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The Latin Scot

An incredible gift from an old Scouting friend ...

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My family received an amazing gift from an old and dear friend the other day.

 

An elderly gentleman from my local congregation was a stalwart Scouter in his day. He earned his Eagle in 1942, and was a noble and decorated Scouter in the community for decades and decades. I have had occasion to admire his merit badge sash, complete with ALL the merit badges that it was possible to earn when he got his Eagle - a real treasure - along with his many medals and awards from the early days of Scouting.

 

Well, he recently decided to move up to Oregon to be nearer his family and retire to an assisted living facility, and so he has been going through his things before making the move. And knowing that mine is an involved and faithful Scouting family, he presented us with a gift the other day - his collection of every edition of the Boy Scout Handbook that has been published since the Second Edition in 1914 (he could never find an affordable first edition)! Reading them has been absolutely delightful - I have learned so much more about the program by noticing tidbits on uniforms or history that later editions have missed, or by seeing the evolution of environmental understanding over the years. Not to mention having a shelf complete with the entire history of Scouting all together, including a few Scoutmaster handbooks and Patrol Leader guides! Most of all, it has been thrilling to read the strong and zealous language used to motivate boys of the past to be good men, great citizens, and powerful forces for good. In fact, they are downright inspiring at times.

 

It is easily one of the greatest Scouting gifts we have ever been given. My unending thanks to our veteran Scouting friend who was kind enough to pass along these treasures to future generations of boys for them to read, and from which they can draw continual inspiration and motivation.

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That is fantastic! I agree the old handbooks were much better written than the current. The inspiring prose is accentuated by providing specific examples for the boys. Both in story form, as a parable but also simple ideas of "how tos". The current books speak of ideas, with no practical application attached. Even if a boy wanted to do something, he has little to start with. But I digress. The collection you were gifted is certainly a treasure. One I am trying to build myself. Fortunately I already have a first edition I found at an estate sale among other old tattered books. I picked it up for 50 cents!

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@@Chadamus and I got it squared away so a thumbs up shows.  :)

 

This isn't the first time @@qwazse's thumb "slipped".  How big is your thumb anyway?

Edited by Stosh
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LOL thanks everybody; I never quite understood the "thumbs up/down" feature anyway, but it's nice to know that so far I haven't accrued any negative comments. Here's hoping things stay that way, tee hee!

 

I have so far read the first 6 editions of the Scout Handbook, as well as the first 4 editions of the Scoutmaster's Handbook, since it seems he also included a complete collection of those as well. So much to read! So much to learn!

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.... with no practical application attached. Even if a boy wanted to do something, he has little to start with. But I digress. ...

 

Yeah, sadly true.  Except for personally tracking advancement, the handbooks serve relatively little purpose now.  They feel like decoration over function.  I've almost given up the battle of telling scouts to bring their book.  

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I use the book as a learning process.  The boys don't think about scouts from one week until the next when they have to find their shirt for the meeting.  When they don't bring their book, they don't get advancement checked off.  I only have to remind them that it's not my responsibility to bring their book each week so they can get advancement credit.  If they don't bring it, I don't say anything unless it's been a couple of weeks of forgetting.

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Books?  You mean those things that flap in the wind and soak up water and don't need batteries and aren't connected to the internet?   Those things that need independent thinking and maybe experimentation to try out the ideas promulgated therein ?  Those things? 

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