Personally, Scouting has had a profound effect on me, and I have watched as Scouting has influenced every boy that passes through our troop. As one of the oldest Scouts in the troop, I have the ability to step back and watch the development of boys into young men as they progress through the ranks of Scouting. From Tenderfoot to Eagle, every new rank signifies a vast increase in the Scout’s knowledge and experience. I know this because I have experienced it firsthand.
When I first entered Troop 46, I was just a young, and probably quite annoying, middle schooler. I was immature. I had no idea how to tie a square knot, and I really had not had any experience in leadership and managing groups of people. However, all of this soon began to change as I started working on requirements in my Scout Book and taking on some of the less demanding leadership roles in the troop. While I didn’t realize it at the time, this experience was changing me greatly. I was beginning to understand how to deal with conflict, how to get teams of people to work efficiently together, and how to plan ahead. Needless to say, I still made many mistakes at this point, but I learned something from each one. And that is one of the most important opportunities Scouting provides America’s youth with: the opportunity to make mistakes. A parent can lecture on and on to a child about how or how not to do something, but until that child makes that mistake on their own, they will never truly understand why that thing must be done in a certain way. And to say that Scouting provides boys with chances to make mistakes would almost be an understatement. I have many scars on my body that I got in Scouts that I can still point to today and explain exactly what happened and the (possibly painful) lesson I learned from it. These mistakes are what make me the man I am today. By remembering past decisions and the positive or negative repercussions those decisions had, I am able to make significantly better decisions going forward.
I place the root of all the success I have had in high school securely in the Scouting program. Scouting is what has allowed me to be a successful and competitive athlete, a hard worker, an academically motivated student, and a strong leader. Without the Scouting program and all of its invaluable lessons, I would likely still be like that immature middle schooler who couldn’t even tie a square knot.
In addition, we would encourage prospective scouts and their parents to attend one of our meetings on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Blanton Building on the southeast corner of St Luke’s campus.