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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Boy Scouts of America

Written by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today I want to share some thoughts about our blind spots and cultural stereotypes. Sometimes it takes an insider to understand and capture the real community that exists; one that outsiders do not or can not understand.

I think about my time in the Boy Scouts while growing up. I belonged to Boy Scout Troop 426 in Downey, California. I joined this troop with about a dozen or so guys that I had gone to school with, played baseball with during the summers, and been in the Cub Scout Pack at my elementary school. In short, these are guys that I had spent about a half dozen years during the prime of my life to that point. The camaraderie that we experienced would be hard to explain to an outsider. We each knew each other and our strengths and weaknesses. These came into play as we challenged the forces of nature, whether it be rain, desert, or mountains. When we were the first group to blaze the trail that later became one of the major scout hikes in the Los Angeles area, we worked together as a team. Outsiders did not understand, including our parents. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photographs of that experience, but those photographs could have helped to capture the moment.

I have tried to relate a story along a similar line to you below about a photographer, Shelby Lee Adams, who grew up in the Appalachian mountains and captured this special culture on film. I hope that you will enjoy this presentation and that it will open your eyes to a different view of these mountain people. I will come back to this work in a future post. Enjoy… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1491 Words ]


Quotations Related to Appalachia:

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“I’ve never set out consciously to write American music. I don’t know what that would be unless the obvious Appalachian folk references.”
— Carlisle Floyd

“Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer, even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.”
— Robert Morgan

“Daddy was real gentle with kids. That’s why I expected so much out of marriage, figuring that all men should be steady and pleasant.”
— Loretta Lynn

 “I know there’s some kind of history to mountain music-like it came from Ireland or England or Scotland and we kept up the tradition.”
— Loretta Lynn

“We don’t intend to always keep this necessarily African oriented. Originally I had hoped to have African American Indian of this area, and the Appalachian of this area, but at the same time, just as we have the Haitian room, we will always have room for another exhibit.”
— Katherine Dunham

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Written by Gerald Boerner




Another Day, Another Day of Hope. The night wasn’t too bad. It got down to the mid-40s, but the winds! I guess that’s going to be the story of the day. It’s supposed to get up to the mid-60s today with sunshine, but the winds are gusting. As you may have heard or seen on the news, the LA area had wind gusts of 80 to 100 mph last night. Pasadena, that nice little community tucked into the San Gabriel Mountain foothills had such bad winds that trees toppled on gas stations (Poetic Justice?), homes, roads, etc. Driving is hazardous and people have been encouraged to stay home today, a virtual "wind day", I guess. LAX even lost power for a period of time last night.

We will have winds here in River City, no doubt. But the cold winds blowing down the Cajon Pass from the high deserts will affect Ontario and Fontana much more than they will hit us. We will see gusts up into the 40 mph range, but it means more leaves in the pool; too bad it’s the day for our pool service to be here, because we will probably need it more on Saturday after the worst of the winds! Our big concern always has been that the tall (100 ft or higher) Eucalyptus trees along our street might fall, block the road or worse. Especially bothersome, though is the large "volunteer" Eucalyptus in our front yard, if it were to come down, would fall on our cars and/or the house. Cross your fingers with us!  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2158 Words ]


Quotations Related to (Lord) Robert Baden-Powell:


“We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it.”
— Robert Baden-Powell

“The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.”
— Robert Baden-Powell

“The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.”
— Robert Baden-Powell

“When you want a thing done, ‘Don’t do it yourself’ is a good motto for Scoutmasters.”
— Robert Baden-Powell


My Musings of the Day: My Life in the Boy Scouts…


Well, we’re having a great time with Heather. She is always a joy to my life; I love talking to her and exploring ideas about what we are reading or writing. She’s getting ready to write a piece that deals with the Boy Scouts with special needs. I look back on my scouting days with lots of good feelings. It was probably one of the major influence on my life as I grew up. I went through the three years of Cub Scouts with the group of guys that I had grown up with at Downey Elementary School. We would play on the same baseball team each summer and participated in the Cub Scout meetings each month. I remember with fondness going to school on our meeting days dressed in my Cub Scout uniform, as did my friends. My parents were active supporters of the troop and my Mother was even a Den Mother for a time.

But the real experience was when I turned eleven and could join the "real" Boy Scouts! I loved it. I belonged to Troop 426 at the local Presbyterian Church. We held weekly meetings in the Cumberland Hall at the Church each Tuesday night; we would proudly wear our scout uniform to school that day. We had great camaraderie, great adult leaders to serve as role models, and I remember many of the Scout Masters with great affection.

I remember one, Bob Reitzel, with special affection (in a positive, role model way!); he would be there every Tuesday night at our meetings, go on our camping trips one weekend a month, and give us the moral guidance that became the basis of my lifelong walk. What’s more, he had been in the Marines in the Pacific during World War II. The stories that he had to tell about the beach landings, the fighting and horror of war, and all. Not only that, he gave us his time even though he was married to a beautiful, young wife.

There were other leaders like Mr. Williams, Jimmy’s dad. Jimmy and I had been friends forever. We were in scouts together, played baseball together, and were buddies! But as a scout leader, his dad was an inspiration to me and helped me along with the other guys to sort out our feelings about life, girls, and what’s right. He would drive us to our once-monthly camping trips to the desert, mountains, or seashore.

The amazing thing was that these men that give so freely of their time were not professionals who went to the office each day, have leisurely lunches, and all. The were generally hard working men in factories. Reitzel works at the Challenge company as a welder on the big ready-mix cement devices so important to the growing SoCal region. Mr. Williams worked for AT&T and was my first introduction to modern technology. Others worked for factories that made springs, assembled autos, or in construction. These were men of the earth and taught me Oh so many lessons that shaped who and what I am.

So I look forward to talking Heather about all this today. We’ll even pull out my scouting treasures, my twenty-some merit badges on my Uniform slash, my Eagle Award Medal (the highest rank that you could earn!), and my Order of the Arrow patch. I treasure these awards even after these fifty-some years. I will always remember fondly these experiences. I hope that Heather can obtain some insights for writing her article from our conversations…

Photo of the Day:

In summary, I want to share with you one of my photos that still gives me inspiration and brings back memories of those bygone years. I was not into photography back then and have few images of that era. But I hope that you enjoy this image…

_Church and Sky

[ Photo by Unknown Photographer ]

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Brainy Quote: (Lord) Robert Baden-Powell Quotes…

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoOn this day, in 1910, a new organization was formed in Washington, D.C., the Boy Scouts of America. This was an extension of a movement that had been started in England by Lord Baden-Powell. It was a program to promote character development, spirituality, high moral standards, and physical fitness in the boys growing up in a world undergoing rapid change.

The scouts inherited a great deal of legacy from military training, especially in the earlier days. I can speak directly to the experience of scouting on a boy’s life; I was involved with the Cub Scouts for three years before moving on to the regular Boy Scouts from the age of eleven. Each boy became a member of a troop and a patrol within that troop. Regular meetings were held each week and there was generally one outdoor, camping trip each month. The friends made during this association have remained meaningful throughout my life, even though I have not seen some of them for years.


Why was this experience so meaningful? Scouts was a meeting place for learning to live within a organizational structure. It was a place to learn some of the big lessons of life from the adult leaders. Given that I participated in scouts during the decade after World War II, our leaders were able to pass on to us the hard lessons that they had learned during that conflict. And above all else I learned to value the rewards of Service and appreciation of Nature and the Environment.

It gave me many fond memories preparing this posting, including earning my Eagle award. I look forward to hearing to hearing about other experiences with the scouts. So let’s start our exploration of the Boy Scouts…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4102 Words ]


Quotations Related to SCOUT:


“A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.”
— Robert Baden-Powell

“All the guys called the Olympic Village a high-class Boy Scout camp.”
— Johnny Weissmuller

“A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.”
— Robert Baden-Powell

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