Poem of the Week: Safely Rest, God is Nigh

Virginia Franklin Campbell, NLAPW President 2016-2018


To stately “old growth,” Douglas Fir,

In a veritable amphitheater,

I returned.

Scout patrol campsites, in clock positions,

eight, eleven, one and three,

I recalled.

Fireplaces my daddy’s scouts had built,

broken down, bricks scattered, ashes remain,

I observed.

Memories of evening campfires, beside my daddy,

Bobby Short’s tenor voice caroling through the trees,

commencing with taps.

“Day is done, Gone the sun,”

I sang.

From a very young girl, I was entranced,

with the Boy Scouts, the music, the solitude, the fire,

I knelt.

On my knees, I prayed,

for all the scouts that my father had touched,

Monday after Monday,

yearly, one week of his two week vacation.

I sobbed.

The emotions I experienced, decades later,

replicated those in years past,

the sense of the accomplishments achieved,

the skills instilled and merit badges earned,

the fire now extinguished,

after the tents had been taken down.



  1. Wonderful poem, Virginia. I too have memories of my days ( and nights) in Girl Scouts and the skills I learned and still use. I miss my Daddy too.

  2. This brought back wonderful memories I had from scouting too – even though mine was Girl Scouts. My Mom was my brother’s Boy Scout Den Mother, and I was a Den Mother for my boys, but we never got to camp out or do too many of the wilderness things. I can visualize the same sights, imagine the same sense of honor and smell the same woodsy aromas from your words. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Beautifully written.

  3. A very beautiful writing, Virginia. Stirs the emotion, even without Boy Scout memories, and is visually evocative. It’s wonderful to see another side of you.

  4. Very touching. . . I will share with my oldest son, an Eagle Scout. He has many, many fond memories of his scouting years. He often comments, “rarely does a day go by when I do not use a skill I learned in Boy Scouts.”

  5. Mary C. Woolling says:

    Beautiful tribute to your father and his many years of exemplary service to the Boy Scouts. Your dad would be very pleased and proud to know about this. Actually, I believe he does know and is smiling.

  6. Beautiful poem

  7. Geri McGriff Davis says:

    Oh, my! What great warm memories this poem stirred within me. Thank you, Virginia! Geri

  8. Powerful, the emotion comes across and I understand and want to take your hand. I want to tell you how proud he would be of you. Thank you for sharing this period of time in your life with all of us.