Shaping the minds of young men

As I write this, my middle son Ben is on his way home. Gone since yesterday morning, he is with his Boy Scout Troop. They have been hiking and camping this weekend, something they do about once every couple months year round. The first time he went, I was not sure how he would do sleeping on the ground in the cold. But he looks forward to it every time and even spent a whole week at Camp Falling Rock  this summer.

I have never had any problem with Ben going away with the group. Partly because he is 14 and a good kid, but also in part because of the leadership of Troop 778. See, the scoutmaster is one of my closest friends, Dave Burnham.

He has known Ben since he was a baby. His boys and my boys have grown up together, and he and Sara are like family to Tiffany and I. They are tried and true people who have seen me at my best and at my worst, and have called me friend anyways. So I am comfortable turning one of my boys over to him for the weekend without batting an eye.

Dave is a strong scoutmaster. He leads by example and guides the scout led troop through merit badges and scout rank, always making time for each boy individually. The parents all trust him in the same way I do, and the other adult leaders respect him for his role with the group.

Now, let's talk about my brother, Josh. The self proclaimed black sheep of our family, he has more fables than Grimm. Covered in tattoos and able to tell you some stories that would make the Hell's Angels blush, he is a different cat. Always has been. In his younger days he led a not so quiet life. Without spewing all his business on this blog, I will only say that you would never pick him as my brother, even if you put him in a line up of one.


During the course of his life, he has also had the opportunity to become a father to three adorable kids. And despite a few (or no so few) moments of baby mama drama and not so intelligent decisions on his part, you could never question what kind of Dad he was to those children. He adores them, and they adore him back. His parenting ability has always been one of his best attributes, even when it seemed he didn't have many others.

Nowadays, he has remade himself yet again. Only this time, I think its a permanent evolution into grown up Josh. His days are now filled with working his knuckles off, and his wild nights have been replaced by time with the kids and what appears to be the girl he was supposed to find. A true grown up, Autumn seems to bring out the best in my brother, and brings the Josh out that we all knew was there. I respect the little turd, and applaud him for being the man he is. He shared with me this week that he, too, is involved in Scout Leadership. His son Jacob is a cub scout, and my brother is an assistant leader.

Yes, you heard that right, y'all. Joshua Bromberg is helping shape the minds of young men!

I told him that was the funniest thing I have ever heard. He asked why, and I told him I could just here him pleading with the Council to give out an art badge for tattoo work, or for learning how to install ape hangers on his bike. Next thing you know he is going to be sporting a mini-van and taking the boys to camp. I would pay to see that!

Day # 595. Dave thinks he is going to get me to help with camping this winter. Dave is going to be terribly disappointed. As he is in his sub-zero sleeping bag, I will be at home next to the fire thinking about how good it is to be me!


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