When you think of Scouting, you usually think of a group of boys hiking, cooking on an open fire, pitching a tent, or learning to tie knots. And Scouting encompasses those things. But Scouting is more. It is a means for a young man to learn leadership, to prepare for being an adult. It teaches real lessons about honor, trust, and responsibility. Camping is just the vehicle that Scouting uses.
My sons were all Scouts. They did not all become Eagle Scouts, and they were not perfect Scouts. Making every boy an Eagle Scout is not the point of the program, and no boy is perfect. The point is to give every boy the skills to master himself, make decisions, and learn some outdoor skills in the process. Done right, it’s a lot of fun, too.
Being a volunteer leader for a Scout Troop is, outside of my family, the most meaningful thing I have done in my life. The other people I worked with, and the Scouts I watched go through the program, are, on the whole, some of the best people I know. Part of that is the type of person drawn to Scouting, and part of it is how Scouting effects those who participate.
I was an active part of the Troop adult leadership for about 12 years, and every once in a while, I still participate at some level. I was invited to a Scout’s Eagle ceremony over the weekend, and was reminded how important Scouting can be in the life of a young man.
Scouting stands for what is best about us as a nation. The Scout Law, applied by each of us, would solve most of the problems we face.
A Scout is; trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
–The Scout Law