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Lewis Grizzard - Boy Scouts cool?

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This story is quite a few years old, so the terms are a bit outdated. To me though is always answered the question of Scouting being cool or not.


BTW Lewis Grizzard died in 1994. Part of his ashes rest in Moreland, Ga where in his youth he was a Cub Scout.



When Chuck joined the Boy Scouts at age fourteen, the kids

at school gave him at lot of grief about it.It wasn't exactly a cool

thing to do, joining the Scouts, especially at that mature age.

"It was pretty rough on him," Chuck's Scoutmaster told me.


I've forgotten all of the Boy Scout creed, but I remember that

"kind" was in there somewhere. Chuck's Scoutmaster recalled the time

his troop was on a camping trip and Chuck found a dead mother

sguirrel with a lot of hungry babies in the nest. He took the babies

home and fed them with an eyedropper until they were strong enough

to tackle the forrest on their own. That sort of thing gets out at

school and a fellow might never live it down.


Chuck joined a Scouting group called the Leadership Corps,

where older Scouts teach younger Scouts special skills. Chuck's

special skills were swimming and canoeing. So not long ago Second

Class Scout Chuck of the Leadership Corps took off on a trip to a

nearby lake with some younger Scouts.


The group was joined by a couple of non-Scouts, one a fifteen

year-old who turned out to be a lousy swimmer. While everyone else

was having fun, this kid was drowning in fourteen feet of water in

the middle of the lake. The only person close to him was Chuck, who

was forty yards away.


The Scoutmaster told me the rest of the story:


"I was on the shore, and I saw the kid go under for the first

time. Then I saw Chuck turn back toward the middle of the lake to go

after him. 1 knew for sure I was about'to see a double tragedy. I

didn't see how Chuck could swim all the way out there and save both

of them."


"I jumped in my canoe, but I knew there was no way I'd get theri

in time. I just hoped we could pull them off the bottom of the lake

and resuscitate them in time to save their lives."


"When Chuck got there, he was immediately pulled under by the

struggling kid. A drowning swimmer has tremendous strength. Then I

saw them come up again and Chuck had gotten away, but he wouldn't

give up. He circled around the kid, talking to him, trying to calm

him down. Then he went after him a second time. This time he managed

to grab an arm and dragged the kid to shore. I don't know how, but

he saved him."


Chuck was hesitant to talk about it, but I persisted until he

told me what happened. "When we went under, I hit him in the stomach

and he let go of me. I just couldn't let him drown."


"Chuck never had a lifesaving course," said the Scoutmaster.

"What he knew, he learned from reading the Scout manual. He's

dedicated to Scouting. He never thought of the danger. He never

thought of his own safety."


I remember from the creed that Boy Scouts are also brave.

Somebody ought to tell the kids at Chuck's school that you can't

get much cooler than that.



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Very cool indeed.


Unfortunately that's not how many parents see things today, no one wants to put themselves at risk to help someone change a tire on the side of the road - jump in a lake and risk getting drowned? That's just crazy.

I must be getting old - reminiscing about how it used to be...

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