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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two First Class Performances

When I was a kid, I was active in Cub Scouts. I earned about every award you could earn. Eventually, the church that supported my Cub Scout troop decided to start a Boy Scout troop. I was one of the first to go into it.

That troop lasted about two years before folding.

And during those two years, I earned a few merit badges. In the progression to Eagle, I earned the rank of Second Class Scout. I had a long way to go. (For those of you unfamiliar with the ranks, it’s Scout-Tenderfoot-Second Class-First Class-Star-Life-Eagle.) When my troop folded, I could have joined one of many other troops available. However, I never felt the desire to join one of them. I was too busy with other things. A couple of years later, I tried volunteering with my own church’s troop. However, I was still too busy. I couldn’t maintain a commitment.

My older son is involved in scouting. He enjoys it a lot. He didn’t start until he was a Webelo, but he has been active. He works on merit badges. I think he’s up to thirteen now.

More importantly, he recently just earned a new rank. He became a First Class Scout. Yep, he surpassed his old man. And I couldn’t be happier.

He’s already strategizing about how to make Eagle. He’s volunteered to work on his first service project. He’s going to camp this summer to earn merit badges that are required for Eagle. He may eventually make it some day.

Scouting isn’t the only place where he’s exceeded what I could do. He also loves baseball and is still playing both in the fall and in the spring. Like scouting, he started playing baseball late, too. However, he’s been at it for a few years now. When he started, he had trouble hitting.

He didn’t give up.

Over time, he got better. We’re now about halfway through the spring. He doesn’t usually hit the ball very hard. Still, he gets on base at least once per game. More impressive is that he rarely strikes out. Instead, he puts the ball in play. He struck out in the most recent game. That was only after three two-strike foul balls.

As for me, I had enough trouble putting wood on the ball. I stunk as a hitter.

I’m proud of my son and what he has accomplished. I hope he knows how much.

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