The Lonely Bead

A lonely little Wood Badge bead
Lain lightly in a drawer
He wanted to be somewhere else
He wanted to be more.

He’d heard about the history
Of Wood Badge beads afar.
Of relatives in Africa
From Chad to Zanzibar.

He’d often wax so proudly
On Baden-Powell’s beads
That were given to trained leaders
For their work and for their deeds.

Chief Dinizulu’s beads were
B.P.’s gift and legacy -- 
An acknowledgment of their hard work 
For all the world to see.

The lonely little Wood Badge bead
Only wanted to be like the rest
Of those carved pairs of beads 
Strung proudly now and hanging on a chest.

He was keen on being added 
To a Scouter’s leather thong
Aside a brother bead of wood
He’d hear the “Gilwell Song.”

But, alas, he found himself alone
And full of misery.
Till a Scouter grabbed him forcefully
And made him one of three.

Truth now dawned upon the bead
And he stopped being a complainer.
He was merely waiting for that time
He’d be worn by a Wood Badge trainer.


Alan Smason
Bodacious Bobwhite from NE II – 126
(“Religious Observant” Wood Badge Course)
June – July , 2002 at Camp Kunatah
Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, N.Y.

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