Greet­ings! My name is Kev­in Hunt –the “Scout­ing Trails” Blog­ger and I write about Scout­ing and you can view all my work at Scouting Trails. Recent­ly I have been invit­ed to become a reg­u­lar author and con­trib­u­tor for the Voice of Scout­ing, a Scout­ing blogsite. I am excit­ed about this oppor­tu­ni­ty and I look for­ward to being a part of the team. I hope that the rest of you might feel the same about me after we have been togeth­er for a while. And since we’ll be spend­ing time togeth­er, I’d like to intro­duce myself. I’d like to do that with a bit of back­ground infor­ma­tion about me. May­be we can get through this part togeth­er.

Well, let’s see … where to start …

The moment should have been accom­pa­nied by a grand big band with fire­works and a lot of fan­fare but I let it pass rather qui­et­ly. But, I do remem­ber the great­ness of the moment. I was then serv­ing as the camp direc­tor of the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp – a res­i­dent Cub Scout camp locat­ed in beau­ti­ful north­west Col­orado (near the lit­tle vil­lage of Red Feath­er Lakes). I was with David – one of the all-time great­est camp staff mem­bers I have known (and I have known a lot of them through my many years of direct­ing Scout camps). We were at the main office of the Ben Dela­tour Scout Ranch of which we were a part. We were get­ting the mail, turn­ing in reports, using the com­put­er and all of that fun busi­ness stuff that camp direc­tors typ­i­cal­ly do. David was work­ing on the Cook­ing Mer­it Badge and I was his coun­selor. With our lim­it­ed resources – and no inter­net at our camp, we need­ed to down­load some mate­ri­al for his badge.

Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp Full Staff at Nicol Sign
Kev­in with Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp Staff

While we were there at the Ranch office, we of course got the mail. (Mail call … one of the great­est moments of any day!) And there it was … a giant envelope from the Tex­as home office of the Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca. I had known that it would show up some time, but I didn’t know when or where it would catch up to me. I knew what it was and so was not real­ly sur­prised by it. I decid­ed to let David open it for me. I knew that he would get a charge out of it. He said, “What is it?” I said, “I dun­no … just open it for me.” (I guess I should not lie!)

David opened the pack­age and it took him a few moments to look over every­thing and to digest what it was. He kind of passed over the let­ter and looked gen­er­al­ly at the con­tents of the envelope. Then he real­ly got ani­mat­ed when he found a small gold card – that looked like a deluxe cred­it card or some­thing. He began read­ing and then let out a loud, “Wow!” The card (see pho­to) had my name on it and said that I am a 50-year vet­er­an of The Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca. (And I admit that it was pret­ty impres­sive!)

Kevin BSA 50-Year Veteran Gold Card
50-Year Vet­er­an Award “Gold Card” for Kev­in Hunt the “Scout­ing Trails” Blog­ger

He was pret­ty jazzed and it was fun to see his youth­ful enthu­si­asm. He said, “We ought to tell every­one about this!” I said, “Well, I’ll let you spread the word for me.” Then he said, “Did you know about this?”

Well, I kin­da did know about it … By the cal­en­dar, I have known that I’ve been in Scout­ing forever. I guess I can’t argue with that – though it is hard even for me to believe it. And with that mile­stone loom­ing ahead of me, I’ve had oppor­tu­ni­ty to pon­der what it all means and the many ways in which I have grown through my Scout­ing expe­ri­ence over that span of time. And that’s anoth­er “Wow!”

I recent­ly wrote a sim­i­lar arti­cle for THE BOY SCOUT – the blogsite of the Utah Nation­al Parks Coun­cil. In that arti­cle, “A Hun­dred Years of Scout­ing …” I shared some of the expe­ri­ences of my life­time in Scout­ing and I refer you to the full arti­cle.

Per­haps one of the most unique things about me is that I am also an avid jour­nal writer. I start­ed writ­ing in my per­son­al jour­nal back in 1973 (seems like a hun­dred years ago now – but yet like yes­ter­day). On that Sun­day morn­ing, May 20th, I attend­ed a young adult Sun­day school class taught by my long-time friend, J. Dar­win Gun­nell. (Dar­win was the father of my best friend grow­ing up, and one of my long-time church lead­ers. And he gave me my church bap­tism inter­view when I was eight years old. But, that is a sto­ry for anoth­er day … I’ll just tell you that the inter­view hap­pened as I got to his home as I made my trick-or-treat rounds on my Hal­loween birth­day – in my clown cos­tume!)

On that May morn­ing he quot­ed the words of Spencer W. Kim­ball about jour­nal writ­ing. He then gave us our own chal­lenge. He said, “Go home TODAY and find a note­book to write in.  And begin TODAY to write your own per­son­al jour­nal.” Well that chal­lenge seemed rather sim­ple at the time. So, I did what he said. I went home and found a lit­tle lined record book and wrote my first entry. (And that too, is a sto­ry for anoth­er time … but now its his­to­ry – lit­er­al­ly!)

KEVIN JOURNAL ORIGINAL AND PHOTO OF IT
Orig­i­nal jour­nal of Kev­in Hunt

As I look back and read that first entry once again, I find it kind of lame (not a lot of detail). Based on what I know and do now, it was kind of a measly effort. But, that was the  begin­ning. I made an entry for the next day … and the next!  And now 40-plus years lat­er, I can say that I have an entry for EVERY DAY since that first entry so long ago. [And that equates to about 150 vol­umes each with 200 or more pages – so about 30,000 pages of jour­nal entries. How is that for a mind blow­er?]

JOURNAL SHELF PHOTO
Kevin’s grow­ing jour­nal col­lec­tion

Well, you ask, how does that relate to the cur­rent moment and the writ­ing and read­ing of this blog arti­cle? If you have done the math, then you can see that I have been a jour­nal­ist for most of that 50 years that I have been in Scout­ing. So, hav­ing writ­ten more than a few pages, I have nat­u­ral­ly cap­tured a bunch of good stuff along the way as I have expe­ri­enced the joy and won­der of the Scout­ing pro­gram. And that’s why I have cho­sen to join the team for this great web­site.

And it was the jour­nals that helped me doc­u­ment my many oppor­tu­ni­ties for Scout­ing ser­vice through the years. I didn’t sit and read the whole pack­age of jour­nals all at once, but over some time, I browsed them – while on anoth­er research project – and doc­u­ment­ed all of the posi­tions held and major ser­vice oppor­tu­ni­ties and logged them all into a major spread­sheet. And when I was done with my research, I decid­ed to send it in to the local coun­cil office as doc­u­men­ta­tion for my 50 year vet­er­an award. I didn’t know what they would do with it. Well, months lat­er, the let­ter qui­et­ly found me at Camp Nicol. I guess The Grand Canyon Coun­cil (in Ari­zona) had sent it to the Nation­al Office. So, yeah, it was not real­ly a sur­prise … but still rather excit­ing.

David and I got back to our own Camp Nicol and I got about the busi­ness of the day. David, still excit­ed for me, shared the spe­cial “gold card” with oth­er staff mem­bers. They, too, got kind of excit­ed about the gold card and the qui­et excite­ment of the moment. I just smiled. I thought, “Yes, it real­ly has been a great Scout­ing adven­ture!”

Late that night as things final­ly calmed down, I held that gold card in my hand. It was then that the mem­o­ries began to flow into my mind. This is how I recalled them in The Boy Scout:

I joined the Boy Scouts as a Cub Scout when I was eight years old. That was in 1962 in Mesa, Ari­zona (in the old Mesa Ten­th Ward of the local LDS Church). And I’ve been involved and reg­is­tered as a Scout or Scouter ever since. (Anoth­er WOW!) In those 50 plus years of Scout­ing, I’ve expe­ri­enced some grand adven­tures. It’s been a great life.

CUB SCOUT REGISTRATION CARDS FOR KEVIN

SCOUT REGISTRATION KEVIN TROOP 155

As a Cub Scout, I proud­ly wore the blue and gold uni­form – even to school. (In those days, every­one else was a Cub Scout also – and being such was real­ly cool! It’s still cool in 2016, but we’re a bit more reserved about some things.) Cub Scout­ing was, and is, a fam­i­ly-cen­tered expe­ri­ence. It was most­ly at home with my mom and my broth­ers (and my sis­ter being the one tied up when we learned knot tying) that my first Scout­ing hap­pened. It was there that we worked on our achieve­ments toward our ranks and our elec­tives for our arrow points.

It was a proud moment indeed when my dad turned me upside down and mom pinned my bob­cat pin on my shirt (until I could do a good turn – and rotate the badge prop­er­ly). That is a tra­di­tion that hasn’t changed in fifty years. I earned my Wolf, Bear, and even my Lion badge (and not many peo­ple can boast to that! Yes, I even remem­ber when Webe­los meant “Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout”!)

As I turned 11, I crossed the bridge as a Webe­los (Code: We’ll Be Loy­al Scouts) or Arrow of Light – and became a Boy Scout. The immor­tal Bet­ty Ray was my 11-year old Scout Lead­er. And boy, was I ever proud of that new green uni­form (even with those strange knee socks – and garters!). That opened up a whole new world to me. I was able to go camp­ing and earn mer­it badges. …

I got to go to Camp Geron­i­mo (locat­ed north­east of Payson, Ari­zona, and 80 miles north of my Mesa, Ari­zona home) I remem­ber my “Gnu­bie” year (“New-bie”) and a sign at the lake about mon­sters that could/would eat a “gnu­bie”. At Camp Geron­i­mo, we cooked our own troop food, hiked, camped, and had glo­ri­ous times togeth­er in our own tra­di­tion­al Camp­site 3 – Black­foot. 

GERONIMO TROOP 155 KEVIN AND FRIENDS

Those were all such good times …

As I held that gold card, I thought too of a cou­ple of oth­er major mile­stones in my life. The­se were both major Scout­ing anniver­saries. One of them is detailed in “The Boy Scout” arti­cle already ref­er­enced. That was a grand pro­duc­tion held in The Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Salt Lake City, Utah. The oth­er was a 50-year Jubilee cel­e­bra­tion that I staged for myself – and all of my Scout­ing friends that I could round up.

KEVIN JUBILEE WITH WALKING STICKS MICHAEL AND SCOTT
Kev­in and Scout­ing friends Scott Foley and Michael Hale at Jubilee Cel­e­bra­tion

Of course I held the event at my own back­yard log cab­in (and you’ll prob­a­bly hear me talk more of that in the future. It has been a great venue for some super Scout­ing and fam­i­ly events.) I cre­at­ed a slide show that detailed my Scout­ing his­to­ry and I pre­sent­ed it as part of the pro­gram for the evening. The whole evening was great fun and packed with Scout­ing nos­tal­gia for me.

”Well now, a lot of water has gone over (or under) the bridge …  A few things have changed, but much is still the same. We have a new “Scout Hand­book” (the 13th Edi­tion) but the Scout­ing skills are much the same as in the begin­ning. The Scout Oath and Law have become engrained in my mind and heart as I con­tin­ue to strive to live each point dai­ly in my life. I still proud­ly wear the Scout uni­form and love all that it stands for. I also love my Bill Burch neck­er­chief slides – which have become my trade­mark (even when not in uni­form).

I’ve since grown up and have enjoyed won­der­ful moments and great out­ings with yet anoth­er gen­er­a­tion of Scouts. My own three sons have made their own treks from Ten­der­foot to Eagle Scout and beyond. And now I find myself with sev­en grand­sons who are in Scout­ing – and I can’t wait to expe­ri­ence Scout­ing with them and the 11 or more behind them. That’s anoth­er WOW!”

Fifty years … That real­ly makes me old! But, if you’re old­er than dirt, you might as well be proud of it. You can’t do much about it. So I guess that is where I am at in this moment …

The Gold Card … such great mem­o­ries and good times. I have enjoyed all the spe­cial moments on my Scout­ing Trail. Wow!

Well, that is prob­a­bly more about me than you real­ly want­ed to hear. But, now that this is over, let’s get on with it!

Kev­in Hunt the Scout­ing Trails Scout blog­ger.” I guess that is me! Check in when you can and let’s enjoy Scout­ing good times togeth­er.

 

Best wish­es along your Scout­ing Trails …  Kev­in

(To read more of Kevin’s writ­ing, see “Scout­ing Trails” Books at Scout­ing Trails)

© Kev­in V. Hunt 2016

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