July 3, 2009

“Be Prepared” for this one


Boys' Life Magazine

The following paragraph may be lost on you — unless you are a former (or somehow current!) Boy Scout of America. Let me explain. I was in the dentist’s office this morning and spied a copy of Boys’ Life magazine in the rack. Seeing as this was a doctor’s waiting room, I fully expected this particular issue to be at least 30 years old. Imagine my surprise when I saw “June 2009” emblazoned on the cover!

With so many long-standing print publications meeting their demise these days, it gave me great comfort to unearth a current issue of a magazine that had such a profound effect on my boyhood years. I quickly thumbed through this latest issue to get a sense of how much scouting must have changed in America since yours truly roamed the woods. Amazingly, I found a number of Boys’ Life columns and comic strips that have somehow survived the past several generations. (Here comes the inside stuff for “scouts only.”)

Do you remember “The Wacky Adventures of Pedro?” What about “Pee Wee Harris,” the bumbling boy scout? And who can forget the always-dramatic “Scouts in Action” or the classified section called “Tradin’ Post?” Yep, they’re all still kickin.’ And it appears the very same cartoonists are still cranking out the ideas on a monthly basis. I may have long-since forgotten how to tie a square knot, whittle a Pinewood Derby® race car and successfully treat snakebite, but it’s nice to know some new kids are picking up the slack, thanks to Boys’ Life. Go get ’em, boys.