Passage of Knowledge – Readyman

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Passage of Knowledge

Posted on October 21 2019

Vintage Books on a Bookshelf

Passage of Knowledge

Author JEFF KIRKHAM / READYMAN / Published: OCT-22-2019

Throughout time the sacred pact of fathers teaching sons existed and was essential for the survival of the family as well as the tribe.  The father to son passing of knowledge was essential not only for survival, but so that the overall group and community could prosper.


In modern times things have gotten so incredibly complex, the sacred time that fathers and sons once spent together has degraded, or in some cases been lost.  There is one organization that exists that is still trying to continue in that tradition and it's the Boy Scouts, even though they are having a hard go of it.  As an Eagle Scout myself, I worry about the Scouts as an organization but still know that its roots are firmly planted in the traditions and skills that our upcoming generations sorely need.


People often ask me what the contributing factors were of me surviving so many years in the wars in the Middle East, and without hesitation I can point the finger at the knowledge and skills I learned in the Boy Scouts.  My father was adamant that his sons participate in Scouting and insisted that we all earn our Eagle scout; this was no small feat considering we moved across the country every 2 – 3 years and young men at sixteen years of age start to think girls look pretty good!


Later when I joined the Army and went to the Special Forces Qualification course to earn my Green Beret, I was amazed at how much further ahead in field knowledge I was than many of the men there.  In a nutshell, many of the things we were taught, I had already learned in Scouting.


Then later, when I was doing nonstop deployments to the war, many of the books I carried were the Boy Scout merit badge books.  The Boy Scout merit badge books (pamphlets really) are amazing resources that are easy to read, and a fantastic reminder of skills that you just may have forgotten or never knew.  Even better, they are road map on skills and knowledge that you can teach your sons (and daughters) as they mature into adults, arming them with the skills and knowledge that will carry them forward.



A Father's Bond in Moab Utah

A Father's Bond

The author Jeff and his son in Hurrah Pass by Moab, Utah.

Building Skills With The Boy Scouts


Fast-forward several years, and I find that I now have sons of my own, who are just now starting on the Scouting trail, learning to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 


What parent wouldn’t want their children to be all of those things?  Our community and country desperately needs for its members and citizens to be at least most of those things if we are going to not only prosper but also survive! 


Ask yourself, how can we expect those qualities of our youth and later future adults, if they were never taught those things (from their fathers and mothers) and the importance of them for a society?


You don’t have to be in Scouting to buy they books, learn the lessons and build the skills, but it helps.  There are many programs in existence that help the youth, but none that I know of that are as extensive and with the rich traditions as the BSA.


Check out the merit badge books, and get a taste for what your kids can learn and you will un-doubted learn and re-learn lessons that you will be able to pass down to your sons.


Yes, the Boy Scouts of America are having their challenges, but, the knowledge in these books have been passed down from generation to generation and cultivated a spirit of independence and self reliance. It's well worth having a copy on your shelf. You can get one HERE.





  • Mark Arrington: October 30, 2019

    Great points in the article Jeff. Thanks

  • Paul Kish: October 22, 2019

    I was in scouts in 50’s and 60’s, and have a 23 year old grandson that went thru scouting with me, and a 11 year old grandson going thru scouting now. In fact, we have a webelo arrow of light den meeting tonight. We do have procedures to work off the cost of uniforms, books and trips. I worked to pay off trips when a scout, I was glad for the opportunity. Cubs is an entire family opportunity, not a baby siting service. Girls get used to the campouts and Pack meetings and dads often want their daughters to continue the outdoor experience. No kids are left with just one adult, there are always two adults. No perfection but this is a child to adult passage. I would have said boys to men, now also girls to women.

  • Kurt Hamby: October 22, 2019

    This is a great post and a pleasure to read. thank you for your service to our country to our youth through this post and your contributions to Scouting. I have been working with my son on scouting for the same reasons while I did not do scouting due to all of our moves and at the time it was a bit harder to find troops that did the field thing (back in the 70’s) so now as the old dad I am the one at the scouting meeting teaching fire craft and fieldcraft up to and including tracking and survival. I know this will pay big dividends for my boy throughout his life.
    Keep the faith and keep training!

  • Dale Wesoloski: October 22, 2019

    As a leader,I really am upset about how the modern Scouts are getting away from there motto.But as a pack we are hyper aware of this and are trying tomake our program about these skills.
    Just addressing knives and fire making makes some parents upset,which inspires me more to teach more challenging and unique techniques. It is amazing how people feel so helpless without there lighter or Google to start a fire,we all know these type of things will never be taught in a traditional school.

  • Zeke Guenther: October 22, 2019

    PERFECT TIMING! I was honestly just thinking about pulling out of Scouts because of so many other obligations. That will NOT happen now. We are just starting on our Scouting journey, but I can tell you that they have significantly upgraded their youth safety and security program. I am more confident than ever that my children are in a safe place. I can’t wait to get into more hands on activities, having only made it through Bear myself.
    Thanks for the reminder Ready Men!

  • C L: October 22, 2019

    What are the other groups that come close to the same knowledge? The BSA refused my father and uncles entry back in the 50’s and 60’s because the family could not afford the uniforms and accessories needed. I don’t feel comfortable passing that legacy to my children.

  • Mike K Holley: October 22, 2019

    I was a Scout and my father was a Scout Executive!
    I like you feel that scouting helped mold my adult life! However the BSA bought into and excepted a lie that is immoral and against Gods laws!
    BSA can not be trusted to teach morals to our boys in any way! They broke their own motto to be morally straight!

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