scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: REF: Saturday (final in series) 2/2
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Thu Feb 18 1993 - 15:45:53 CST
On the flight back, a younger man asked me about my trip. After I told him
of the award presentation, he said, �I�m sorry for saying this, but that�s
not very smart of you. I wouldn�t done it�you didn�t know this guy? Isn�t
that like crashing a wedding or something like that??�
I smiled and said �Scouters do it all of the time. We�re the ultimate party
crashers. If there�s a Scouting event somewhere, and we can afford to be
there, we�re there.� I then added, �We�re not stupid. We know that our
families and our work come ahead of what we do in Scouting. But we believe
in the program so much, and we want others to get out of it what we�ve
gotten out of it, that many of us will go that extra mile or two to help out
others and to let them know that they�re appreciated!�
The guy just looked at me and shook his head. �I could think of better
things to do with my off time than to go to some Scout award thing a state
away.� I could as well. There are times in which we as Scouters truly
question why do we do this stuff.
Why do we work a 40 or 50-hour job and then turn around and work another 15
to 20 hours for free?
Why do we endure the yelling and cussing of parents whom view us as
�professional childcare tenders� and as �people whom don�t have a life?�
Why do we pay out of our own pockets to go to a ten-day campout, to get
dirty every day, to get rained upon five out of those ten days, and to eat
food half-cooked or half-baked?
Why do we put up with petty in-fighting over �Who�s going to be in charge�
of what activity and �Why you can�t do it but I can?� stuff...worst than
what we put up with at work. At least at work, we can complain and if we
complain enough, the boss fires someone!
Why do we put out large stacks of money to insure that we look good in a
uniform, that we are educated as well as we can, and that we have the
resources to do what � a job without pay?
A private Scouting survey done for a local Boy Scout Council revealed that
the average volunteer Scouter spends close to $300 a year on himself or
herself in an attempt to prepare themselves for their role as a volunteer.
Three hundred dollars can purchase a lot of things, and in many cases, pay a
car loan or all of the utilities for an entire month. It can prepay a
year�s worth of basic cable television, or provide a respite for a couple in
their first years of marriage. So why spend it on SCOUTING??
Why do we have to deal with 10, or 20 or 50 other people�s kids�kids that
don�t share the same values as your family does; can�t spell most cuss words
but can use them as verbs or nouns in five different sentences (and maybe in
two different languages!); kids who come to a meeting dressed as if someone
draped the dirty clothes basket over them in a rush to get them out of the
house; kids that are not hiding the fact that they seem to know more about
life and living than you will ever know. Why?
We offer Scouting to every American boy that wants it. Some think that they
want it, and change their minds once we offer it. Others drink it in as if
it was the last cool drink on Earth. We keep offering it because as boys
grow, their minds change. Their habits change and their outlook on life and
living change. We do it because we know that it�s important for American
boys to learn from one another good qualities of being a citizen, of being a
responsible young man, and to help him grow phyisically and mentally.
We do it because we know something that those at our workplace, those
parents, our families, those other Scouters that are there �for the name�
and nothing more�do not know. Or they are aware of, but have never thought
about it much. We do it because we want to share our lives with others
through this special set of programs called Scouting, that�s why. We do
those things because we want to be an example � a personal example � of what
we believe in, what we hold as principled, what we know. We do those things
because we know that people � youth and adults � act upon examples. All of
the talking and fine words in the world don�t mean a thing without the
reasoned actions behind them. We can read those books about Scouting but I
wouldn�t know what Scouting�s like unless I was a part of it.
That song keeps playing in my mind. Because they will know that we�re
Scouters by our love, by our love.
Yes, they�ll know we�re Scouters by our love.
Editor: February 8 marks the Boy Scouts of America�s 90th Anniversary of its
incorporation date. Many area Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing
organizations and the organizations which charter and support Scouting will
mark this week and month with special activities, meetings, open houses and
dinners. This is part of a series of personal reflections on Scouting�s
ideals and how those principles are being applied in today�s American life
seen from the eyes and life experiences of an Eagle Scout. Major Mike
Walton, otherwise known as �settummanque, the blackeagle�, is a former
member, volunteer and longtime supporter of the programs of the Boy Scouts
of America. He speaks frequently to groups relating the importance of
Scouting today, is a freelance writer for several Scouting-related
publications, and a participant in a daily Internet mailing list called
Scouts-L with well over 3500 readers worldwide. Walton is a Burnsville,
Minnesota resident and a military technician with the Army Reserve�s 88th
Regional Support Command at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
[Purchase Your Binder! for Scouting's Y2K's publications!]
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----