The Boy Scouts

Mr. William Hewell and his wife Edna lived in an apartment next door in the Ed Travis House. Mrs. Hewell was principal of the Fayetteville Grammar School and Mr. Hewell was a banker with his brother at Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank. They were leaders in their church and Mr. Hewell was also the local Scout Master.

I wanted to be a Boy Scout so very much. I’d see Mr. Hewell in the yard and I’d ask him questions about the Scouts. He said it would be a while before I could join since you had to be 12 years old and I was only 6.

When I became 12 Mr. Satterfield was the Scout Master. Mr. Satterfield was the Soil Conservation Agent for this area. To become a Tenderfoot you had to commit to memory the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. Mr. Satterfield required that you be able to repeat the Scout Law verbatim. I spent some time in his office until I could repeat it to his satisfaction.

Daddy and Mother were very supportive. Daddy went to the Army Surplus store in Atlanta . (He had been in the service and said he knew what I needed). He bought me a pup tent, some army blankets, a folding cot, a mess kit, and a canteen. When we went on camping trips, I had about all I could carry. Mother knew someone whose son had been in the Scouts and she bought me his uniform. It was a little old fashioned with a Smoky Bear hat . The pants were short and were worn with knee-high stockings. The shirt had long sleeves. Although I didn’t look like the other boys, I thought I looked real good. It was the way I had dreamed of looking when I’d talked with Mr. Hewell.

That next summer the school principal Mr. Owens was Scoutmaster and he planned for us to spend a week at Camp Thunder, which was down below Concord. About half the troop rode in Mr. Owens’ car but some of us had to ride in a small pull trailer. About half way to camp my Smokey Bear hat blew off. Mr. Owens stopped so I could run back and get it. As I ran back my knee-high stockings fell down around my ankles. I tried to pull them up as I ran with little success. I got back in the trailer, sat on my hat, and rolled my stockings down to my ankles. ....not quite the look I’d aspired to.

I loved the Scouts. Most of the other boys found other interests but I stayed on. I even went back to Camp Thunder one summer. At one time I was Den Chief of a Cub Scout Den. Now being older than the other scouts, I became a Junior Assistant Scout Master. The Scoutmaster at this time was the Methodist Preacher. He was not the robust type. He even carried sandwiches on one of our camp-outs. I was able to help him a lot.

I never fulfilled my dream to be an Eagle Scout, but I almost made it. When the troop disintegrated I was a Life Scout which is one level below the Eagle.