Why on earth was I made to join the Scouts?

Why on earth was I made to join the Scouts?

Why on earth was I made to join the scouts?
My parents hoped it would get me out and about.
The only thing it did
was implant in me a doubt
That I was anything like the other boys.

There was so much that I really couldn’t do
Like light a fire or paddle a canoe
The one thing it instilled in me
was being part of a crew
And the fun that I could have with the other boys.

It wasn’t the sort of place where I’d leave my stamp
Or go on hikes, across the moors we’d tramp.
Although in hindsight
it taught me everything about camp
From singing songs with all the other boys.

We’d cut down burly trees with a big old axe
And have to always strive to do our max
Dressing up in drag
singing along to backing tracks
Which is what I did with a few of the other boys.

It was a time of lust and strange hormones
In an age before we had any mobile phones
We’d use morse code
to feel somehow less alone
And chat and bitch about the other boys

We were taught that life could sometimes be quite bitter
And after camp we’d pick up all the litter.
Who on earth has plastered
the tent in tinsel and glitter?
That was me and one or two of the other boys.

We had to swear an oath to Baden Powel’s mission
Take a course in tying knots with deadly precision
We never went that night
cos it clashed with Eurovision.
Which I watched at home with all of the other boys.

Our leader started to think that things were amiss
Or maybe that we were probably taking the piss
Don’t look so sour I said,
just give us a kiss
And that’s how I left the scouts and the other boys.

Author: Robert Garnham

Performance and spoken word artist.

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