Leaving civilization behind

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Leaving civilization behind

Brandon Fagen, Writer

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I was going to write this about Boy Scouts. I was going to talk about what Boy Scouts includes, such as the act of camping and earning badges. Boy Scouts of America is, after all, a great organization with lots of opportunities for growth. This was going to give insight into all I have learned and why Scouting is so fun.
As I sit here, looking out my window, I realize why I like Boy Scouts: nature. Scouting gives me an opportunity to experience nature. I have always loved exploring the wilderness and being outside. I like to climb trees and rocks and watch for wildlife. I love the forest and the plains, the mountains and the valleys.
There is something about nature that I have always enjoyed. It is pure and untouched by human hands. It can be silent and it can be very loud. It can be friendly and it can be dangerous.
One of the most memorable things I have taken from Boy Scouts is the motto, “leave no trace.” It is something most troops do (or at least should do) when they camp. When we pack up and drive away, all we leave behind are footprints, and all we take away (most of the time) are pictures. “Leave no trace” preserves the beauty in the wild places of the world.
Some people, of course, would rather not risk stepping into rain or snow. For some, the thought of sleeping with only the thin cloth of a tent between them and the darkness does not sound appealing. People used to civilization might think we are insane to sleep outside in a roaring spring thunderstorm storm, or in temperatures so cold you have to put your apple juice in a cooler to keep it from freezing. I, however, welcome the challenge with excitement. I would prefer a hot, crackling fire over the comforts of industrial heating any day. It is so much more adventurous. For many Boy Scouts, myself included, the best part of it all is the challenge. I have never liked city streets or the constant rush of cars driving by my house. I have always cherished the moments of time I get to spend hiking in a lush green forest after a cool summer rain, or kayaking down a river with banks shrouded with fog.
Not everyone has to camp out in the cold or the blistering heat to experience nature. That can be considered extra credit. Good old wilderness is getting rarer and rarer in this civilized world of ours, but if you look hard enough, you will always find it. Anyone can get away from the constant fast beat of suburban life to experience the beauty of the wilderness. It might be traveling to a national park, or just a local one. Tomahawk Creek trail is about a mile south of BVNW, and it is a great place to go.
Go and enjoy the wonders of our great earth. Pay attention to the night sky and the trees when they blow in the wind. Watch the awesome and mighty thunderstorms in the spring, and don’t miss the beautiful fall colors. Nature can instill emotions in people that they rarely feel anywhere else–at least that is my experience. You already have to wake up early every morning; while you are at it, you should enjoy the sunrise. You don’t have to go on a 14 day hike in a mountain range in New Mexico to go outside. Sometimes all you have to do is step out your back door. Nature is waiting for you and me to explore it.