Hopefully, this article will inspire you or another adult to help some boy to get on track for potential success by becoming a Boy Scout.
Let me tell you about a boy who was given the opportunity and the support to become a Boy Scout and what happened to him. He was a proud boy who had learned from an early age to set goals and then to work hard to make them come true.
The boy became a Boy Scout in spite of naysayers. He was proud of his decision and of his association with the Boy Scouts of America.
The boy learned to enjoy helping others by obeying the scout oath. He set his goal to become an Eagle Scout, and he succeeded. He became an Explorer Scout and set another goal to earn the highest rank he could, that of a Silver Award Scout.
His quest led him to attend an American Jamboree at Valley Forge, PA. He also attended an international Jamboree in Austria and travelled throughout Europe and North Africa. He came back to the USA to attend the American Jamboree in Santa Anna, California and he eventually received the coveted Silver award.
Then an interesting thing happened. Because he had been such a conscientious Scout, his name was entered into a competition for a special opportunity. He was not aware of the honor of being included until it was announced publicly that he had been selected to represent Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado as one of the twelve scouts, throughout the U.S., to make the National Report to the U.S. Congress and to the President of the United States at the White House.
Needless to say, he was dumb founded by the news. He learned that dedication and hard work pays off in unexpected ways. His learning process was just beginning, however.
He was further selected as one of the six speakers to make part of the Report to a Congressional breakfast. He had one evening to prepare to make an extemporaneous speech before the members attending the breakfast meeting. He had been partially prepared because he paid attention to the frequent instructions from his excellent Scout Master, Mr. Les Schmidt, a butcher at a local super market. From Mr. Schmidt he also learned never to judge a book by its cover.
He spent the evening preparing his remarks for the next morning. His presentation went well and he learned confidence from being able to speak in public to members of Congress.
This last lesson was rewarded when he attended an International Key Club Convention, in Chicago, the following year. There he received an unexpected nomination to run for International Trustee. He rose to the podium and gave a three minute extemporaneous and unrehearsed campaign speech to the convention floor. He was elected.
A further surprise ensued. He was selected to be the keynote speaker at the next year’s convention to be held in Los Angeles.
He spent the better of a year preparing for that speech soliciting very learned adults to help his preparation. He was invited to the local Rotary, the Kiwanis, the Lions and the Cosmopolitan clubs to read, rehearse and polish his speech. The speech was a success. Again came the reinforcement of being prepared and never shying away from expert advice.
Yes, I learned a lot as a Boy Scout. Can every scout advance to the extent I did? Maybe not, but why not give them a chance? The lessons they will learn will still be with them for all of their lives. Just think how proud you will feel when your scout reaches his Eagle at his Court of Honor.
I can’t resist telling you about one additional lesson I learned. Don’t ever forget you are not infallible. At my Eagle Court of Honor, I was asked to lead the group of parents in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. I did it flawlessly except I forgot the two new words that had just been added to the pledge. Those two words were: “under God.” I learned a valuable lesson in humility that evening.