The Den Chief

I know I’m a hopeless romantic, and I’m aware that I shouldn’t let what I think and feel be the empirical measure for the thoughts and feelings of others. But, I love to share, and the memories of my Den Chief, and much of Scouting, are embodied in Norman Rockwell’s paintings.

When I was a Cub Scout, I had fun. I did fun things with my den, I could earn badges and receive recognition, and I loved the uniform which made me feel important and gave me a sense of belonging. In and through my Cub Scout career, there was a sense that I was steadily approaching something wonderful. It was up ahead, and it promised new experiences…real life adventures! The glimpses I had in Boys Life Magazine, and actually seeing an older person in his green uniform, like my Den Chief, portended new heights of discovery—experiences about which I could only vaguely begin to imagine. I knew there would be unparalleled thrills and excitement, albeit from my vantage point, they were all shrouded in an aura of mystery and intrigue. What was gradually welling up in me was the realization—someday I would actually become a Boy Scout!

"The Den Chief"—My Idol!
“The Den Chief”—My Idol!

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts—here’s the major difference: In Cub Scouts boys might use sticks and string to make a little model of a bridge, and in Boy Scouts, young men can learn how to use rope and spars and build a real one.

3 thoughts on “The Den Chief”

  1. I have often wondered why I grabbed onto scouting as I did when many of my peers where in it just to get their Eagle — never mind be an Eagle. We had a fantastic Cub and Boy Scout program in our church, but I think a pivotal element for me was my Webelo Den Chief Mark. He was the son of our Webelo Den Leader and showed us how to walk on stilts we had made and taught us how to play kick the can. The transition to the troop was that much easier because I knew my friend Mark would be there.

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