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Silver Duck

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About Silver Duck

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  1. Silver Duck

    20 year hiatus

    After Eagle I went on to college .. and stayed. I recently graduated after a long and winding path with my PhD and took up a professorship at a university in my home town. Now that I wasn't slaving over a hot computer 15 hours a day squeezing a disseration out from behind my eyeballs, I was left with a lot of free time and not too much to fill it - that's when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go on an overnight hike with some of his other friends. For the first time in 20 years, I could say yes, and for the first time in 20 years I lugged 50 pounds of pack over a dozen miles of rough trails in the August sun, slept on the ground, ate reconstituted food, and loved every minute. What surprised me was how it all came back. It was never really gone, but I just never really used it. All the skills I had learned as a Scout were just ready to go. I even demonstrated to a skeptical audience how a fire could be started without matches. Well, it was all over then. I looked up my old Troop, and they were still active, with the same Scoutmaster I had had (over 30 years of service - and counting). I dropped in on a meeting and he, of course, was there - along with a good 8 or so ASMs and committee members. Despite the years recognized me in an instant. So as not to let me even dream that I'd get away he had me on a board of review that night. In my academic career I've taught quite a bit as a grad student at the college level, as well as in a local high school for a time. I was also a teaching assistant for more courses than I'd care to admit. So, I've had to deal with lots of young men and women around the same age as the Scout I was grilling. He passed with flying colors, and the only thing I could think was, 'what a great kid - I wish even 10% of my students could be like this guy'. I told my old Scoutmaster I'd like to get involved with the Troop. Well, he locked me in a bear-grip Scout handshake, pulled me in and said not to worry, that this Troop was like a family and I'd always have a place in it. Scouting is a great program that helps kids grow to be capable, responsible people with a sense of personal dignity and social responsibility. I'm proud to have been involved with it, and that (after a bit more training) I will be once again.