Barry Van Allen
Scouting - Poem by Barry Van Allen
As a guy back in the neighborhood,
I remember how it was,
just some other mother's son,
until, I became a ' Cub-scout '.
On the day that we moved in,
another kid showed up, Mom said,
because his mother sent him over,
in his ' Cub- scout ' uniform.
My buddy swears he can't remember that,
but, it doesn't really matter,
I got ' Drafted ' anyway,
and before I knew what happened,
I was involved with no escape.
I was wearing silly uniforms,
and learning things I didn't need,
and forced to go to meetings,
and indoctrinated somehow.
For some reason, I enjoyed it,
and I blame it on the neighbors,
because, had I not been part of that,
I would have been an outcast.
The simple truth is this:
I became one of the guys,
and if they had not done that to me,
(very much against my will) ,
I may have ended up like others,
that did not turn out quite as well.
As a fat kid, I took lots of crap,
and gave it right on back,
but, without the ' guys ',
I sometimes wonder...
where I would be at?
They threw me out of ' Cub Scouts ',
I suppose, I got too old,
and then the guy that lived behind me,
convinced me to attend a ' Boy - Scout ' thing!
Well, that was just damned silly,
all standing in a circle,
reciting 'oaths' and 'mottoes',
... all in unison!
I resisted for a year or so,
and then I was invited,
on a ' Camp - Out ' to a nearby lake,
so I thought, ' What the Hell '!
Of course you know what happened,
in a month I was in unison,
in shorts, and silly uniforms again,
reciting ' oaths' and ' mottoes'!
I still have that ' wave swept stone ',
that I picked up on that trip,
with where I got it,
when I got it, written on it,
to anybody else, it is a nothing,
but, to me, a prized possession.
As an older ' Tenderfoot ',
I didn't take much crap,
some guys tried to give me that,
... care to guess how far they got?
Once the rules established,
with another bunch of guys,
I am hard pressed to remember,
... any better times.
I learned so much in ' Boy - Scouts '
about so many things,
that when I hear about the ' ODD ' ones,
today, ... it tugs right at my heart - strings.
That wasn't my experience,
and, as far as I'm aware,
it wasn't the experience,
of anybody there.
We were a wild bunch of boys,
and, YES, we did some crazy things,
but, the leaders were good people,
and when they had to reign us in, they did!
They sat us down and taught us,
and because they didn't force us,
when they spoke, we mostly listened,
... and we learned.
The big fat kid lost all that weight,
but, never did forget,
what being in a ' Boy - Scout ' troup,
... to a kid who could have easily gone bad,
... really meant!
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