Saturday, June 21, 2008

Middle School

I had moved to the Middle School for the fifth and sixth grades during these years. I remember the new friends that I made who had been in the other Elementary school. Two of them turned out to be my best friends when we joined the Boy Scouts at the Presbyterian church. We met every Friday night for indoor games and instruction in the Scout Law and Oath. The game most enjoyed was Snatch. There was a hanky in a circle in the center of the room. The scouts lined up on each wall. A number was called and you went out to meet your opponent. If he snatched the hanky and ran you would try to touch him before he got back to safety. You could grab the hanky and run the same way. After the meeting was over a group of us would go to the drug store for a banana spIit - a sliced banana with three dips of ice cream and nuts and chocolate on the top. Every Saturday a group of us would meet at the movie house for a western movie with cowboys and Indians. I knew all the Cowboys by names. I really enjoyed the overnight cam pouts. We did not get much sleep but had fun scaring each other. I remember quite well how two scouts would go out into the woods and imitate a wildcat. We had to learn how to build a fire and cook to become a second class scout. We used our skills on the camp outs. We cooked potatoes in the hot ashes. I well remember the Court of Honor where we came in our scout uniforms to see if we had learned enough to receive our award. It was an impressive gathering because there were other troops as well.

The most exciting part of scouting was summer camp. We would spend or two weeks in cabins. There was a lake for swimming and canoeing. All of the scouts from one troop stayed in the same cabin. There were campfires at night where we sang and played games. I remember most the long hikes that we made. Scouting was a big thing in my life during the early teen years. I achieved the rank of Life but could not accomplish Eagle because of the Life Saving merit badge.
When I was 15 years old my oldest brother was married, and they lived in our house. His wife Mary became pregnant and added more to my education.