At the Boy Scouts of America, we are always looking ahead for new innovations and ideas to provide a quality Scouting experience for our young people.
But I am always fascinated by accounts I read about Scouts or leaders from decades ago who share how Scouting’s values helped to carry them through life, much like how we teach our Scouts today how to be Prepared. For Life.™
One such story comes from the managing editor of the Cherokee Tribune in Canton, Georgia – just northwest of Atlanta. She reflects on the life of her father, born on Halloween, who passed away 25 years ago. He was among those who founded a Boy Scout troop in Canton that’s celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
As you read her story, you can picture how her father grew up in the Depression years, with new responsibilities thrust upon him. I found this passage particularly touching that she shared from his diary, known as “The Boy Scout Diary for All Boys”:
Perhaps Boy Scouts helped prepare him for that role, those early responsibilities. Perhaps what he learned from that organization about leadership and caring for others made him the man he became. Because he always cared for his family and others in the community.
Maybe what he learned as a Scout helped him negotiate the dark days of tough economic times and having to go to work right out of high school out of necessity.
Scouting skills he learned might have helped him survive the years of World War II when he served in France and Germany in the Army.
I know for sure that my dad always loved the outdoors and he would often organize hikes for my friends and me on Saturday afternoons out the old dirt road across from my house.
He would muster us together and set out on the trails, telling us about the flora and fauna we saw on our journey. He was always patient, too, never seeming to mind if we slowed down or asked too many questions.
When I think about the thousands upon thousands of boys, my own husband among them, who have learned basic skills for life from their experience with Boy Scouts, and the parents who have dedicated themselves to being Scout leaders, I am appreciative.
Leadership…caring for others…loved the outdoors…basic skills for life…these and other excerpts from his diary still apply to the values our Scouts are learning in the 21st century – in addition to the modern day skills we teach.
How does this story touch your heart about the past and future of what you share with others? How does your organization remind those you influence how the lessons of yesteryear still apply today in many ways? I would like to hear your thoughts after reading this article.