For nearly a year I’ve been using this blog to share with you all my thoughts on Scouting – what it means to me and where we are going. But throughout this time, I’ve also been meeting Scouts from all walks of life, and it’s those stories that resonant with me and remind me why I’m committed to this movement.
I love hearing Scouts’ stories and the impact Scouting has made in their lives. And sometimes, those stories are more impactful than anything I could share on my own. If you remember, earlier this year I shared with you a conversation with Jack Antolini at the groundbreaking of the new Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
Well, recently I met another inspiring Scout, Abhinav Cheedella, whose story I wanted to share.
I met Abhi, a 14-year-old Life Scout from Troop 92 in Overland Park, Kansas, in the middle of his Board of Review when I came up and asked to join. These are fun for me because I get to ask questions a little outside of the box of traditional Board of Reviews, but I also get to hear about our unique Scouts.
While Abhi joined Scouting in the fifth grade, he nearly didn’t stay with Scouting. It was his mom that convinced him to continue, but after his BOR, he realized she was right.
“I think I can make more of the opportunity now because I now know the potential Scouting has. I sometimes had a fog around my head, and now I can see what’s going on in the world – that our challenges can be fixed.”
He also shared his thoughts on the benefits of Scouting. While concurrently preparing for his board of review while earning his merit badges, he learned to multi-task with the help of his leaders.
“Scouting prepares you for this, for leadership, survival skills, and it keeps you physically fit. It gave me the attitude to be self-driven and do all this. Without it and the support of my adult leaders, I’m not sure I would have made anything of myself.”
From my conversation, I have no doubts Abhi would be successful, but I’m glad that through Scouting he was able to find the abilities within himself. Not only is he more outgoing than when he first started Scouting, he has realized the impact he has on his troop and the community.