I remember one story that my mother (and my father, and my sisters, and my brothers) told me about a Boy Scout camping-related incident that happened sometime in the late 60s.
You see, my siblings are lucky because they went to school together, with only 2-3-year intervals between them. Not only did they have one another then, they also had tons of our relatives so you can just imagine all the fun that they all had. I was born a million years after everybody left grade school.
So one time, my eldest brother finally broke into the initial stages of getting into the world of men–as a cub scout. He belonged to the same troop as one of our cousins. One of the highlights of getting into “scouting” was going camping. They excitedly went about with the preparations and one of those involved creating a troop flag. My dad is the best go-to guy for logistics but when you need art, he’s awfully useless, so they went to the next “man”–my uncle. He was my mom’s cousin and he could draw very well.
For some reason, fathers get really excited when their sons get into the Boy Scouts. I’m not very sure of this but in our town, it’s like a rite of passage. My mom used to be really active in the local chapter of the Girl Scouts in our town when I was a kid. She’d told me hilarious stories of the crazy things that they did over overnight camping and whatnots. She was around 50 when she stopped going to GSP meetings. My other older sister, Nang Maya, had her share of GSP stories. My other sister, Goyen, (we have a 12-year gap between us) was a multi-awarded girl scout in grade school. She had that sash that was full of badges. She’s the only one in the family that has that. And it was really complete. I remember looking at her picture when I was a kid and wishing that I’d be like her too. The dream ended when I couldn’t even catch up with my groupmates when they’d run really fast after they filled their bottles with water when we were asked to fetch some. I suck at outdoor activities big time, save perhaps for flirting. LOL.
Going back to the story, my uncle was very excited for his son. So he bought a new white sack–the one that is used for rice, not the kind that they use for flour–and a black permanent marker. This happened in the late 60s, ok? The son, my cousin, asked his dad, “Pa, drowingi mig kabayo, kanang nawng sa kabayo gyud. [Pa, draw us a horse, the face of the horse.]”
And so my uncle did so. It was as if some surge of energy enveloped him and he happily drew a beautiful portrait of a horse’s face. it was complete with the mane and all the other details. When he was all finished with it, he gave the sack to his son.
My cousin said, “Pa, suwati dayon sa ubos ug Goat Patrol. Kanang dagko tanan. [Pa, write Goat Patrol right below it. In capital letters.]”