Scouts Make Me Shout Bitterness

When I was young, I loved the Transformers. Coming home to watch the Transformers was my reward for making it through a hard 6-hour day of school. One of my favorite characters was the advanced scout, Mirage, because he could turn invisible and would warn the Autobots of an early attack by Decepticons.

I must have told my parents that I wanted to be a scout, because soon after, I ended up becoming a Cub Scouts. My parents must have misunderstood that I wanted to be a spy, not a Cub Scout, but by then it was too late. They thought becoming a Cub Scout, and eventually a Boy Scout would turn me into a well-rounded person, and I would learn how to be more productive, smart, and better at survival.

Should have told my parents I wanted to be a spy.

I never had any intentions of being productive in life. My goal in life was to watch more TV and play more video games and become a spy. Regardless, they kept thinking that if they forced me into a life of Scouts, that I would eventually enjoy going outdoors, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and freezing in the bitter cold.

I went into the Scouts with the purpose of learning nothing. And for the most part, I did. But I accidentally ended up learning one thing. How to do was start a fire. As long as I had two cords of wood, a gallon of gas, and an industrial sized flamethrower, I could start a fire anywhere. In fact, I started so many fires, that Smokey the Bear tried to put me in one of his advertisements with a circle and me crossed out to show how not to prevent forest fires. But I ended up burning down the studio where he filmed the commercial, so he had to scrap that concept and try something different.

Smokey the Bear was just jealous that he couldn’t start fires as well as I could. The only reason I wanted to start forest fires, was so that I could roast a lot of marshmallows for my S’mores. But I needed to do it quickly, because I was just hungry for some S’mores, the only good thing about camping. As soon as S’mores cereal came out, I had no use for camping.

Almost appeared in a Smokey the Bear commercial.

I did end up learning one other thing from Scouts. How to be miserable. Scouts was a treasure trove of misery and bitterness. In South Dakota, where I spent my entire Scouting life, the weather was a perfect combination of weather you never wanted at the time that you didn’t want it. If you needed snow, you would get a drought. If you wanted mild weather, a snowstorm would appear. If you wanted a nice, cool, pleasant evening, a 100-degree humid swampfest would appear. It was like reverse magic. There was only one way to guarantee weather that the state needed. All we had to do was schedule a campout on a day that we were supposed to have clear skies and 80 degrees, and it would be rainy and 40.

My favorite bitter camping experience of all time was our winter campout where we built snow caves. We spent hours digging out snow fortresses, that would take Elsa a few minutes to create. Just as we were about to reach our peak misery, they required us to sleep in them. What they didn’t tell us was that four of us would be in the cave all night. Did I mention that I have claustrophobia? And that I was pinned up against the wall of the cave all night? Guess how much I slept that night? If you guessed zero minutes you were off by 8 hours. I slept negative 8 hours. I lost 8 hours of my life that will be taken when I get older. I was sick for a week after that too. After that night, I left a review of the snow cave on Travelocity. Negative 8 starts. Thanks to me and possibly the early spring weather, no one ever stayed in that snow cave again.

Snow cave wasn’t near this big.

Weather and campouts weren’t the only things that provided the bitterness a growing boy needed. The worst part of Scouts were the service projects. They always happened on Saturday mornings, which conflicted with my Saturday Morning Cartoon schedule. My parents always required me to go to them, even though they knew how important cartoons and TV were to my growing body and mind. Definitely more important than doing kind things for other people. If service projects weren’t time consuming enough, then hold on for the biggest time waster of all time. The Eagle Scout project.

Most Scouts I knew did tiny Eagle Scout projects that involved a small statue or barbecue grill at a park, or serving in a homeless shelter for a few hours. My mom, on the other hand, came up with the brilliant idea to do a project that would take more than month during the summer. We ended up painting 3 historical building at our city’s Fairgrounds. We had to beg the local hardware stores for 5-gallon tubs of primer and paint. We had to scrape the paint, put a coat of primer on each building, and then after the primer, we had to paint them again. The primer was oil based so we could only get it off with gasoline. We smelled like diesel mechanics for a month.

What I smelled like after painting.

My dad would constantly tell me how important getting my Eagle Scout was for my future, even though he never got his. I could put Eagle Scout on my resume, and I would get amazing jobs from it. He also told me about the amazing number of life skills I would get. I can now unequivocally say that my dad was wrong. In the history of my career, not one person has ever asked me about my Eagle Scout or got me an amazing job. I never learned a useful skill from Scouts, (other than how to start a fire or be miserable) and I have not once lived in a snow cave.

The only thing Scouts ever got me was more misery, because I have been assigned to be an adult Scout leader 3 or 4 times since. If I had just told my parents I wanted to be a spy, I would have been James Bond now instead of a stupid scout leader.


Bitter Scouting Makes Me Shouting Ben


15 thoughts on “Scouts Make Me Shout Bitterness

  1. My friends and I tried to build a snow cave, but we were hampered by the fact that a) We were incredibly stoned; b) We had no tools of any kind; c) We only had one pair of gloves between us. And everything took place on a snow-covered golf course at 11:00 at night. The only thing stupider than our attempt was the mental picture we had of how awesome our snow cave was going to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is one thing you learned my Lord : You learned how to control the weather via reverse magic! Which will allow you to successfully hold nations hostage until they pay you for the fees of the Ark Fortress we are building you. We’re almost done actually. The squirrels and other animals were ready to do it for free because they fear humanity will destroy the Earth. I told them as long as they serve you, you will allow them onto the Ark.

    We needed them anyways because they serve as the Army and also the workforce. Plus I am having them build mini Earth Habitats inside each Ark so they can survive and can save valuable flora and fauna which will aid us in medicines. Including food supplies. The Beavers, Ants, and Bees are taking point on the constructions. Your first Ark near your home is almost done.

    While they build the inside habitats (I had them do it underground, no one can see what we’re doing) I also had them build a tunnel to your home to sneak you offerings of food as well as video games. Now that I know you like s’mores, I can have the animals cook you s’mores in their iron ovens. I watched the Noah movie with Russel Crowe. It turns out he had huge furnaces and machines inside of the Ark. So we are also adding some more stuff too.

    The downstairs pool is almost ready as well.


Your Bitter Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.