I know historically, August is a ‘slow Scouting’ month each year. This year though, I found it extremely Scout-full. My 3 highlights were: 1. Going to Many Point Week 2 in Quetico-camp-site, 2. Meeting with our perspective/nearly-Eagle Scouts and 3. Visiting Baden-Powell’s statue in London, England.
First, earlier this month, I got to see 15 Scouts using the Patrol Method set-up camp, cook, operate, clean & put away camp on their own. Sure, it was not all smooth and silky sailing, but the growth that I saw in each Patrol and individually in each Scout was tremendous. We also ate well, came home a ‘Super Troop’ and moved the bar significantly for advancement for each Scout. I hope the parents of each Scout also saw this when their Scout returned from camp. I am hoping even more that next year we have double this number joining and growing with us.
Second, when I wasn’t at camp, I was busy following up with several of our Scouts working on finishing their Eagle rank. Some have years of Scouting ahead of them, others just days before they turn 18. One common thread with each of them is their desire to give back to the Scouting program. I know we often think of the Eagle Rank as the pinnacle, but what every Eagle Scout undertakes upon receiving his Eagle is the Eagle Oath to give back and help others along their similar journey. I would expect this to be the beginning of our seeing more visible Eagles continuing their leadership development while they are free to focus their energies on areas of specific interest and concern.
Third, take a look at the picture. What do you see? Yes, that’s right, it’s yours truly and a double size statue of Scouting’s Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell. I got the chance when I was in England last week to stop by and visit this place. To me, what I took away, is that not only is Scouting bigger than anything I will ever be, but through Scouting I have the opportunity to continue to grow and experience Baden-Powell’s vision. For he saw many years ago the need for society to have a place where boys could have fun growing under the watchful eye of trained leaders. And since I alone cannot reach the top of this vision, I am looking to others to help me reach there together. Sometimes it will be Scouts, sometimes other leaders and sometimes parents. By growing and reaching together, I believe we can approach where Baden-Powell pointed out to us so many years ago.
So, come join me this fall as we kick-off our 2017-18 Scouting year on the best year of adventure and leadership development!
Yours in Scouting,