The year 1980 will always be a special year for me. It was the year I began life on my own, and began life as an adult. I was nineteen when I graduated from vocational college in April. I moved into a apartment. I began working at my first full time job. And I became an assistant scoutmaster to the newly formed Boy Scout Troop 68. (For more information about how that happened, click HERE.)
I did not join Troop 68 until later in April, so I missed going to Camp Ripley with the troop, which I believe may have been the new Scouts first outing. There was not a yearly program yet because troop leadership was still in the process of going through training.
I was one of three assistant scoutmasters. Each of us were single men. One was a little older then me, the other a little younger. I was the only one to stay with the program for more then a year. The other assistants left town to pursue a career or college.
The committee was made up of several parents who were dedicated to get the troop up and running well. Our charter representative was the commander of the local VFW Post. I will never forget my first committee meeting. The charter rep and I got into a heated “discussion” about troop finances. He began by talking about how much money the Post had already pumped into the troop. I already knew from talking to committee members and parents that the Post had not given the troop much of anything yet. (In fact, one of the parents had loaned the troop some money to get things started.) I guess I got a bit vocal about correcting him. Our discussion began to get a little heated.
After the meeting, and after the charter rep had left, a couple of the committee members told me I had stated what they had been thinking. I could not help but think to myself why did the nineteen year old new assistant scoutmaster have to stand up to the sixty year old charter rep? After all, there were at least five other committee members at the meeting.
Oh well, if nothing else, I guess I demonstrated my passion and dedication to the Scout troop. By the way, the charter rep and I worked well together for the next few years, until he retired from the committee.