Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Scoutmaster Bud finish his journey

  • One’s journeys with cancer can be lengthy. Or the journey can be quite short.

    Bud’s journey was barely two months long.

    Friday night he finished.

    Life is a journey full of lessons. Simple. Profound. Routine. Complex. Many such lessons, at each level, came through the tutelage of Bud Peterson as my Scoutmaster.


    Scout hikes became lessons in how to pack a backpack, and not over pack. An extra pair of socks was only forgotten once. A flipped canoe helped two bullheaded teenagers stop fighting and learn to work together. Merit badges classes were more about the process of learning than just acquiring a skill. The “buddy system” taught responsibility for watching over each other.

    Bud helped me discover the beautiful solace found in the mountains. Away from the noise of everyday life, the rustling wind or babbling brook amplifying the miracle of silence. A screech of a bird of prey let me know I was never alone. The stars became a blanket of wonder wrapping me in their vastness.


    End of the day campfires offered Bud time to share a Scoutmaster Minute. Generally just a gem of a thought, most often forgotten as soon as it was shared, though the flickering firelight and symphonic crickets served to soften rowdy boys. Bud helped bring us closer to nature, closer to each other, and opened our souls to heaven’s touch.

    Bud’s step by tiny step tutelage helped us boys better understand what it really meant when we raised our arm to the square and repeated the Scout Promise, “On My Honor I’ll Do My Best.”

    The Boy Scout Slogan “Do A Good Turn Daily” and Motto “Be Prepared” became more than just hollow talking points.

    The twelve points of the Scout Law were no longer rushed through as they slowly ingrained into our lives.

    He taught us the importance of wearing our uniform the right way, every time.

    We learned to raise our arms to a perfect square and salute with exactness.


    The Boy Scouts use the Patrol Method as the primary system for training and organizing young boys. A Patrol Leader is appointed from among the boys to be their leader in charge of planning and conducting patrol meetings, scout camps and activities. The Patrol Leader will run things under the guidance and with assistance of the Scoutmaster. Not every troop functions at this level, but that’s the ideal, as taught by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting:

    “The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting

    for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.”

    Bud strived for this ideal.

    For a time period I was the Patrol Leader, being all of 12½ years old when I started. Some of the boys were older than me, even a few in a higher school grade. Most were more popular than I, which wasn’t hard to do. And now and then a few were set on doing things their own way no matter who was in charge. It was quite a bit for a young boy with little confidence to handle.

    Bud worked with me, and the troop, and together we generally passed for well-behaved kids. Not every patrol meeting went as planned, not every activity well executed. This patrol leader often got frustrated, as did the scoutmaster. Too often we forgot to wear uniforms, though I never once remember Bud forgetting.

    Bud wasn’t the perfect Scoutmaster. I’ve yet to meet one. But he never gave up and spent his life striving to make a difference in the lives of boys. As I shared last week, he came back into my life just before I turned 18 to help me finish my Eagle Scout requirements, then as my father-in-law.

    Bud was a Scouter through and through.

    It’s been an honor for me to call him Dad.

    I’ll miss him.

    Have a great Monday.  Thanks for letting me share.

    Les Patterson

    p.s. Take 15 minutes today to reflect on a leader or mentor from your youth.

    Les Patterson loves to share stories and the “Monday Morning Boost” is his way of sharing a story or two with family, friends, and clients. Les believes every person, business and organization has a story worth sharing. Since 1997 he has enjoyed finding compelling ways to share those stories through writing and producing radio commercials at the Cache Valley Media Group. Discover how he can help tell your story at www.CacheValleyMediaGroup.com. Feedback and comments are welcome at les@cvradio.com. ©2015, Les Patterson. All Rights Reserved. To UNSUBSCRIBE, reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and your email will be removed.