I never thought I could enjoy a view as much as I did that day! My Patrol and I had just hiked to the top of the tallest mountain in Oklahoma. It wasn’t super tall compared to Colorado standards, but coming from North Texas, it was the tallest I had ever seen!
My Troop had prepared for this trip for a while, and I was really looking forward to it! Granted, we went at a cold time of the year, but I completely forgot about my freezing ears and wind-burnt face when we finally reached the summit! Looking around, I could see for many miles. Lakes in the distance appeared like small ponds; the nearest town looked like a spiderweb of tiny roads and buildings.
Climbing the scenic mountainside with my Patrol, I felt like a character out of my favorite novel. Except instead of reading it, I was living it!
Since the beginning of civilization young men have been inspired by exciting stories of daring quests and adventures. When you read a good story, it inspires you to want to live it out yourself. Unfortunately, many young men are content to just read/watch stories without wanting to do something great themselves! It’s too much work! It requires them to get out of their comfort zone.
This malady is called “spectator-itis”. This causes people to be content simply watching, not doing! Scouts are the opposite of this! We want to do real things in the real world!
This is why I love camping out in the wilderness! The wilderness is the area beyond civilization. It is those real places where my survival is depending only on myself and my Patrol. It is the unknown places. There could be anything out there! I want to explore it!
I developed this excitement and love of the wilderness over time. There were many challenges and many uncomfortable moments. Next post, I’ll tell you about one camp that I went on where I was absolutely miserable and what I did about it.
In the meantime, leave a comment below or join me on the GreenBar life forum and let me know how you feel about camping! If you love camping, or hate camping, let me know! Do you think this spirit of exploration is important in Scouting?
Jeremy McGuire says
I don’t usually write in forums, like yourself i feel that the spirit of exploration is very important to a scout or patrol. I’ve been absent from scouting for many years (20). Upon my return to scouting with my son i’ve noticed that scouts don’t have that longing to want to explore. Its as if they want to be entertained. The scoutmaster and myself along with some other leaders are working on putting the scout back in scouting and a love for the outdoors and everthing it has to offer.