When you have been a scoutmaster for as long as I have been, nearly 29 years, you see a lot of boys go and go through the Scouting program. Some do very well in Scouting, some not so well. Some boys stick with it until their eighteenth birthday, some only last for a few months. There have a wide variety of personalities and temperaments. As a scoutmaster, I hope they all grow into fine young young and are successful in their lives.
Once in a while, I like to go through the old photos of the troop. Not only do they bring back memories (mostly good ones) but they also bring to mind questions. Where are they now? How are they doing? Do they have families? Thanks to the internet, namely Facebook, I have been able to track several dozen of them. From their profiles and pictures it looks like many of them are doing well. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with nearly half of the alumni of Troop 68.
Look at the group photo shown above. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) It shows the eighteen Boy Scouts of Troop 68 who attended summer camp at Crow Wing Scout Reservation in 1984, over twenty five years ago. Pat celebrated his birthday while at camp so I saw a Kodak moment, of course. It turned out to be one of my favorite pictures.
When I look at this photo a lot of thoughts run through my mind. First was , as it probably was for you, wow, those are short shorts the boys are wearing. Then it dawns on me that these boys are now men in their mid to late thirties. I am getting old.
Out of these eighteen Boy Scouts, three have stopped by to visit this year. Seven of them are friends of mine on Facebook. I have not heard from another seven of them in over ten years. Only two of them still live in town. Sadly, two of them have died in the last twenty years.
You can see that this photo alone brings up many memories, plenty of questions, and some mixed emotions. And this is only one of the thousands of pictures I have taken during nearly three decades with the troop.
By the way, if you would like to view some of the early photos of Boy Scout Troop 68 through the 1980′s check out our troop’s website at http://www.melrosetroop68.org or check out my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/