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The future of scouting lies with the scouts

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I really don't know if that is a good name for this post or not. But sometimes inspiration is hard to come by and you work with what you have. Speaking of inspiration:

We were having a bake sale on Saturday in the cold and rain. There were only 2 scouts who showed up along with my assistant and myself. So, there we were, cold and wet, peddeling our wares at a local flea market. To be honest with you, we weren't doing that well. We only earned $62.00 that day but to my poor pack that is a lot of money, but I digress. So, there we stood when along came a group of 3 teenage boys. One of the boys picked up our last pack of brownies and as he paid us he mentioned to his buddy "Yeah, I almost made Eagle, aged out to quick" to which one of his buddies replied "Really, I am only 2 away from Eagle myself". Then he turned to me and handed me some money and said "Merry Christmas". I thanked him and handed the money to my assistant Rose who gasped so I looked at what he had given us. It was $100.00 so I called after him "Thank you again, I think you just bought our awards for the rest of the year!" He just turned around and smiled. I was shocked. With all the things a teenaged boy could buy with $100 he chose to give it to a small group of cold and wet cub scouts. If he is close to Eagle that puts him 16 or 17, He could have spent that on gas for his car, a date with his girl, food, games, or anything else. I haven't really had much contact with older scouts and only know 2 adult Eagles but I have to say that I was impressed with this nameless youth. I really wish I could be there for his next meeting just so I could let his leaders know what he did. A hundred dollars may not be alot to most of you but where I come from "kids" don't just go around passing money around like that. It also made an impression on the two scouts that I had there. They are still talking about that "rich big kid" and how they were going to be "an Eagle like him" when they grow up too. I must say (in the words of a rock band) "It's amazing, when in the blink of an eye you finally see the light". Someone did right with that teen and I hope for the future of scouting that there are more like him where he came from.

By the way, did any of you have sons visiting East Tennessee this past weekend?


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Sometimes we are visited by the Spirit of Christmas in the form of a pet carol that holds certain dear memories, sometimes its a long forgotten photograph of a Christmas Past and of friends long since forgotten. And sometimes the Spirit of Christmas descends in a real tangible form.


Cajun, I know you have had your ups and downs with scouting, missing paperwork and the like, but now that you have seen what scouting can do, I think you were just invited to stick with it until you turn out a similar scout.

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Ain't scouting great? I love this stuff. Thanks for sharing the story.


I've often said scouting can benefit you in three ways:

1) The skills you learn (First Aid, camping, cooking, etc.) can be a benefit down the road.

2) The abilities you gain (Leadership, citizenship, physical fitness) through your experiences. These are many times unnoticed until years later.

3) The opportunities it puts in front of you. Sometimes, all this you have invested in scouting pays you right back. I put this story in that category. For me, I can tell you that I've had three jobs in 20 years since college, and scouting had a direct impact in getting each of them.


Krisi - This is a message to you to keep up the fight and press on toward the goal. I know it has its ups and downs. In the end, you'll be much more "up". Ten or fifteen years from now, someone may be telling a story about a scout from East Tennessee that did some great unselfish act for them.


OGE - Great comments from the old wise one.

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I really think that teen was your Christmas Angel sent to you as a sign that you are where you are supposed to be. I think what you are doing is already having a long term effect on the boys and the people of your town. Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas.

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