I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
to catch up.
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Be Prepared: Cubs have questions
By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................February 7, 2012
Sometimes at my age, I forget how young people think and
act, especially because we have no grandchildren.
So an invitation to meet the Bear Den from Cub Scout Pack 123
was a welcome opportunity to interact with youngsters.
Den leader Melissa Carrier and Den chief Cody West (from Troop
33) brought their group and a few parents over so I could answer
questions. I tried to don my old Scout uniform from my early
days as an adult Scouter, but for some reason the shirt didnt
fit around my girth. My wife must have washed it in hot water
a long time ago.
But my Order of the Arrow neckerchief still looked snappy, and
I borrowed an Order of the Arrow sash from Scouter Cliff Golden
to display because I had lost mine in one of my many moves around
Explaining my experience as a member of the Achewon Nimat
Lodge when I was tapped as an adult to become part of
the honorary camping fraternity brought back
Cody West (center) of Troop 33 and his Bear Den Cub Scouts
of Pack 123 recently got to question Daily Chronicle columnist
Barry Schrader. (Photo by schrader)
many fond memories. That thrill was second only to my tenure
as an Explorer Post adviser for a 90-member drum and bugle corps
known as the Tri-Valley Royalaires. Looking back on those days,
it was a monumental effort to raise funds to pay three people
to train the corps, finance two Greyhound-sized buses and keep
track of uniforms and instruments for the boys and girls. How
did I ever do it and still work full time?
But getting back to the Cubs and their questions.
What knots can I tie? Only a square knot if I really concentrate
on doing it.
What was my favorite camping experience? Probably at Fort
Baker just north of the Golden Gate Bridge where we pitched tents
for an overnighter. A nearby foghorn kept us awake because it
was frequently blown to warn ships away from danger in the fog.
What did I do in Scouts? Nothing outstanding because I
made it to only a Second Class rank. I did fondly recall camp
outs at Rotary McQueen north of Kirkland where Ma Anderson was
camp cook. As an adult I was a Cub Pack chairman, Pinewood Derby
chair and a District Chairman in the San Francisco Bay Area Council,
which involved more fundraising than actual scouting.
What did Scouting do for me? It gave me self-confidence
because I was a small-boned kid with glasses who could have been
picked on, but not when they knew I could use a Scout knife to
skin wild game and use a hatchet to chop firewood. It also helped
me form relationships and leadership skills to use later in life.
After I left Scouting, I remember my two summer treks to Ely,
Minn., and the Boundary Waters as part of a group shepherded
by Chuck Dayton and Bob Smith, two DeKalb High School teachers.
My Scouting background enabled me to enjoy that wilderness experience
that I cherish to this day.
As an employer, I singled out Eagle Scouts for priority in hiring
because I knew they were outstanding young men for attaining
that rank. Before you ask, I did hire young women who also had
good credentials, so I did not discriminate.
Well, I hope those Cubs got the idea Scouting means a lot to
me and what it can do for them as they traverse those difficult
growing years. I may just drop in on their meeting sometime at
Malta United Methodist Church and learn how to tie a bow knot
or even a half-hitch again.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115