Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia’


My brother and I were Boy Scouts for three and a half years in the mid 1970’s. My youngest brother was a Cub Scout. My mother was a den leader, and my father was a troop committee member. Scouting was strong in my family, but not quite as strong as it was in one of my cousin’s family.

Jim Ehlert, my uncle, had five sons. All five sons were involved in the Scouting program. Jim became a scoutmaster when his oldest son was a Boy Scout. Jim held that position for a number of years as all the boys grew threw the program. In fact, all five of the young men earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Once in awhile, back in the 1970’s, our families would meet at grandma’s cabin on Kings Lake. We would sometimes exchange skits and songs that were popular in our troops. We would also swap Scouting stories and experiences as we sat around the campfire.

I was a little in awe of Jim during my teen years, as a lot of Scouts look up to the adults who are Scout Leaders. I also admired him for holding the position of scoutmaster fo so many years. When his sons finally graduated out of the troop he retired as scoutmaster and took on a different Scouting position.

Occasionally, after I became the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68, Jim and I would have the opportunity to chat about Scouting. He would ask me how things were going in my troop, or ask me to tell him about the latest high adventure trip that we had attended. They were fun discussions.

On Tuesday, September 19, Jim passed away after a battle with kidney disease. He was in his 80’s. I guess I will not be sharing anymore Scouting stories with him. Until that is, until I join him in that great summer camp in the sky.

Everyone seems to do Top 10 lists at the end of a year, or something to review the past year, so Cubmaster Chris and I decided to a list of top Scouting events for the year of 2010.

Each of us chose 5 things to talk about during the latest episode of The Leaders Campfire podcast, covering national and local events. I am not going to print the list here because I want you to listen to the podcast.

Check out the episode (#82) at
http://www.ptcmedia.net/the-leaders-campfire/

What were your top 5 Scouting events for the past year?

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/

I am still having fun with my Flickr account. Travel back in time and watch this slide show of Boy Scout Troop 68 pictures from 1981. If you wish to see the pictures individually check out the photo gallery at http://www.flickr.com/photos/8515713@N06/sets/72157622054953898/

Enjoy.