Mr. Crease was a gentle and quiet older man. He was my first scoutmaster as a new Boy Scout and he had the patience of Job. I never had an aptitude for lines and ropes and strings and hoses. Everything tangled. I had no vision for imagining what happens next when working in three dimensions – a great asset for tying knots. . All Second Class candidates were required to complete a knot board, a trophy signifying mastery of an essential scout skill. This would be my Everest.
Mr. Crease saw beyond the task at hand. He was not teaching me knots, he was teaching me persistence and patience. “The squirrel goes around the tree and into the hole…” “No, no that’s a granny knot.” Over and over.
When I was done, I was still not knot inclined. I disabused myself of any hope for becoming an architect, a field I once considered for a career. But I moved on from Tenderfoot and had the real life skills needed to make a running start on algebra, Spanish and who knows what else that requires focus and patience. I was, as the motto suggested, prepared.
A few years later, when I was involved in an auto accident, I took steps to save my life and prevent shock. I credit my Boy Scout training with letting me keep my head and knowing what to do. Mr. Crease put me on track to do that.