Adolescence provides a great many opportunities to grow and change the perception of the world around us. About 2 years before maturation, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis kicks in, and away we go! [How do you like that doctor talk.] We would call this puberty to adulthood. Linear growth, increased muscle mass, voice changes, facial hair (and all those other places), acne, and a host of emotional changes are all taking place. We suddenly discover that our parents don't know anything about anything! Who am I is often the question of the day.
The picture to the right shows such a group of guys, going though this process. Peer influence and conformity would certainly seem to be at the highest levels. All dressed up the same. All standing with arms to the side, and all with some sort of smile. Eight Boy Scouts from Winchester, Troop 84. Together, they were receiving the "God and Country" award. Each worked a minimum of 100 hours over a two-year period to earn the award. What a thought it is. Two years of your adolescence with over 100 hours thinking about "God and Country". Who would have thought of such a thing?
The magnitude of change that has taken place in our society since this picture would want to question the value of this activity. Computer games would certainly challenge the priorities! Besides, it would probably just be called the "Country" award today.
For those interest, from right to left in the picture starting the back row: Henry Jones (my older brother), Ray Scott, Jr., Gary Taylor, George Brooks, and John Farmer...from right to left on front row: Steve Gillaspie, Van Graham, and me. Rev. Allen Garner is the one all dressed up in the robe. Close friendships, a goal of late adolescence to young adulthood.