Last night I had the privilege of sitting on an Eagle Scout Board of review. All Scoutmasters in our District are encouraged to participate when they are available and last night, not only was I asked, but because I knew the Scout I thought it would a good experience.
The Scoutmaster of this Scout, serving as his advocate, gave us a run down of the young man. He started with “He is a shy kid, but liked by everyone in the Troop”. It was all up hill from there.
The young man entered the room, in full uniform, sash full of merit badges and a huge smile on his face. We had him recite the Oath and Law and he took a seat. I kept waiting for the shy kid to come in.
The questions started and the board of review quickly became a conversation. The young man was articulate, smart, witty, and least of all shy.
He was very in tuned to what was his goals were and where he wanted to be in life. He had opinions about the world we live in and even dove in to social issues. He talked about the merit badges he had earned and the impact that some of them have had on his life. He spoke about the Citizenship series merit badges in particular stating that while they did not make him an expert, they opened his eyes to his Community, Nation, and World and got him thinking beyond his own front yard.
But my favorite part of the night was when we talked about him. He is an accomplished musician, not only in the orchestra at School, but in a pseudo rock band. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and wished they had a 5 in the GPA scale, he has held a 4.0 the last two years. He is a leader at School, a Freshman mentor, which he takes a lot of pride in helping the lost new kids at the High School. (He is a Senior) He is active in his Church, not only attending, but leading in the youth group and playing in the praise band. He plays sports and he works for his dad, splitting wood. He has a great group of friends and hangs out till the wee hours on Saturday nights “Partying with his friends”.
But the statement of the night was when we talked about peer pressure. We talked about all of the things he does and how busy his life was. To which he answered, “I love my life”.
That was it for me. This kid is the package deal.
As the board deliberated on his Eagle Scout candidacy one of the board members stated that what he saw confirmed everything that he thought and Eagle Scout should be.
He went on to talk about three things that aid in the success of this young man and young men like him.
First- A good family that supports him and that are active in Scouting also.
Second- A good unit, that nourishes, mentors and develops leaders, one that ensures the Scouts earn their way.
And Third- A good group of supportive friends that share the same values.
If one of those components were to be removed, the chance of success goes down.
This young man, who is 17 years old, could easily bow to the pressures of the world he lives in, instead he surrounds himself with people of the same value set, the same drive, and the same commitment to success. He leads by example, knowing what is right and striving to do the right thing. When asked about religion and the Reverence part of the Scout law, he answered; “All Scouts should have some sort of faith, they should believe in some higher being or power, but most of all we all should just treat each other well.”
I think he gets it.
It was truly an honor to sit on his board last night, he reinforced many things that I knew to be true, and got me thinking about how I teach, coach, train, and mentor as a Scoutmaster.
Now I firmly believe that Hope is never a plan… but this young man gives me lots of hope and promise for the future of our Community. I look forward to seeing him continue to grow and become a good man. It was a refreshing evening for me to see our future is in good hands.
Have a Great Scouting Day!