It is always a good idea to stop and reflect on what just happened while its fresh in the mind. This last weekend our Troop participated in our Districts Webelos Woods Camp out. Cause for much reflection.
I know that I say it a lot, and its not to sound like I have the best and brightest, but I am so proud of my Troop and the way our program is running. After 6 years it is well on the path to everything that I think is important in Scouting. First and foremost the Scouts do the leading, the planning, and much of the decision making.
That was evident this weekend when our Troop arrived at Webelos Woods and jumped right into preparation for the event they would be hosting. They picked an event called “Good Camp, Bad Camp” a demonstration of Leave No Trace and camping as a “Backpacking” style troop.
In the course of planning it was decided that the “older” Scouts wanted no part of Webelos Woods in general and would rather take a short Backpacking trip instead. This left left the First Year Scouts to test their backpacking set up skills and knowledge of Leave No Trace at the Webelos Woods event. With about a half a month to prepare they did a fantastic job. I was impressed with the way they showed leadership, teamwork, and excitement as the Webelos Scouts from around the district paid a visit to our camp. Everything a Scoutmaster could want as I sat in a camp chair by the fire and watched as they taught the Outdoor code and leave no trace to the soon to be Boy Scouts. In six hours those young Scouts did more to promote what Boy Scouting is all about and what our Troops flavor is than all the recruiting efforts I have done in the last three years.
All the while the “older” guys were on an adventure of their own. Literally putting their finger on the map and going there. They ended up hiking to the top of a bluff over looking Butte Creek Scout ranch, making camp and then just hanging out. It was reported to me by the group that it was the most amazing sun set they ever seen, and that the fog that filled the valley below them looked amazing. They wandered back to the Troop some time after breakfast Sunday morning and helped some of the younger guys pack up.
Sunday morning after we took down the flag and as I was finishing up my cup of coffee the guys formed a circle and began to talk about the weekend. I joined the circle along with the ASMs and we went around and everyone shared one thing they liked about the weekend. It was to my surprise to hear praise for each other and how impressed everyone in the troop was for the first year scouts. I was happy to hear that the young fellas were excited to teach the Webelos and they had a good experience. It was nice to hear that they all learned something about camping and themselves this weekend.
In the life of a Scoutmaster, we all hope that we reach the Scouts in our Troops, we all hope that what we teach is being practiced, we all hope that the Scout Oath and Law are truly the guide that our Scouts embrace and live daily. We see snap shots of these young men during our weekend camp outs and our weekly meetings and it is our hope that we see growth and that they are developing into fine young men. This past weekend gave me that snap shot. From First year Scouts coming into their own to “Older” Scouts venturing off to test their skills away from it all. We saw just how effective the Patrol method is and when used right it produces great results. Confidence, self reliance, and Leadership tested before our eyes.
I am proud of the Scouts of our Troop, they learn and grow and what more can we ask of them?
Have a Great Scouting Day!