Boy Scout Shota

In the summer of 1962 my brother and I set out with a large contingent of fellow Boy Scouts for a Sixty-Mile hike in emulation of JFK’s call for a physical resurgence of youthful health. We departed from Adams Pond Camp south of Ossipee, NH and tramped through burnt forests and passed fields filled with tall cornstalks. The only memorable campsite was atop Evans Mountain next to a supposedly haunted house surrounded by blueberry fields.

None of us was older than twelve and the next day the temperature rose into the 90s and the scout masters promised their weakening troops a swim at New England’s most beautiful pond. We picked up our pace and ended up a muddy hole rimmed by thirsty cows. The scout leader shooed away the cattle and the oldest adult explained that tradition required a naked run around the pond.

The boys from South of the Charles River rejected this demand.

“Then you get no food tonight.”

“Fuck you then,” said a Eagle Scout from Southie.

The rebels outnumbered the obedient, but the leaders and their adherents stripped off their clothes to trot around the waterhole.

We went into the pond wearing our shorts.

That night we ate nothing.

The Scout Leaders and their followers sat around a bonfire and ate fried chicken washed down by ‘bug juice’ or Kool-Aid. None of the rebels joined them. We slept together with the older boys standing guard.

The next morning we rose before the dawn and trekked to the nearest road.

A farmer in a big truck stopped for us and asked, “Are you boys on that ‘hike’?”

“We were,” said a boy from Dorchester.

“I thought as much. Jump in the back and I’ll drive to Adams Pond.” He looked over his shoulder, as if the Boy Scout Leaders might stop him from aiding thirty-plus boys.

As we approached the camp, the oldest boy from Southie warned, “Don’t say nothing. Those motherfuckers will get you or us. I wish we could stop them from hurting our fellow scouts, but no one will believe us. Be prepared.”

1962 was almost sixty years ago.

Not yesterday, but I still see the young boys running naked around a dirty pond.

Fuck the Boy Scouts.

ps the last entry in the Boy Scout Handbook was about ‘noctural emissions’.

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