Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scouting Is...

For our family, Boy Scouts is something that we are passionate about. It may not be particularly in fashion any more, but I feel that it has value, and I will fight to make sure that the integrity of the organization is maintained, to the best of my limited abilities...and here's why:

Scouting is a strong foundation on which young boys and young men can plant their feet, in order to jump off and become anything that they wish. Scouting is meant to provide an echoing sentiment to the values that parents, schools and religion are supposed to instill in young men. For a Scout, his leaders and unit should embody and personify the kind of man that he strives to become, and they should be for him the role models which he aims to emulate.

For me, this has always been the compelling reason that I have wanted to be involved in Scouting. At times when the direction I should follow is unclear, and the action that I should take is uncertain, I have turned to the words of the Scout law to guide my steps and my hand, and in the ranks of my fellow Scouters, I have found kindred souls, who are just trying to do the right thing. There are most assuredly times that I have failed miserably at doing this, but at the end of the day, I have always tried. And that, above all, is what I have always wanted for my boy.

I want my son to see the word in terms of all of the things he *can* do, if only he wants to try. I want him to know that no matter how well he does a thing, there is honor in simply making a good, honest attempt.

I want him to know that loyalty to your friends and even your foes will always serve you in good stead.

I want him to know that if he can be kind to other people in all times and all places, regardless of whether he agrees with them, or even likes them, that he will be a man that is worth knowing and liking.

I want him to know that bravery isn't only about rushing in to a burning building, it is also about making sure that everyone has a chance to speak and speaking up for those that may not have a voice themselves.

I want him to see that reverence is not something to be embarrassed by or to hide, but is rather something that he should exude. You don't need a reason to be reverent, the fact that you *are* is reason enough.

I want him to know that keeping your word is not optional, being trustworthy is the only acceptable choice, and I want him to be able to trust that, what others say to him, they mean, that there is no double meaning, nor hidden agenda.

I want him to see the world in terms of how he can help to make it a better place. I want him to view every chance encounter as an opportunity to do a good turn, and to give back to the community and world that sustains him.

I want him to always extend the hand of friendship to those around him, and to truly believe that there is no one that is not worthy of being called friend.

I want him to know that common courtesy is not "uncool", that having manners is not stuffy, but instead is the mark of a good man.

I want him to know that bringing a smile into a room is better than any other gift you can bring, and that the simple act of being cheerful can actually make you healthier.

I want him to remember that obeying the rules means that he can spend more time learning from mistakes than he spends paying for them.

I want him to know that we do not live in a disposable world. Just because a thing is used or imperfect, does not mean that it is trash. This goes for people as well as things. Just because a newer, fancier friend enters the picture, it does not mean that you should bear the expense of losing an old friendship just to get the newer one.

I want him to be clean, but let's face it, he's a little boy, and that is an uphill struggle, so I will pick my battles there.

I want him to know all of these things, and to understand that it is not just mom and dad being stuffy and old fashioned for wanting these things...and this is why we have him in that he can see that it *is* cool to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent, and that we are not the only ones that think so.