For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has enriched the lives of countless youth across the country – all thanks to the passionate leaders and volunteers who strive to make Scouting a meaningful program. But what many may forget is that Scouting isn’t just benefiting youth, Scouting is making a positive impact on adults, too.
Mark Blakemore has dedicated 20 years of his life to being a Scoutmaster and considers his success in life to be a direct result of his upbringing and experiences in Scouting.
Mark is the associate dean for assessment and engagement at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is also a practicing attorney. Mark says Scouting made a difference in his life and that’s the reason he wanted to devote his free time to Scouting.
“I wanted any Scout that was a member to pick up the tenants of the Boy Scouts (trustworthiness, loyalty, bravery, and kindness among other values) and learn citizenship skills,” Blakemore explained to The Brownsville Herald. “I am a strong believer that if you follow the program, you’ll be successful in life.”
Blakemore says the organization provides its members with ample opportunity to grow key leadership skills that will cause them to naturally gravitate toward any leadership positions later in life. After all, his life is a prime example of that.
He’s actively served at the Rio Grande Council, including on the Eagle Board of Review committee. As a board member, Blakemore is charged with interviewing Boy Scouts to ensure they are ready to ascend to the Eagle rank.
“People will have certain expectations of you, and our job was to make sure the Scout understood that because it is a lifelong commitment,” Blakemore shared.
Mark says he’s helped guide Scouts of all personalities, ranging from mild-mannered to boisterous, yet he notices positive changes in every Scout committed to the program.
“Some Scouts start out great and continue to get better. Some start out not so great but get better because they learn as time goes on,” Blakemore said.
What’s important to their development, Blakemore says, is that the Scouts have the right role models. With the right leadership, any boy can reach success through Scouting.
“Boys are always going to have people to look up to. It’s whether the persons they’re looking up to are positive influences,” Blakemore said.
Read the complete story on why this man’s longtime role as a Scoutmaster has contributed to his success by visiting The Brownsville Herald. Do you know any Scoutmasters that have made a positive impact on your Scouting experience? Share your stories below!