AN UNHERALDED STRENGTH
NURTURING LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIP
If memory serves, the 1950s edition of THE HANDBOOK FOR BOYS,
colloquially known as the Boy Scout Handbook, in highlighting the
strengths and attractions of the movement, alluded to the friendships
that were bound to form among members of one’s patrol and one’s
troop. Understandably, the material made no reference to
maintaining these relationships for, say, sixty-five or more years. For
the adolescent psyche, pondering the likely events of the next several
months may be the extent of introspection about the future.
Adolescents tend to live in the present. Yet, arguably, Scouting, in
various ways, may well have planted the seed in terms of the merit of
Of course, the SCOUT LAW does allude to friendship: “A Scout is
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, FRIENDLY...” We all know the drill.
Did any of us take the Scout Law literally? The answer is negative.
But, these guidelines to conduct may have had a greater long-term
influence than many of us could have imagined.
As a Camp Man, Lakeside Division rookie in 1953, l was housed with my
“home troop” in Kiwiken, a nondescript lean-to campsite. The sole claim
to fame of the place was its proximity to The Tower of Friendship.
Virtually every Scout from each camp which bordered Crystal Lake took a
day hike to The Tower of Friendship and was exposed to its lore. The
“hike” from Kiwiken to the Tower was approximately two hundred yards,
so our visits were virtually on a daily basis. We were in awe of the
collection of stones from each of the states and from several foreign
countries...all provided by Scouts like ourselves. Our conversations
focused on the place names. On some level we comprehended the relevance
of the Tower as a physical symbol of the profound bonds created through
Fast forward to the present. As we speak, a friendship founded in the
mid -1950s through Queens Council Scouting, Ten Mile River
participation and Suanhacky Lodge leadership is as strong as ever. The
bond of friendship between Stephen Bergman (Suanhacky Lodge Chief,
1959-60) and Martin Von Holden, (Suanhacky Lodge Chief, 1960-61) and
their respective families is rock solid. Thank you, Queens Council
Scouting, for influencing two lives in such a sustained and profound
The HANDBOOK FOR BOYS may not have defined the entire scenario, but it
did its job well!
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From Camp Man
Last Updated: December 25, 2015
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