scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: the wall
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blackeagle@SCOUTER.NET
Tue Nov 02 1999 - 17:11:33 CST
You wrote in part and asked:
>So I've let my troop comm chair know that I am resigning and my son seems
>greatly releived and down right happy to have more time with me. I'm
>flattered and I know I am doing the right thing for my family but I am
>troubled about this as well.
>Has anyone else made this journey? Got any comments?
Done it one better/worse: in the fall of 1987, I officially "retired" from
active Scouting service. There were a lot of competing reasons, but it came
down to a wife explaining to me that "Scouting's all you've been doing and
it's time to slow down and let someone else do it" and some bitter
professionals anger over my ability to influnce Scouters and make the
program work despite roadblocks and outright conspiracy.
So, I had my uniform framed and it stayed framed as we moved from the Deep
South back to Kentucky. It hung in my office at the residence hall where I
worked at for almost two years...it reminded me of some great times, with
some great people and some great kids to coach and assist. It also reminded
me of my few accomphishments over the years.
I did get to spend more time with my children, and with my wife as well as
time went onward....but that time was quickly consumed by new classes, new
responsibilities and children needing you by them but not around them as
So, the retirement went onward. I continued to get mailings and notices
from Councils and from National; my three-year subscription to _Scouting_
continued, and people continued to ask "Are you *really* retired from
Scouting, Mike??" What's the true story?"
I would shrug my shoulders and reply "I guess I am..." with that expression
Jessi now refers to as my "sad kid" or "a pouting child" look.
That was, until one evening in the fall of 1990. I was working the hall late
and four Scouts - now students at the university - came in, sat around and
talked with me. They noticed my framed shirt, and knew that at one time I
was active in the campus' Exploring units. One of them knew me from my
Paraprofessional days, and recalled how I came to his school wearing that
shirt (it wasn't that shirt, but I didn't want to embarrass him by the
telling of a good story) and convinced parents and kids that "Scouting is
worth the investment of time and money."
They convinced me to come back to Scouting and to serve as the faculty
advisor for the campus' Scouting club and Explorer Post. Upon hearing this,
the wife simply raised and lowered her hands and said "I thought you retired
from that stuff."
"Even retirees get recalled back to active duty," I explained, "and people
who think you did a great job before will hire you again after an absence."
My sister has always said that I'm "the happiest under two sets of
circumstances: when I'm on active duty somewhere and when I'm doing Scouting
things for others..."
So Jack, take as long as you want to be "away from Scouting"....you won't be
able to for long. Those things that Scouting's all about...they'll stay
with you whether you're an Assistant Scoutmaster or youth league soccer
coach; whether you drive your family on an extended vacation or trying to
get to work in the mornings.
And don't be surprised when someone -- perhaps your own son -- may ask you
to once again be a part of Scouting. You'll have to weigh it like all
parents do against other responsibilities....but I'm sure you'll agree that
"it's worth doing again."
I'm constantly surprised at the large number of Scouters here and elsewhere
whom start out their introduction by saying "I was a ......", explaining
that after an period of inactivity, they are now back and ready for more
service to youth.
There's just something about that "Scouting", Jack.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
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