As an Eagle Scout, the wilderness was a formative part of my upbringing. I was lucky enough to be part of an amazing troop in Richmond, Virginia, and my scoutmaster, a lanky man with a soft-spoken leadership style and salt-and-pepper beard, could have stepped right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
I owe a lot to my scoutmaster and the organization — they helped me grow from a timid kid to an outdoors enthusiast and leader. I don’t agree with every decision made by the modern-day Boy Scouts, but they have my gratitude and respect for their impact they made on my life.
Which is why, when my son expressed an interest in joining up, I was eager to be a part of his own journey as he embarked on his first overnight camping trip.
The campsite — a Boy Scout reserve near Asheboro — was far from roughing it, but the two-night trip was an amazing success for the kids.
I watched 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds learn to solve problems together. They teamed up to haul firewood, set up tents and do dishes. They argued, sorted out problems, consoled one another and cheered each other on. A side trip to the North Carolina Zoo captured their attention and wore them out for a good night’s sleep. Read more