Before I was a dirty rotten climber, I was a dirty rotten frat boy. Hard to believe, but it's true. I even lived the house for three years. Three years of waking up on the weekends to fire alarms going off, fireworks exploding the the courtyard, beer bottles in the shower, the smell of stale Natty Light wafting through the air. Don't kid yourself; for all the bluster of fraternities being paragons of virtue, that seedy side is still there. Some houses hide it better than others though. I didn't learn how to be a good person in a fraternity; I already was one. I was just able to more clearly articulate why I was a good person and add some more values to strive for beyond, "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."
In any case, most people nowadays are pretty surprised to hear that I was a frat boy, and even more surprised to find that I don't regret it in the least. Being one made my transition to D.C. that much easier with a good number of great guys to call on to make it seem like home faster. I'm connected with people I went to college with more often from my days in the Shelter than those prior. Climbing brought me a whole different set of friends, with little crossover between sets. When Gainesville said goodbye to me, it was the GRG crew, not the DTD crew that bid me adieu. Granted, most of my closer friends from the house had long since moved on to Atlanta and other towns to start their real lives, while I stayed behind for four more years to see them during football season and at weddings weddings weddings.