Peter Applebome grew up obsessed by box scores, so when his son, Ben, joined Little League he happily assumed he'd be spending Ben's childhood at the ballfield. But what Ben really liked was hiking and camping--and when he joined the local Scout troop Applebome reluctantly went along for the ride.
As someone who had never made a fire except in a gas grill and tied knots only in his shoelaces, Applebome was an unlikely recruit. Taking us from the low points (sneaking out of camp to watch basketball in a bar) to the unexpected triumphs (winning the Scoutmaster Challenge) and through all the trekorees and derbies in between, Applebome hikes the difficult trail from tenderfoot skeptic to proud Scout dad. Offering affectionate portraits of troop leaders and the motley group of boys in their charge, he also laces his very funny narrative with an informal but fascinating history of Scouting and grapples with the modern-day controversies that will help determine Scouting's future.
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Peter Applebome grew up obsessed by box scores and basketball, and happily assumed his son Ben would follow in his footsteps. But Ben had other ideas. He soon informed his dad that what he really liked was camping and hiking--and when he joined the local Boy Scout troop Applebome found himself along for the ride.
Scout's Honor is the story of how a 50-year-old self-proclaimed "committed indoorsman" became a Scout. As someone who had never made a fire in anything but a gas grill and couldn't tie a knot except in his shoelaces, Applebome was an unlikely recruit. He takes us through the three years he and Ben spent with the troop, from the low points (sneaking out of camp to watch college basketball in a bar) to the high (winning the Scoutmaster Challenge), and through all the sweltering hikes, soggy canoe trips, and bear-haunted campouts in between. He draws affectionate portraits of troop leaders, volunteer dads, and the motley troop of kids in their charge. And, most surprisingly, he finds himself growing to appreciate Scouting's old-fashioned virtues--well, at least most of them--as he grapples with the modern-day controversies that will determine Scouting's future.
Laced with a fascinating history of Scouting and the deeply eccentric men who created it, Scout's Honor is a gloriously funny tale of misadventure that reminds us what a father will do for a son and what Scouting has done for American boyhood.
Advance Praise for Scout's Honor
"Brave, clean and not too reverent."-- Roy Blount Jr.
"Peter Applebome's view of America from the inside of a pup tent is funny, moving, informative, and, above all, inspiring. Scout's Honor will have you laughing like 'City Slickers' and cheering like 'Bad News Bears.' "--Bruce Feiler, author of Walking the Bible
"Scout's Honor is at the same time a hilarious outdoor odyssey, a moving glimpse of a father's heart, and the best commentary ever on the Boy Scouts and their touchingly awkward history. When I was a Scout, the ultimate approbation for a job well done was something called "Three and a Half Hows." So here's to you, Peter Applebome: How! How! How! Hhhhh!" -- Stephen Harrigan, author of The Gates of the Alamo
Praise for Dixie Rising:
"One of the best portrayals of the South in years."--The Washington Post
"Remarkably lively and sweet-tempered. He seems to have talked to everyone, read every classic Southern writer, gone down every highway in search of the spirit of the South."--Boston Globe
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