Thoughts from a Thankful Scoutmaster

Last night the Troop held it’s monthly fun night after the PLC meeting. This month the Scouts elected to play Basketball over at the Church gym as the darkness is falling earlier and its getting cold outside.
So they held their PLC meeting focusing on the January Camp out and discussing the events of December that the Troop will be involved in. I gave my two and half cents were needed and pretty much let them be.
Then off to the gym. It didn’t take long to pick teams and the game began. We had a young Webelos Scout and his parents visiting last night, it was actually good for them to see the Troop at play. They got to see the camaraderie and cheerful spirit of the Troop as well as good sportsmanship.
At the end of the game, I gathered the Scouts at center court for some comments and a Scoutmaster minute to wrap up the night. I had something prepared, but then I looked at the boys sitting there on the floor and it hit me.

I am so blessed.

So I just talked to the Scouts about that.

I am so blessed that I have been chosen to be their Scoutmaster. To be a Scoutmaster at all is a blessing. To have the opportunity to impact these young men and watch them grow in character and skills that will last a life time. I thought about an email I received yesterday in which we had gone back and forth about Scoutmastership. The emailer reminded me of a quote from the book Legacy of Honor (which I have written about earlier). The quote was about the impact that a Scoutmaster has on the young men he serves. In the book the author was interviewing a man named Jim Breedlove. Mr. Breedlove said; “Scoutmaster is the most distinguished title a man can have….When I think of those people who have the opportunity to shape the lives of individuals to produce an outcome that is relevant, the role of Scoutmaster does that better than any one position I can think of.”

So of course this got me thinking about my report card as a Scoutmaster. Is what I am doing that important? Do I really have that kind of impact? And if so… How am I doing?
My Dad used to always say that the “Proof is in the pudding”. So I looked at the pudding.. the Scouts. Now we are far from seeing the results of the boys progress in life, but I suppose we can call it a quarterly report. I looked at pictures of our Troops first year. Man were those guys small. The looks on their faces as they braced for adventures to come, their willingness to learn and develop skills. The fun they had.
I remember a camp out, oh way back in our first year. We went to Ft. Stevens State Park and we were working on Map and Compass. We took the boys on a 5 mile hike and as we got closer to camp, I realized we were burning daylight and we still had dinner to cook. We challenged the Scouts, that if they beat us back to camp that we would do all the dishes. They took off like there was a blue light special on candy. They beat us back to camp, which allowed the ASMs and I to drop back and have a moment to talk about the next months camp out. So eager they were.
And today, well today they still are. Now the older guys are dropping back and making that challenge, teaching and sharing their experience with those new bright eyed Scouts that are eager and willing to step on to the trail of new adventure.
I am worthy of such a distinguished title… Scoutmaster. Maybe, but I love it. Looking back at the 5 boys that we started Troop 664 with, I can say with a some certainty that Scouting has made an impact on them so far. I see it in their attitudes, their skills, and the way they act.
Last night I talked with one of the original boys. He is a leader in his High School, gets good grades, plays sports, is helpful around the house, and a genuinely caring kid, I really appreciate him. I have seen him grow as a young man tremendously.
And then there was one of our younger guys, that after the Scoutmaster minute took the time to tell me his list of things he would saying at the dinner table on Thursday when it was his turn to give Thanks. He said that he was thankful that I was his Scoutmaster. I almost teared up.
Impact? Yes. Blessed? Yes. Thankful? Yes.
So I am truly humbled by the experience of being a Scoutmaster. As I told the boys last night, I will not leave until the Knights (our CO) asks me to.
Looking at the young faces at center court last night was all I needed to understand the impact, and the huge responsibility that comes with it. Last night was all it took to snap things in perspective and realize how thankful and blessed I am.
I told the Scouts of 664 that this Thursday as they sit at the table and gave thanks that they need to remember how blessed they are. How blessed to have the opportunities they have, to wake up in the Greatest Nation, to have freedom, to have parents and know what love feels like. To be able to enjoy a meal with family and friends, to have warmth and safety.
We have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for so much, a list too long to share, but near the top, definitely in the Top 5 is the word Scoutmaster and all that comes with it..namely the Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Categories: blog | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts from a Thankful Scoutmaster

  1. wow, that was really profound. Thanks, Jerry…I teared up for you…

  2. awesome. Very good. I wish we had more leaders like you that have that much dedication to this wonderful world wide organization.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of what we have to be thankful for. I am no longer a scoutmaster, but I am a Roundtable Commissioner and I am sharing this with my Scoutmasters in Danville, VA. You and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.www.danriverroundtable.blogspot.com

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