A few years back when I was the Sergeant Major of an Infantry Battalion preparing for a long camp out in Iraq, they (the man) sent a group of us Sergeants Major to a class where we were briefed that among other things this war would be a way for us to tell the Army Story. I thought to myself that the Army at the time was 228 years old, every one knew the Army story. You know… crossing the Delaware, Gettysburg, D-Day all that. But what the Public Affairs guy was getting at was the Army as it is known to the public.
Now I am sure that John Q Public knows that the Army goes out and fights the wars the Congress gets them into, and it does humanitarian aid, fights floods, Guards the Tomb of the Unknown, and that stuff. They know that young men and women get college money and opportunities for fun, travel and adventure… but do they know the soldiers, the values, and the leadership? That is the Army story.. the people that make up the Army.
I got it. And we did in fact have the opportunity over the course of our stay in south central Baghdad to tell our story. In our Soldiers and the remarkable things they did for the village of Hilla and the out lying farms. In the Values that our Soldiers lived, in general, in our people… the people that we send to do our Nations bidding.
We are on the eve of a marvelous event in our history. The 100th Anniversary of Scouting in America. As we have crossed the threshold of Centenary of the Scouting and are in the home stretch to what is being billed as the biggest and best ever Jamboree and Centennial Celebration.
It is a great time to tell Scouting’s story. Over 38,000 Scouts and leaders from 158 countries attended the 21st world Jamboree in England. Now that is not a remarkable number, but think about it. Compare that number to arguably the largest Olympic event in Beijing, soccer only drew 43,883. And the Scouts and Scouters that attended the World Jamboree in England arrived and stayed.. camped for the entire trip.
Oh and 50,000 folks attended the World Jamboree on day visits. That is a lot of people that are active in Scouting and chose to participate in this celebration.
It is anticipated that well over 43,000 Scouts will be in attendance at our National Jamboree in 2010. 43,000 Scouts! In one place… for one event… for Scouts!
This is part of our story. The sheer numbers let you know that Scouting is alive and well.
But we need to tell the story. We do not want those that really do not understand the Scouting movement telling the story. They might come to it with a bias, or a preconceived notion of Scouting. They will not understand the values that we live, the game of Scouting that we play, the methods used and the goals we are trying to achieve.
They may think Scouting is exclusive.. and to a certain extent we are.. we want people that want to have faith, values, and sense of adventure.
We want Adults that are safe and provide the very best for our Scouts.
We only accept the very best from them, because a boys future depends on it. So if we exclude, it is probably for the right reasons, but we give everyone an opportunity, they just need to follow our rules… it’s really just that simple.
But our story needs to be told. Told in the positive things that Scouting does in the communities that we live in. In the individual Scouts that demonstrate their willingness to put others before themselves. In the selfless acts of Scouts that become heroes, even if it is as small as helping a cat out of a tree or carrying a few bags of groceries for a lady with small kids.
These things happen every day. Our Scouts seize opportunities daily to live the Scout Oath and Law. This is our story.
Bloggers, podcasters, and webmaster should tell the Scouting Story in a positive light. Demonstrating their zeal for the program and what it offers our Scouts, our Community, our Country, and World.
We should go out of our way to show the great things that are happening in our units and seek positive reporting.
It is our story to tell.. lets tell it how we want it to be read.
Have a Great Scouting Day!