Boys aren’t always the best on a sailboat, but Wendy and Rick Cehon’s were. They came from central Massachusetts for a vacation and went sailing along the York River on a beautiful morning. It turns out they’re scoutmasters.

I showed them how one young man on an earlier cruise couldn’t pull a simple line without fatigue. “It’s work!” Wendy said. “We get that in Boy Scouts. We used to lead Cub Scouts, and there you do a lot of hands-on to show them. But in Boy Scouts they have to do it all on their own.”

Rick explained the Eagle Scout criteria, “There are 26 merit badges, of which 13 are mandatory. There is a sailing badge, though I’m not sure what it entails.”

“Lifesaving is probably the hardest badge,” Wendy said. “But hiking can be difficult too for boys who aren’t used to going ten miles. The challenge of the Eagle Scout is to complete everything before turning 18 and that includes the community project. I have one boy whose birthday is Sept. 11 and we’re not sure he’ll complete the project by then.”

I drew a correlation between the good behavior of their sons and Scouting. “They listen,” Wendy said simply. I mentioned that you never hear of any crazy crimes committed by Eagle Scouts. Nor do we hear if any of the 20 presidential candidates was an Eagle Scout. Then again, none of them served in the military either.

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