Wednesday, July 28, 2010

100 Years of Scouting

I have posted here in the past about my time in the Boy Scouts of America. Although I never made Eagle Scout, I was in Scouts for a very long time. I joined the Cub Scouts and worked my way up the chain of badges, Wolf, Bear and then Lion, all with the appropriate number of arrowheads. I also participated in other workshops held for young boys that are used to prepare you for the Boy Scouts such as a Weblows.

Once graduating from the Cub Scouts I moved on to Boy Scouts and worked my way from the raw Tenderfoot to Life Scout. I was also selected by the Leaders of my Troop to be the very first Scout from my Troop to be a member of the secret Order of the Arrow, a sect of Super Scouts within the Scouting organization. I was proud and wore that pocket flap badge with pride. I also tended several Baden Powell conferences which taught leadership skills to the young men who attended. My troop crossed the Grand Canyon (Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim) and we hiked the Santa Fe Trail, earning the 50 Miler award (Afoot - Afloat). That same troop did community service projects in every venue.

I had 21 merit badges which was the minimum required for Eagle however my Troop disbanded when the Scout Master who was in the Air Force was transferred to an Air Base in Alaska. It never stood up and I moved on.

The impact of scouting on me personally is easily seen. Many people comment and assume that I was a Boy Scout in the past and I have even been asked if I was an Eagle. I always tell the folks that inquire that I was in fact in Scouting but never made that final mark. It haunts me to this day.

Scouting and my Parents made me the Man I was when I joined the Navy. I am fiercely independent and resourceful: to this day I carry a multi-tool on my belt, I can my own veggies grown in a garden I plant and tend through the year. When I lost my job last year, I took it upon myself to go out and find a new job, I did not wait on our Government to provide for me and my Family, it was my responsibility.

I am a Scout, I may not wear the uniform any more but I hold all the values taught me those many years that I spent in both the blue and green uniforms. I, to this day remember and can recite the Scout Oath and the Scout Laws.

Though I wish to comment on the fact that our President has chosen to go to New York and raise money for Democrats and tape an episode of the TV talk show The View instead of attending the 100 year anniversary celebration of Scouting at Fort AP Hill, I will not; the simple fact that he chose between the two tells you all you need to know about what kind of Man he is.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw the Boy Scout tab and had to take a look.

I've been in Scouting for 39 years now. I am an Eagle, as was my Dad and is my son.

There is probably always some regret that a true scout has about not attaining the rank of Eagle. To me, if you understood the message and lessons of the Scouting movement, you gained far more than the wings of the Eagle.

I am a Vigil OA member, a Silver Beaver, as well as numerous other awards. Yet, those things, while nice as recognitions go, mean little when compared with seeing a young boy become a man of integrity through the lessons of the program.

Scouting, as BP said, is a game with a purpose. Kids go for the fun of it, or the adventure, but end up gaining practical skills they can keep for their lifetime.

Be proud of the rank you achieved. The goal for Scoutmasters (other than those who are more interested in stats than quality) is that each youth reaches 1st class. Above that is gravy.

I am glad that Obama didn't bother to go to the Jamboree. His values just don't seem to mesh with those of the Boy Scouts. Especially thrifty.

Bush missed one of the Jamboree's during his tenure, but that was due to a scheduling change. The 2005 Jambo saw him visit and it was profound to see. 60 thousand strong, pretty much all cheers for him, and he was in the crowd driving the SS nuts.

Clinton only attended the Jamboree when he pushed to get the Silver Buffalo Award.

The oath and law, if lived by and taken to heart, are great guides. I taught them to my daughters as well as to my son.

Thank you for "getting" it.