Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ten Reasons To Marry A Man Who Was Once A Boy Scout

by Drew Martin
I was once a Boy Scout and although I was never a particularly good Scout I have very fond memories of spending time in nature with my father, brother, and friends. I am especially grateful for the experience from the activities we did including mile swims, mountain climbing and rappelling, all-day-hikes, and overnight canoe trips. I also really liked the merit badge system, and wished I had pursued more of the categories. I still think the round, stitched badges are fascinating because of their bright colors, economic imagery, and use of symbols. While they have an old-world reference to coins and perhaps military adornments, the sash is also very new-world native-American, like a form of wampum. The scouts in the United States reference both worlds: an quasi-military order, with a real love-of-the-land passion, and an understanding-of-nature sensibility.

My brother was an Eagle Scout and has worked for the Boy Scouts of America for more than two decades. His recent appearance on a Richmond, Virginia-area television show, made me think more about the pros of Scouting. Here are my ten reasons why one should marry a man who was once a Boy Scout.

1. He will take out the trash. A deep-rooted fear that a bear will come through camp and tear the place apart translates into keeping the kitchen clean.

2. He will be cool-headed when a storm hits and you lose the comfort of your utilities. The Scout motto is Be Prepared. That does not mean stockpiling goods like an end-of-the-world conspiracy guy but knowing what to do in certain situations. Former Scouts are waiting for a raw moment to show off their survival skills and relive some of their youth.

3.You will never be cold. Asking a former Scout to start a fire is like asking a dog to play fetch. Scouts do not just run to the store and buy a Duraflame log, they build elaborate kindling pyramids and make roaring fires.

4. He has an appreciation of nature. While it is nice to be part of a city rush when you are young, it gets old by one's mid-thirties. A connection with nature, whether it is just day trips or getting a place with some green space is welcomed when you get older, and it will not be overruled by the fear of leaving city limits because of the unknown.

5. He will help an old person across the street. Sounds cliche but chivalry is not dead among Scouts, and one day you will be that old person.

6. He will be successful in an honest way. Scouts do not peak in high school like the a glory days teen athlete. They are always working towards something with a good work ethic, and not likely to take short cuts.

7. You will never be hungry. Think of the worst-case scenario. If the food transportation network is obliterated, the former Scout always has his eye on those Canada geese hanging out on the lawns of office parks.

8. He can cook. Not only do Scouts learn the basics of cooking as adolescents but they can make a hot meal with almost nothing: a couple potatoes, a piece of tin foil, and a few sticks.

9. He can sew. Merit badges, camp patches, mosquito netting...Scouts are master sewers so they will never approach you with a drooping garment over their arm, a rogue button in their open palm, and a desperate "Can you fix this?" look.

10. He can tie knots. Sounds a little abstract but picture your luggage flying off the minivan on an interstate highway, at 65 mph.

Click here to watch my brother on CBS 6 WTVR out of Richmond, Virginia.