Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent.
This is the Boy Scout Law. On February 8th 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. Founded by Robert Baden-Powell of England, Scouting grew into an organization that teaches young men leadership, community service, and outdoor skills. Government leaders and soldiers are born from its ranks. You may not even know you are working alongside a former scout. You just notice that he is one of better employees in the office. Basically, the aim of the Boy Scouts is to breed men of genuine good character. The structure and discipline of the organization produces positive results most of the time.
My experience with the Boy Scouts began in a small town in southern Louisiana. I moved through the ranks from Tenderfoot and stayed with it. I moved to different troops as my family changed locations. Many young boys find other things to divert them (like girls), however those who stick and stay like I did can attain the rank of Eagle Scout. I later worked at my council camp as an aquatics director and at the BSA high adventure base in Minnesota. There are many other ways to participate after you finish up as a scout. Volunteering time as an adult leader is a way many former scouts give back to the organization that taught them valuable life skills and structure.
Recently, the BSA has allowed girls and women to participate. There is Venture and Sea Scouts for older teenagers. Women also hold leadership positions both as scout masters. They also serve in district and national positions. I remember when the Girl Scouts started pushing towards recruiting with the promise of more outdoor activities rather than just crafting and making cookies. I was glad to see commercials aimed at augmenting their stereotypical image.
For me, my experience with The Boy Scouts of America has allowed me an opportunity to gain a better appreciation for the environment and our responsibility towards it. True leaders are in short supply these days and those who have the courage to stand by their ideals are even fewer. One of my scout masters taught us that leading by example is important. Today, there are plenty influential people who talk a good game. I have more respect for those who choose to pick up a shovel and start digging with the rest of us.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams