Tag Archives: Boy Scouts

Happy Trails, Part 113: Adult supervision anyone?

I don’t normally like discussing adult supervision in this blog, but since my High Plains Blogger profile talks about “life experience,” I want to offer a brief glimpse of what my wife and I witnessed on a quick trip back to Amarillo, Texas.

We saw first hand how adults should and should not handle minors under their supervision.

First, the “should not” example.

We were parked for three nights at an RV park in far west Amarillo. One afternoon, some kids walked by our fifth wheel and one of them pounded on the door. The noise upset Toby the Puppy. My wife and I went outside and confronted one of the boys and told him to quit doing that.

The boy kind of smirked back at me and said the culprit was a friend of his, who was nowhere to be seen. Fine. Then I said, “Just knock it off.”

Late that night, we turned in around 11 p.m. All three of us had gone to bed. Then came another knock on the door. The Puppy got upset again. We went outside. No sign of the kids.

Ah, but then we noticed an RV parked across the road from ours. We believed it belonged to the coach/dad who was accompanying the boys, who were part of a baseball team that was in Amarillo to play in a tournament; the visitors are from western Oklahoma.

We knocked on his door. Coach/Dad answered. “Are you the coach of the boys here?” my wife asked. “Yes.” Then we told him about what had just happened. He was mortified. One of those kids is his son, he said. He grabbed his cell phone and called his son. “Get back to the trailer — right now!” he said.

The kids returned. We went back to our RV. We watched the kids enter their trailer. We’ll presume Coach/Dad gave them a serious tongue-lashing.

Two quick points I want to make here: One is that the boys had no good reason to be out wandering through an RV park at 11 p.m. The adults should have reeled them in much earlier. The kids also should have been made to apologize for disturbing us; they didn’t do it.

Shame on Coach/Dad.

This morning we had breakfast at a restaurant near our Amarillo RV park. We ate our meal with our son. Then we finished, got up and walked toward the door. We noticed a group of Boy Scouts sitting quietly. They were eating their meal, too. We hardly knew they were in the room.

Those boys were exhibiting discipline, decorum and good manners.

Good job to their scoutmaster.

There. Rant over. We’re back home in Fairview. I’m quite certain no one is going to beat on our door in the wee hours.

Here is how you address a Scout Jamboree

Donald John Trump delivered a hideously inappropriate message to the Boy Scout Jamboree.

In it, the president chastised former President Obama for non-attendance at one of these events while he was in office. The president, though, was correct to say that Obama didn’t attend a Jamboree in person, but he did record a message to the 2010 event to commemorate scouting’s 100th anniversary.

You can see the former president’s remarks¬†here.

They are totally in keeping with the tradition that presidents of the United States have followed for decades to help the Scouts celebrate their service.

That is, until this year.

Trump continues to disgrace his office

I simply am at a loss to understand the president of the United States.

He continues to exhibit an utter disregard for presidential decorum, such as the most recent “performance” he staged at the Boy Scout Jamboree.

Donald John Trump stood before about 40,000 Scouts and their leaders and decided to make a political speech. He denigrated his immediate predecessor, Barack H. Obama, for allegedly failing to appear at a Jamboree; he was wrong, as Obama attended the 2010 event. He tore into Hillary Rodham Clinton, who he defeated in the 2016 election. Trump excoriated Congress for failing to enact a Republican-authored health care bill.

On and on he went …

The Boy Scout Jamboree is among the last places on Earth one would expect to hear such a political diatribe. That didn’t deter this guy.

Let me point out here that Trump never became a Scout; Obama did. For him to criticize President Obama was akin to his declaring that former Vietnam War prisoner Sen. John McCain was a hero “only because he was captured; I like those who aren’t captured, OK?” Oh, yes, Trump never served in the military, while McCain flew combat missions on fighter jets during the Vietnam War.

I won’t belabor the point too much longer, but I feel the need to say that never in my entire life have I felt the utter disdain for a president of the United States that I do for the current White House resident. I cannot attach the terms “President” and “Trump” consecutively.

I say this yet again even thought I do accept that Trump was elected fairly and squarely. He won more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton and won enough of them to be elected president. I do not subscribe to the idea that the Russian meddling in 2016 was decisive; Trump likely would have won even without the Russians’ interference.

However, he continues to disgrace the office. He sickens me at many levels. I’ve lost count of the “last straw” comments he has made since becoming a full-time politician. The Boy Scout riff is just the latest. I’m sure there’ll be more.

Trump trashes yet another tradition

I know quite a few Boy Scouts. Some of them are proud Eagle Scouts. And some of them likely have attended the annual Scout Jamboree, which is a huuuge deal in the world of scouting.

I was a Boy Scout once myself, although I didn’t climb too far up the ladder of achievement.

Have any of my scouting pals ever heard a presidential speech like the one delivered this week by Donald John Trump? Ohhh, I doubt it — bigly!

The president took the occasion to launch into a political riff likes of which have been avoided for the eight decades that presidents have been speaking to the Boy Scouts.

He attacked “fake news,” he attacked his predecessor Barack Obama, he attacked the candidate he defeated in 2016.

How much time did the president spend during his 35-minute speech saluting the values of “reverence” and “obedience” pushed by the Scouts? Damn little! Did he talk about the need to always “be prepared”?

Trump meandered through a litany of tales about his business career and his still-young political career. “Who the hell wants to talk politics” at the Jamboree? Trump asked.

I guess he did.

Trump set the stage for this kind of ridiculousness almost from the beginning of his presidency. Recall the day after his inauguration when he went to the CIA, stood before the wall honoring those who have fallen in service to their country and then extolled the size of his “massive” political victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Tradition, decorum, dignity of the office mean nothing to the clown who now occupies it. He demonstrated it yet again.

I am shaking my head … in disgust.

What makes a good commander in chief?

Scott Walker says that being an Eagle Scout prepared him to be commander in chief of the greatest military force in the history of the world.

So, there you have it. Join the Scouts, earn enough merit badges and you, too, can serve in the Oval Office.

The Republican Wisconsin governor was answering the question on a conservative radio talk show.


I won’t dismiss Walker’s Eagle Scout accomplishment as being irrelevant as Walker prepares to enter the 2016 GOP presidential primary donnybrook.

In truth, I don’t know what prepares someone to be commander in chief. The qualifications of the 44 men who’ve served as president are a mixed bag, to say the least.

A couple of our greatest presidents — Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt — didn’t serve in the military. Yet they saw the country through two horrific wars.¬†Virtually all Lincoln’s presidency was eaten up by the Civil War and yet he held the Union together. FDR mobilized the nation after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and led the nation beautifully as it carried the fight to enemies in the Pacific and across the Atlantic in Africa and Europe.

Republican Dwight Eisenhower ascended to the rank of general of the Army, but didn’t have to mobilize the nation during his two terms as president. Republican Ulysses S. Grant became an Army general, but his presidency was marred by scandal.

Our three most recent presidents among them have very little combined military experience. Democrat Bill Clinton didn’t serve in the military and in fact avoided the draft back in the 1960s; Republican George W. Bush served for a time in the Texas Air National Guard, flying fighter jets stateside; Democrat Barack Obama also has no military experience.

Does prior military service equate to preparation for being commander in chief? I don’t know.

And does such service mean more than achieving an Eagle Scout ranking? I don’t know that, either.

It seems to boil down to judgment and whether a president has the right judgment — and perhaps the temperament — to lead the world’s premier fighting force.

Maybe a stint in Scouting helps develop those traits. Then again, maybe it doesn’t if the individual doesn’t already possess the innate skill and judgment required to do the most difficult job on Earth.