Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cruising in the Cub Scouts

I was never a Boy Scout, but I was a Cub Scout -- for about five minutes in the winter of fourth grade.

They promoted it heavily in school, with film strips and guest speakers, and a giant assembly where they extolled the wonders of the Loud Thunder Boy Scout Camp.

Lots of cute boys hugging in swimsuits.

It sounded like a good way to increase our cruising options, and get more cute boys for our sleepovers, so Bill, Joel, and I joined.

I liked the cool blue uniforms, the Indian lore, and the various guidebooks that demonstrated how to win merit badges: swimming, diving, life saving.

And our  pack consisted mostly of boys we didn't know from class, so we did get some new opportunities for meeting cute boys.

The pack leader was cute, although I never saw him like this.

Bill and I always cut out just before the final song, "God Bless America," and ran home through the dark winter night to catch The Partridge Family.  It was fun being out after dark by ourselves.

But the benefits were far outweighed by the horrible arts-and-crafts activities!

First, we had to glue something together.  How was I supposed to know that new tubes of glue need a pin-prick?  I squeezed and squeezed, and the whole thing burst all over my scout uniform.

Not the best way to attract the attention of a cute boy.  My mother never did get it clean again.

And we were supposed to build cars out of a block of wood, and paint them.  Smelly, messy, disgusting.

But the worst was the Boy Scout Jamboree that we had to attend downtown.  Boy Scouts demonstrating inane skills, like gardening and being nice to old people.

The one I remember the most vividly is "how to build a fallout shelter" for nuclear war.  Way to put a damper on the afternoon!

The opportunity for cruising wasn't worth it.  Bill and I dropped out.  Joel stuck around.

A few years later, Harvey comics featured a series in which Casper becomes a Cub Scout.   Spooky and Hot Stuff join, too.

Apparently they are all eight years old.

I couldn't figure out why someone who regularly fights mad scientists, monsters, and aliens would want to spend his evenings glueing things together and carving cars out of wood blocks.

Unless Casper was looking for new cruising opportunities, too.

See also: Looking for Beefcake on the Swim Team and The Hookup at the Sleepover.

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