Jan 3, 2013

Gordie Boy: 'Be Prepared' and straighten up


In June, 1959 I was nine going on ten and able to stand still long enough to have my picture taken at a Cub Scout event at the Norwich ball park. I look at the photo now, see my poor posture and hear the words my mother said to me time and time again - "Stand up straight, Gordon. Push your shoulders back."

(I am still a bit of a sloucher but a week doesn't go by without me reminding myself to stand a little taller and push my shoulders back while, for example, walking to a local coffee shop or grocery store.)

I enjoyed being a Cub Scout and can recall some of the weekly meetings, routines and activities. Members sat in a large circle during a typical meeting, for roll call and the collection of dues. Dues (pennies, nickels, dimes) were dropped into a hat in the centre of the circle and boys would indicate the amount by saying, "five bones" or "ten bones".

I also recall when one of my parents put a Cub Scout decal on our front door window. It said 'Be Prepared' and I asked for an explanation of some kind because I was worried about what expectations would be placed upon me. Though the answer is lost in the fog of my well-spent youth I must say some of the words stuck and on more than one occasion over the years I have been described as 'a bit of a Boy Scout.'

I now take it as a compliment even if I'm not sure what the person means!

Photo by GH

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