Black and White and Red All Over            

When I was younger, I really wanted to be a part of the Eagle Scouts. Since watching a movie that most people on here won’t remember, I got this image in my head of what it would be like to be a part of that unique community, learning new skills, helping others, and creating a foundation for my life that would go on forever. Unfortunately, I lived in an area where there wasn’t a troupe, and so had to resort to other methods. I gathered up a group of my childhood friends, and we formed the Panda Scouts, our own take on the group that would help us not only attain that goal of information and skills that we yearned for, but also have a spin on it that made it our own.

I assumed the role of Scout leader, being the oldest of the group, and it essentially being my idea and all. There was four other members that we separated into different roles to create some form of hierarchy, and all that remained was to actually formulate what it was that we were doing with this group. I knew a little bit about what the Eagle Scouts did through watching movies and my own research, but needed to find out how to do it first myself, so that I could get others to do it as well. It was a great learning experience for me, and as well for the troupe I led, as we got the opportunity to formulate our skills on our own.

I remember spending hours in my backyard trying to figure out how to create fire with very little tools, and the patience that my parents displayed, allowing their child to learn how to incinerate a backyard with a couple sticks and some cotton balls. After getting out all the books I could find in the local library, and rubbing my hands raw on this kindling, I eventually got it to work. I know writing it that way makes it seem like it was a short lived endeavor, but let me tell you, I spent hours in that back yard, from morning till night trying to get it to work. Running my hands up and down that twig until I was blistered and calloused, and only after a solid week of trying did it work, needless to say, if it was a survival thing, I would have been dead.

The next step was a little trickier, trying to teach the rest of my troupe how to do it. I was lucky to have a group of friends who were as determined as I was, because after the first few hours, I expected all of them to quit, but nope, by the end of the week, we all had the ability to start fire, albeit it would take about an hour, which was certainly an improvement from our first foray into fire building for our own survival purposes.

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