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It's more what he didn't do. I did not notice it at the time, but looking back on it I realize what he was doing in the process.


* He didn't run everything.

* He didn't control every last detail.

* He didn't have a big ego.

* He didn't do all the planning.

* He didn't take any of the credit.


...or at least it seemed so at the time. What he did do is:


* Delegated the leadership to the scouts.

* He let the boys run everything.

* Mentored and coached his scout leaders.

* He showed us how to plan and offered constructive criticism.

* He sometimes let us fail.

* He took the blame when things went wrong ("It's my fault, I should have taught you ___ before the outing") while offering praise and encouragement when things went right ("You did a great job planning that outing").

* He taught us leadership

* He was a leader.



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My Scoutmaster when I was a youth was the most generous, compassionate, and understanding person I have ever known. He and my father were best friends but my father could not be involved in scouting becuase he traveled all the time. When my father died when I was 15 years old, this Scoutmaster took me into his home for a month until my mother could get all the details taken care of and find a job to support our family. We were forced to move out of state to be closer to family. When this Scoutmaster found out I had dropped out of scouting, he drove several states to our new home, found a troop and got me back into scouting. I am not sure if he is still alive or not, but if he is not, he is certainly helping scouts and scouters in Heaven.



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"I am not sure if he is still alive or not, but if he is not, he is certainly helping scouts and scouters in Heaven."


I think that now would be the time to look this person up. If he's still alive, pay him a visit or make a call.


In our extremely connected world with email, faxes, IM, etc. we still have a tendency to allow ourselves to become disconnected from the people who were important in our lives. Much of this is because we are so migratory. I live 250 miles from where I grew up. Most of my friends from high school and college live are gone to the four corners of the Earth.


A while back, I tracked down a college friend and gave him a call. We talked for about three hours, catching up on the joys and tragedies of our respective lives.


I currently live in a small town where many of the residents grew up here, some moved away for a while but many came back. I envy these people who see people that they've known all of their lives on a daily basis.

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  • 7 months later...

I still talk to my Scoutmaster on a fairly regular basis. He's told me he really appreciates it, and I enjoy thanking him. He was a firm and strong leader who always displayed the ideals of Scouting. He was a bit anti-council, but my Dad eventually recruited him to the executive board of the council and he started to change his tune.


You see, my old Scoutmaster used to joke that I wasn't born -- I was issued from National. Without his influence, and time, I never would have earned (I said earned) Eagle at the age of 13. I never would have earned the Ronald Reagan (full tuition scholarship based on leadership,) wouldn't have entered the Scouting profession that's been my home for going on 15 years. Woudln't have met my wife at Scout camp . . . In short, my life would be radically different.


I'm not saying it was all Mr. B . . . obviously, I've done a fair amount of work myself. However, without him, I'm pretty sure none of these terrific things would have been availavble to me.


I'm pretty sure we both feel great when I make Mr. B's phone ring and remind him that he had a significant impact on my life. I call him a couple times a year. Don't stalk your old SM.


I almost hated to resurrect this old thread . . . but I'm asking you to make the phone calls necessary to find and warm someone who took the time to help you when you were a kid.


I'll call mine again if you'll call yours.



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My SM had a way of getting me set higher goals. I liked myself when I was around him.


When I got my job at the FAA in 1995, my building was across the street from him. But when I looked him up, he had passed away six months before.



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This may sound kind of odd.

The Troop that I was in as a Scout, (and later as the Scout Leader, for eleven years)was a fantastic Troop.

At that time in London, there wasn't a lot of choice. There was Scouts, The Boys Brigade, or the Boys Club. The Boys Brigade was a lot of marching and play music. I did play the trumpet, and mastered "God Save The Queen" but it wasn't really my thing. The Boys Club, was all about boxing. I could get the heck beaten out of me at school, I didn't need to let someone do it fun!! And there was Scouts, I was a Wolf Cub, went all the way to Leaping Wolf, and joined the troop.

At about this time English Scoutin was undergoing a major shake up. Everything was changing: The Scout Law, went from 12 laws down to seven, the promise changed, so did the uniform, advancement requirements. We lost a great number of adults, and some of those that stayed on, really didn't get it and sure as heck didn't like it. My Scout Leader (That was another change Scoutmasters became Scout Leaders.)was one of them. But we had six super Assistant Scout Leaders.

Being a Scout in the 17th Fulham (Pioneers) was a full time commitment.

The first Monday of each Month, was the PLC,

Tues, was free, the Leaders had district and Troop committee meetings.

Wed, was games night.

Thurs, was swimming.

Fri was the troop meeting.

We camped all the time, at least two weekends a month, over all the holidays from Easter on till September, with a two week summer camp.

Summer camp was all over the place, one year in Ireland, a lot of the time in Holland, also in France.

So what trait stands out ?

The Time That These Guys Gave To Me.

Not one of them had a son in Scouting.

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