Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging


frech and American flag

Time Traveler Series: Boy Scouts, Mid-Twentieth Century America.
You could say that I was a precocious Boy Scout. It was mostly opportunity. I was the only child of a father who had dedicated his life to the Boy Scouts of America. Malcolm “Mac” Rogers was a virtual “missionary” for the Scouting movement in America.

boy scouts                             Will Rogers  Will Rogers     Boy ScoutRobert Baden-Powell was the founding Father of the Boy Scouts and was my father’s patron saint. Even though dead, Baden-Powell (and Will Rogers) were the other half of our daily foursome: Mac Rogers, BP, WR and Charles Rogers.  Much of my father’s values were epitomized in Baden-Powell and Will Rogers. It was my responsibility to learn all of this, assimilate these values, and be a leader.

For three years, I was a Den Chief for Cub Scout Dens. I taught boys younger than myself the fundamentals of scouting.cub scout   

Boy Scout activities:

scout law               eagle scout image         scout oath 2            Although The Boy Scout Program (and therefore my father) presented the program as a unified whole, without separate parts,  I was  camping focused. [“We don’t need no stinking’ badges”!]

merit badges                                                                               eagle scout 2

There seemed to be about a hundred assorted tasks and when you passed a test, you were awarded a merit badge.

When you accumulated enough of the right badges, you received the Eagle Scout Medal.  There was one physical test that I never could pass: my nemesis, the climbing of, unassisted, a single dangling rope. gym ropeI was never physically strong enough to climb the rope . Without the rope climb, I couldn’t pass the requirements for physical Fitness Merit Badge, required for Eagle rank.   Therefore, I never became an Eagle Scout. (No exceptions allowed for the leaders son).  To  me,  the merit badge/ medal component, was far less attractive than the Wilderness:  sleeping outdoors, and hiking.  From my seventh birthday, I had my own bed-roll, a tent, cooking kit, hunting knife, and backpack.

Our house was at the edge of town,  adjacent to woods. When I couldn’t be at Scout Camp, I pitched my tent in out our half-acre back yard next to the woods and camped out at home. Although I did not qualify for the “cliques” at school, because of my camping assets, I always had plenty of friends out-of-doors.

camping out               campfire 3

My father was known to every one as Mac; so that is what I always called him, Mac, not Dad. Mac was my best friend! Mac was my teacher. He knew things and could make things that no other father in my town could match. For example, when he was a Boy Scout, he had a scout leader who taught him archery in what we would now call: an immersive learning experience. Part of the challenge was to make your own bow and arrows; starting by obtaining the right tree of the right  size. Mac insisted on using the wood from Yew trees.     yew wood bow staves for sale     We used flints flin for arrowheads for the decorative arrows; but steel points, mostly.  We spent far more time making bows and arrows as using them.

swimimg hole    I was certified for the swimming merit badge in the river of Camp Rudy.

I was twice-blessed with fathers.  My father’s best friend was also my Scout Master.  “Skipper” Farnsworth was truly a Renaissance Man. Skipper taught me to swim. Skipper was almost always with us camping and was the leader for all five of my trips to Philmont Scout Ranch. 

Skipper way a teach-by-example instructor. It seemed he could do anything; then having done it, said: “now” you do it!


hiking with a burro           hikingth-8                           My ultimate Scouting experience was five summers, three weeks each, at Philmont Scout ranch.


couple hiking in the mountains burros 2 philmont 3


My experience in Boy Scouts was a wonderful out-of-doors experience in the forties and fifties.

Considering we had zero inherited wealth, I was the richest kid in town with all of the things that money can’t buy. I had the constant benevolent, nurturing, instruction including survival in-the-woods skills down to making my own bow and arrows and fishing. Cooking and first-aid. And it was put into practice. Money aside, I was very wealthy in basic life. I loved “basic and survival skills life, and I grew, and I’m still learning,  under my father’s  umbrella.

How is the Boy Scouts of America of the Twenty-first Century compared to the middle of the Twentieth Century?  I have lost first hand knowledge. I searched the internet and found, to my delight, that Philmont Scout Ranch is even more inviting now than sixty years ago. Click on the Philmont link below; then click on: “About”. There is an interesting video. [girl campers?]


Charles Clanton Rogers        November 17, 2015  Please leave a note.

[1] Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM GCMG GCVO KCB (22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941), also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, founder of the Scout Movement and first Chief Scout of The Boy Scouts Association., Wikipedia

[2] William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s. Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies”), wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska. Wikipedia

23 thoughts on “You Can Lead A Burro To Water….

  1. bbnewsab says:

    One of your best posts ever, KK. Lovable memories. And so this sentence: “Mac [my dad] was my best friend! What a beautiful declaration/confession of love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Considering we had zero inherited wealth, I was the richest kid in town with all of the things that money can’t buy. I had the constant benevolent, nurturing,instruction including survival in-the-woods skills down to making my own bow and arrows and fishing. Cooking and first-aid. And it was put into practice. Money aside,I was very wealthy in basic life. K


      1. clanton1934 says:

        Thank you. Where are you blogging from? What categories or tags interest you? Charles

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lbeth1950 says:

        I am exploring your site now and love it. I do a humor blog at WordPress. I also love writing about my family. Here’s a link.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. clanton1934 says:

        Thank you; I am going to your link now. Charles


      4. clanton1934 says:

        Your link is rich with many interesting ideas. It will take me sometime to read it thoroughly, decipher and digest. It is pleasure to meet you. I hope we can have more exchanges. Thank you. Charles

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Christa Warden says:

    I too enjoyed the enriching experience of (Girl) Scouts.I believe that scouting was a requirement in our house because of Uncle Mac’s personal and professional commitment .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Did you see that they have girl scouts at Philmont Scout Ranch? VA VA VOOM! c


  3. lbeth1950 says:

    I loved Will Roger’s homey humor. Is he a relative of yours. Mark Twain is probably my favorite author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      My father liked to believe he was related to Will. They were contemporary and for a while, they both lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They did meet one time which I heard about a thousand times but I doubt there was any genetic ties beyond that we all are cousins with “Lucy”. Mark Twain was used extensively by my literature teachers. Through out my life, I have used Tom Sawyer’s “let-others-paint-my-fence” maneuver to accomplish my goals. When you have the right fence and some pretty paint, people line up to do one’s work! Charles.


      1. lbeth1950 says:

        That’s a good plan. Love your work. Your posts are coming to my email now. Glad I found you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        Mutual; I have several interesting followers; you are on my list. c


      3. clanton1934 says:

        Just sent a major update to “links”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. lbeth1950 says:

        Okay. I am a dope. What does that mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. clanton1934 says:

        I had earlier today posted links of interesting and helpful links; this afternoon I added to the list with an addendum. You’re one of the interesting links! c

        Liked by 1 person

      6. lbeth1950 says:

        Oh , thank you.


  4. Love love this post Charles. What a wonderful relationship you had with your dad. He sounds dedicated to what he believed in and was there to guide you. You seemed to have really lived in a loving bubble. Still thinking about your grandma’s post and the sewing machine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I was born in dust-bowl OK, in the midst of the Great Depression; in spite of that, I consider that I was bored into the greatest, nurturing, benevolent, institutional family/ environment. Experiencing all of that was absolute convincing evidence of the value of people vs. material wealth. It’s not even close! c


      1. As corny as it might sound, it is always the simple moments and interactions that matter.
        I recommend this blog because it is smart and she always interacts with everyone who comments and will support your writing. Greek mythology, philosophy and poetry. Tell her we sent you.
        Thank you for another wonderful post!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        Thank you, I will. c


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