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,
Welcome to August 2017, and another exciting month of Scouting adventures! Some of our Scouts are busy at Many Point having a blast together with another 500+ other Scouts, and others will be coming up in a few days to repeat that experience – just a different campground and a different 500+ Scouts!
Before I get too far into this coming month, I wanted to reflect on last month, July. I got to see a lot of you and your Scouts out at Half Moon Lake for a slightly warm couple of days. Our youngest Scouts (now sporting cool looking Wolverine Patrol Patches at Many Point) got a chance to learn, practice and hone some great Scout skills. Knives and knots were very popular, but I think the biggest blast was putting together catapults with ‘sticks & string’ to launch water balloons at each other! They had so much fun, they saved them for the next day to show off to their parents their skills and pride while enjoying a meal all of the Scouts cooked themselves. Way to go Wolverines!
Then just a few days later, 8 Scouts and 2 Scouters headed to Washington D.C. to enjoy some touring of our Nation’s Capital as well as 10 days at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reservation in West Virginia at our National Jamboree. They got to do nearly everything at the Summit from the largest zip-line in North America to Scuba Diving and trying to break the Guiness World Record largest dreidel game. Also, as many of you have heard, they got a chance to see President Trump. What you may not know is that regardless of your politics, the President is part of our program. Each year, the top Scouts go to Washington D.C. to deliver the Report to the Nation. Then every National Jamboree, the President is invited to come and speak. Sometimes the President comes in person, sometimes virtually and sometimes through a representative, but the effort is nearly always there and has been since the first Jamboree when FDR visited for nearly a day.
Why does this matter and why does the President put forth this effort? My supposition is that it is because the President is always looking for and ultimately responsible for the next generation of leaders. And because the Boy Scouts of America have leadership development at its core, the National Jamboree is the largest single gathering of our future leaders.
Now exactly what kind of leaders our Scouts become and how they lead the future of both Boy Scouts and our country is up to us. We can invest our time, skills and experiences with these young men who are part of our lives. This is why we encourage parents to get involved, come camping with us and just be part of our program. Each one of us brings something to the table, and by coming together, we have a richer program.
I’ll close my minute this month by asking everyone to invest a little time, about 6 minutes, to watch part of this interview with Mr. Stephenson, AT&T CEO & Chairman. He is also the current BSA National President (volunteer role), where he talks about the BSA, what it means and why he spends his time as the National President: https://www.facebook.com/boyslife/videos/10154491287061650/ - see about minute 18 in where he starts to share what BSA offers and why it's important for Scouts, Scouters and parents to support the Scouting movement.
Thank you for all you do for our Scouting family, and I look forward to seeing more of you at Many Point as well as hearing about how we were able to step-up & help at the Wayzata Community Church’s Rummage Sale.
Yours in Scouting,