I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the Scouts in my Troop last night and having a Scoutmaster Conference. The youngster is finishing up his Tenderfoot badge. We went through the standard questions and he past with flying colors. Then we got to talking (my favorite part of the conference).
This is where you really learn about the boy and what makes him tick. It also is a great way for the Scout to feel comfortable chatting with adults [Adult Interaction, one of those methods I've seen around].
Well, I asked this young man which of the 12 points of the Scout Law he could do better at. Typically you get, “obedient” or “Cheerful” or “My Mom says I need to be “Clean and work on my room”… but this little guy said “Kind”.
So I asked why he thought that. He went on to say that he had some anger issues and that he needed to be more kind. Further he talked about the stress and preasures of his life.
So I asked myself, what kind of preasures and stess could an 11 year old possibly have?
He described some, and we won’t go into that here, but lets just say it’s not all that bad and it opened up a guided discovery for both him and I.
What we learned was that if he took just 12 little words and applied them to his daily life… all of his stress would go away.
I stessed about having to do chores… I told him to do his chores, but instead of making them out to be something horrible… be CHEERFUL and smile while you do the dishes. And we went example after example about how the Scout law could make his life better.
I talked to him about what I call the 12 point check, just like when you go into get your oil changed. Check Twelve points and you will be good to go.
Explaining that if you can answer YES to the 12 points, than you will never have anything to stress and worry about.
Are you being Trustworthy? Yes or No
Are you being Loyal? Yes or No
Are you being Helpful? Yes or No
Are you Friendly? Yes or No
Are you being Courteous and Kind? Yes or No
Are you obedient?
Are you Cheerful?
Are you Thifty?
Are you being Brave?
Are you being Clean (in body and mind)? Yes or No
And are you Reverent?
Answering Yes means that you are doing the right thing, a no answer means you need to work on it. Its only twelve little words that can teach you alot about yourself. But its twelve little words that others see in you.
Now I’m not sure how 11 year boys are stressed out, life sure will be tough if they don’t get that under control. I hope that a twelve point check will help him, It sure helps me.
I am always learning. Everyday of my life I learn something, what I learned last night was that this great little kid will grow up to be a good man.. He wants to live the Scout Law and with that in his pocket he will do great things.
He may not be the next President or Rocket Scientist, but he will be a man that can be counted on because he has the Scout Law.
I learned more about that young man in 15 minutes than his friends will ever know. I am grateful for that time.
Never shut the door to learning… its not always in a class room that you get an education. And you will be amazed at how much an 11 year old will teach you.