One of the coolest things I think I learned from Scouting was pioneering. If we had spare time on a campout, we'd head into a wooded area looking for long straight pieces of wood that hadn't begun to rot yet. Then we'd get our hands on some twine or other rope, and we'd try to decide what to build. The Handbook and Field Guide both have fun ideas for things to build. I can remember building a couple different kinds of bridges, a chippewa kitchen, and a tower. We built a raft at one point, too, but it didn't support much weight.

Another really cool thing was wilderness survival. Throw me in the middle of the woods or the desert in any season or what have you, and I'll be able to find my way out or get myself rescued, or even stay there for a while if it suits me. I know at least five ways to start a fire, and at least four techniques for building one. I can navigate without a compas. I can tell time without a watch. I can figure out lenghts without a ruler. I can lead a group of adolescent boys without a tangible basis for authority. They're bigger than me, older than me, and somtimes even smarter than me, but I can still trick them into working together. That's what I learned or tried to learn, anyway.