I love a story about a good Boy Scout knife. My Camillus BSA Whittler was my first real knife, given to me by my father. Much like the author of this article: “Lasting love with a boyhood Scout knife,” my knife has grown with me over the years.
My old Whittler comes with tons of memories attached to it, and so does the author’s blade as he thinks back to childhood:
If you were lucky and got a homemade Valentine from that cute little red-haired girl in the third row, then whoo boy!, you floated on air for the rest of the week. But then you got over it and went back to ice fishing, sleigh riding, throwing snowballs at each other, or whittling stuff with your new Scout knife.
I don’t have any old Valentine cards from those days, nor the red-haired girl either, but I do still have my Scout knife, and it’s been as faithful a companion as my real-life Valentine of 53 years.
I’ve used it for thousand-different chores over the years ranging from whittling tent stakes to sharpening stick arrows, making sling shots and cane poles, skinning rabbits, cleaning fish, cutting rope, fixing leaders and making fuzz sticks to start camp fires. I’ve used it to punch holes in wood and leather, open cans, pop bottle tops, dig splinters out of my thumb, and tighten screws. I can’t imagine leaving home without one.
I’m sure many of us feel the same way, even if we are a disappearing breed, those of us that carry a knife daily.
I know this is a little late in the month to be talking about Valentine’s Day, but the author made a point I thought worth sharing:
I think pocket knives, B-B guns and such are vital to raising a boy or girl up proper-like, maybe more so today than ever.
Exposing kids to knives and guns at an early age and carefully supervising them in their safe and appropriate use is a healthy deterrent to misuse of those weapons…
More than that, it teaches responsibility and it teaches consequences.
My own mind goes back to when I was a Webelos and we were carving bars of soap in our weekly den meeting. It was here that I experienced my first knife related injury.
The bar of soap I brought in to carve was not really appropriate. I didn’t know that some bars are cakier and some are harder. Well, my bar of Zest was awfully hard and slick. While trying to force a cut, I managed to close my slipjoint onto my index finger, resulting in the need for stitches and a tatanus booster.
It was a lesson well learned. My finger is still misshapen from the incident and outside of one notable exception (on the same finger no less!), I’ve managed to avoid major knife injuries… it has made me a stickler for safe handling of sharpened tools. I’ve got my deformed index finger as a constant reminder.
I don’t know when kids are on the horizon for me, but I will absolutely be introducing them to knives when appropriate… maybe something with a locking blade though!