Monday, July 7, 2008

Porter's back

from a week at camp.  Nine boys at Medicine Bow, but three with mean streaks.  It wasn't Lord of the Flies, but no repeat of last summer's idyll, either.  I had a feeling we should have sent him to that riding camp.

He doesn't seem troubled by it -- just disappointed.  Not just by the obnoxious trio, but the thunderstorm warnings that derailed the island campout, and the heavily fletched "flu flu" arrows that offended his archer's heart with their sluggish inaccuracy.  It may be that after a few days he'll remember the positive things as well . . . 

Scouting may have a national organization, but it is still profoundly local.  And it runs on a spectrum from old-fashioned outdoorsy to paramilitary.  The manly virtues can be stressed and intermixed in various ways, some that build strength of character and some that tear it down.  You see part of that spectrum among the troops that gather in a place like Camp Yawgoog.  I'm Den Leader of Porter's den, because he wants to do scouting, and I don't want him in some volunteer fireman's idea of a military unit.