when the local parade ended in the cemetery of our little town. He took that “job” seriously and never missed a note. I can hear the clear tones of his horn as I sit here remembering.

The British Boy Scouts was established in 1908 and the American in 1910. Many of our presidents and 181 astronauts have been involved in the scouting program. If your son wants to join, you can be sure he will be in good company, making lifelong memories, while he learns many different skills.