Another Greatest Generation?

Our family lost my mother’s beloved brother Leonard last month at age 92.  He was truly one of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ a hero who fought in WWII on a PT boat.  Despite my asking, he never talked about his time at war – perhaps out of modesty, perhaps because I truly wouldn’t have been able to comprehend.  But this warrior, who had also as a boy broken my mother’s eardrum in a prank when he encouraged her to listen at the end of a pipe to hear the ocean, and then lit an M80 caliber firecracker at the other end, became an amazing person.  He was hugely larger than life, a big friendly bear of a person who called me ‘Davy, Davy Crockett’, and took me along in his fascinating plumber’s truck as he pulled pumps on remote farms in western Minnesota.  He raised my four wonderful cousins into being incredible people.  He typed a warm, newsy letter and mailed it to my mother every Sunday night for 65+ years.  He was the volunteer fire chief, a deacon in his church, and he waved from his truck at everyone he saw on the street, because everyone in town knew him.

Will we ever have another generation like my Uncle Leonard’s? It is easy to look at what surrounds us and think that the whole country has gone to the dogs. The truth of the matter is that we are still growing people with the same character as the every day Americans that we venerate as the Greatest Generation.  We witnessed that again at this weekend’s Eagle Court of Honor.  Young A. Dahlmann, T648’s former SPL, one of our best youth mentors ever, and the youth in charge of Camp Geronimo’s summer camp HQ became his family’s 4th generation Eagle Scout.  During the ceremony, one of his former patrol members, who had also developed into an SPL in our troop, and recently been presented a Young American award by John McCain, provided the most eloquent and fitting tribute I have ever heard a young scout perform on behalf of his mentor.  Neither boy would likely have been considered leadership material 4-5 years ago, and look what a few productive years in scouting can aid in doing!  I have tremendous hope that the original Greatest Generation is leaving this world in good hands.

For those of you who missed Tuesday’s meeting, our Scoutmaster, Mr. Turner announced that he will be leaving beginning this morning for a new job in the Chicago area.  We thank him for he and his family’s wonderful service in our troop, and we wish them the best in their new opportunity.  While we will miss them, this is a busy time in the life of the troop, and we will begin the transition to our new Scoutmaster, Mr. McFetters over the course of the next three months while the Turner family lives in two places.  Our thanks to Mr. McFetters for becoming our future leader.  In the meantime, myself and Mr. Benyi will provide interim adult leadership.  This Tuesday is PLC at 6PM, and a unique chance to earn the Fingerprinting merit badge at the 7PM meeting.  Bring your partially completed worksheet from and join in the fun!  Also on Tuesday night, we will pass out tickets for our upcoming fundraiser – our spring pancake breakfast.  Later in the week we will return to Blessed Sacrament on Friday night for a service project from 4-7:30PM helping with the weekly Fish Fry, and on Saturday morning at 7AM for young Mr. Conrad’s Eagle Project, which involves digging permanent emplacements for the 14 stations of the cross in the garden north of the church.  Next Monday night, adult leaders will be gathering at SWC for an early version of our monthly meeting.

For those of you attending summer camp in June at Camp Geronimo, the third installment of $100 is due at Tuesday’s meeting.  Keep in mind that Scout Funds can also be used to pay for summer camp, and selling pancake breakfast tickets, providing items for the silent auction, and working the event on May 3rd are great ways to fatten a scout’s Scout Fund!

Whew – there’s a lot going on!  Let’s get started by seeing you at tomorrow night’s PLC and troop meetings!

Mr. Cole