Here’s the thing. My husband, God bless him and his whole family, is an Eagle Scout, an all around wonderful, upstanding Catholic man with a wonderful mix of grounded, traditional views and progressive, liberal ideals and a super head of hair.  When he tells me that his experience with the Boy Scouts involved little to no strange erotic encounters or pedophile-ish camp weekends a la “Canteen Boy“, it’s my job as a wife and a woman of trust to believe him.

But then, when he found out that I was a lover of the retro handbook/textbook/guide, he generously allowed me to abscond with is stack of old Cub, Wolf, Boy and  Eagle Scout guides, as well as the guides of his father, I was troubled.

Not for nothin', but he's a great guy, never steered me wrong.

It bothers me how desperately they had to build this guy up as a Patriot and lover of the town, then just casually throw in the ol’ “he’s….different, Roy.  His  brain doesn’t work the way ours does….He’s….interested in boys.” Accompanied, I can only assume by the limp wrist swish motion that all real manly men seem to know by instinct and assign to all homosexuals from all walks of life.

Fine, just one little slip up there, and just some immature chuckling on my part, like laughing at the words “anal retentive” or “colon”. But as I continued flipping through I encountered the “fun games to play with your troop” section. A lot of…boys laying on the floor with limbs intertwined or attempts to bring a young man to the floor and pin him down. Look, we’ve all roughhoused while a fifty year old guy in shorts and a cravat videotaped our youthful exuberance, why we may have even played “TIGHTROPE WALKER”!

We have to use this wig for SOMETHING Billy! Make Timmy wear it, he plays the cello!

Sure! Oh wait…what? For the benefit of those with bifocals – DRESS ONE BOY IN A FANCY DRESS AND WIG OR A STRONG MAN’S OUTFIT. Then you can pretend the rope is a tightrope and not a second before.

“You go first Sam, and we’ll judge you from our seats over here. YES you have to wear the dress, never mind why.  OK OK, then wear the strong man’s outfit complete with barbed wire bicep tattoo, six pack abs and oiled head.  In fact, wear that one instead, let me get the camera.”

I’m never going to get over this photo, nothing in the Boy Scout manuals will top it, I’m sure.

You were five minutes late John, put the bag on your head and let us beat you with sticks.

Oh. I see.  Which Scoutmaster, unaware of the term “liability”, came up with the concept of putting a bag on your head and beating each other up with sticks? Is this “Fight Club” for the shy or introverted?  Don’t worry about it, let’s just do the CHINESE PULL.  If your butts touch, there’s extra points in it for you.  I was about to edit out the text above the photo when I saw “join left hands, join both hands or kneel for variation”.  Because let me tell you, the one handed Chinese Pull can get so boring after a while.

Not for nothin’ with these scouts, but when are they going to start tying knots and stacking stones in a pile to mark a trail, making baked beans in a hole in the ground and all that crap?

I think I got the wrong book.


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