Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scouting and Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp

I was a very proud fellow
when I earned this at Beech Mountain!
Did I enjoy scouting, or was it just something I did because it was expected of me? Probably more of the latter, I expect. I enjoyed acquiring outdoor skills, learning to act as a member of a team looking out for the good of the whole, being with folks who had similar interests and swimming, always

I had mixed emotions about being away from my family for the week or two spent at Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp. I liked the independence. The exclusively male companionship, however, was uncomfortable. It was my experience that, if left unsupervised, boys in groups seemed prone to misbehavior, particularly when they aped gender stereotypes. I felt isolated within the group, which is to say, normal for me!

Getting ready for Beech Mountain was always a chore. A chore mostly for our folks, that is! Backpack frames and sleeping bags and canteens and uniforms and---I don't remember what-- were crammed into vehicles. We travelled in cars that bulged, barely able to contain their humans and their weighty cargo.

Shown on video: Frank and Ann Hadden send off Jeff Diver and Steve Hadden as Howard Diver looks on; Marjorie & Jeff Diver; Jeff Diver, Jimmy Borland & Steve Hadden at Beech Mountain. 1957-58

Thanks to Don Gordon, who has posted some of the best Beech Mountain Boy Scout camp information on the web, memories of the summers I spent there have been refreshed. Overall, I had a good time and learned some lessons--but not necessarily those that were on the program!

updated 14 Feb 15