December 7, 2010

The Amherst Club

December 7, 2010


On a blustery, wintery day, Bill Hart asked us to imagine August 20, 1967, when a teen-age boy sat at dusk on a sandy peninsula in a smooth lake under a clear sky watching a full moon rise over the horizon and thinking of the girl he loved.  Thanks, Bill.

Actually, Bill valiantly stepped in at the last minute to replace an ailing speaker.  He talked to us about the Boy Scouts, an organization that has been central to his life for virtually his whole life and is now central to his sons' lives as well.  He reviewed the history of the scouting movement, shared some personal as well as institutional memories.  This year is the centennial anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.  Bill read excerpts from the centennial publication, noting that Charles Eastman, a Sioux indian who lived and worked in Amherst and was a major figure in starting the scouting movement in this country, is not mentioned in it.

Bill shared a number of items with us - handbooks, facsimiles, and scouting pamphlets.  When asked how he, as a scout leader, dealt with complaining or recalcitrant boys, he made two comments: get close to the boy, and find older boys to push and pull him.  He noted that the Girl Scout movement is about the same age as the Boy Scout movement in this country.  When asked about the BSA policy about homosexual scout leaders, he said it is still a challenge.  The national organization is still heavily supported by major religious organizations that would not allow the Boy Scouts to have openly homosexual leaders.  However, he also said that the Western Massachusetts troops have broken with this national policy.

Ruth Hooke brought Ann Levinger as her guest.

Phyllis Lehrer distributed Love Note tickets and invitations to those present.  Jim Scott urged selling to begin.  Money from the sale of tickets should be given to Jim.  If possible he would like a list of names of buyers with an indication of their status (Concert only, concert and party, angel).

Michael Greenebaum noted that the program for Tuesday, December 21st, will be provided by the Amherst Regional High School Chorale.  A good day for guests and/or family.


Michael Greenebaum, note-taker