The following post is the first in a new series dedicated to my efforts to do all of the work needed to become an Eagle Scout. In fact, I’ve created a new blog to go along with this: The Man Scout Project. Why a new blog when I have a well established habit of throwing together all of of my disparate interests here, in this lovingly disjointed junkyard that I call Gently Hew Stone? Because this project is specific and special; and because if nothing else this might help motivate me. But fear not, connoisseurs of GHS’s amalgamation of incongruous juxtapositions: I’ll cross-post everything here.
I am 31 years old, and I want to be a Boy Scout.
I’ve been surrounded by Scouts all of my life, and they always seem to have the most exciting lives, full of fun, camaraderie, new experiences, and adventure. The ones who’ve gone the furthest with it appear to have gotten the most out of it, and are often the most fulfilled people I know.
Like a lot of people, I wasted my teenage years watching TV, playing video games, obsessing over trendy music, and feeling sorry for myself for no good reason. I was never very happy, and as amazingly wonderful as my adult life is, I’ve always regretted those years of freedom, strength, and opportunity that I threw away on nonsense. I admit it: I feel like I need to atone for that great blank canvas that life handed to me and which I only ruined with thoughtless scribbling. It’s not that I did a lot of terrible things, it’s that I just didn’t do very much at all. And I hope that I can make up for it a little now–and enjoy life to the fullest–by becoming an Eagle Scout.
Of course, this isn’t official. Boy Scouts ends at 18, and nobody older than that can become an Eagle Scout. I have no illusions about joining a troop of teenagers, or having a Court of Honor, or anything like that. I simply intend to go through the Boy Scout Handbook and do all of the activities on my own. I want to have the skills and experiences that an Eagle Scout would have had.
I’m beginning with the following expectations: Continue reading