John Cawley
Home of John Cawley

Dedicated to My Wife & Times - A Site for Sore Eyes

Back To Archives
Back To Main Page

Frames of Time...

027_04 - A Scout's Life...

This is, what I believe to be, my earliest press. The story is about my work as a Cub Scout supporting a good cause.

My Scouting life lasted several years. I went all the way through Cub Scouts, achieving Wolf, Bear and Lion/Webelos. (Later, Bobcats and Tigers were added and Lions were dropped.) I don't have lots of memories as a Cub Scout, though. I think it was just one of the many things I was doing as a kid.

However, I have a good many memories of being a Boy Scout. It was during our time we lived in Houston. We were pack 805, the Thunderbirds. I made it all the way to Life, which is just one step away from Eagle, the ultimate Boy Scout level. The reason Boy Scouting was so important to me was due to my father.

My father became the Scout Leader of my Pack. As Pack Leader, my father made certain our Troop never lacked for support or experience. Of course our Troop did much of the usual Scout stuff. We went on camping trips, earned merit badges, and had meetings.

But my father was no "usual" Pack Leader. Being in the sales business, my dad realized the big importance little things could mean. Long before networking became a cliche, my dad knew that "usual" was not good enough. He used his many contacts to pursue assistance and events for Troop 805.

Our Troop went to distant campgrounds for week long events. Our Troop purchased "space blankets". They were a metallic material and exactly like what they used in the (then new) Space Program! Instead of selling lame candy or treats, my dad had us sell wreaths at Christmas time, which were a huge hit. Our Troop even joined other Troops on a special trip up north to visit Six Flags Over Texas.

The most memorable event was when our Troop went to a military base! We spent the weekend in the barracks. Ate meals in the mess hall. Got to talk with "real soldiers". And, perhaps most amazing, got to go to the training areas. Imagine how thrilling it was for young men to get to go into tanks and look at all the controls and get to pull the knobs and levers. Picture the amazement of getting to shoot machine guns and other (in our minds) giant weapons we had only seen in movies or on TV. Of course we were all fully supervised by the soldiers. Even that was "so neat". It was like being a real soldier with a big name general giving you commands.

As I said, I made it to Life Scout during those years. However, when it became time for us to move to the Dallas area, my dad had to resign as Pack leader. He was given plaque after plaque from the Scouts, from the parents, from local businesses who had supported him and his Troop. Looking back, it was an amazing outpouring of love from the community.

We moved north and ended up in Grapevine, Texas. The Troop there met infrequently. In the almost one year I was a member of their Troop, they did one campout - an overnighter in a nearby park. There was no real support from the Pack Leader. No heart. I dropped out, never going to Eagle.

Recently, in an effort to save space, my folks sent me numerous boxes of things from the past. Amongst them were some of the many plaques and certificates my dad had received while Troop Leader. It reminded me of those years and how my dad, unlike some other troop leaders, was truly a Leader of Boys.

Back To Archives
Back To Main Page