Yesterday was a fantastic Scouting Day! First and foremost it was Monday, so we had our weekly Troop meeting. The Troop meeting started like most others but then took a turn for the better, a Scout camp running through the door about 5 minutes late. He was wearing his baseball uniform making a dash for the restroom, scout uniform in tow. His Dad was not to far behind and asked if I had a second. That usually is not a good sign, but I figured that another leadership challenge was on the horizon. He explained that they were having a hard time getting motivated to come to Scouts and that they turned the car around twice en route to the meeting. I asked what the issue was, maybe a personality conflict, a lack of desire to participate, something was troubling the Scout. No, he loves to go camping, he really likes the guys in his patrol, he likes Scouts.. just not the meetings when he has to come right after practice. Now, this kid is a good athlete, he plays baseball and basketball and is good at both.
I told him that I would have a little chat with the young man and see what I could do.
So, after the meeting the young man and I sat down and talked. I started by asking what his main concerns where regarding coming to meetings. Simply put, he is just overwhelmed.. sports, school, scouts, sometimes it is just too much he said. I assured him that he is not alone. In our Troop better than half are athletes. Football players, Wrestlers, Baseball, Basketball, and guys that run track. Not to mention the scouts that are in Band, 4H, and Robotics clubs. My point was that he is not alone, not the first one to dance this dance, and that if he really wanted to, he could do it all.. there was time enough to be an athlete and a Scout. I assured him that we meet every Monday and go camping every month and that if he missed a few meetings it was no big deal. And if he had to be late, well, we would work around that too. He told me he really loves his patrol, at that I told him that they like having him around also, and although they will never admit it or say it out loud, they miss each other when one is gone. I asked him if he wanted to be a professional Baseball player, he replied “Yeah”. I asked him if he wanted to be an Eagle Scout? He answered “Oh Yeah”. Then, I said, you need to participate, its that simple. I know you don’t like the meetings, but consider them like baseball practice. You can’t play the game without practice first. It makes the team stronger, they know each other better, and they develop skills that make them better in the game. At our meetings we do all of that while we get ready for our next camp out or event. He looked at me and said that he never thought of it that way. I told him that he had to believe in him self and that he could be a great athlete as well as work toward his Eagle. He believes.
During the Scoutmaster Minute last night I talked about working toward a goal and that believing in your ability, your skills, and your knowledge will get you far in life. I don’t know why they have self doubt, but I suppose that’s why they have a Scoutmaster. It’s my job to help them see that they “gotta believe” in themselves. They are great young men and I want to see them become a success. So I will help them.. Like I said in the last post.. in helping them achieve success, I am successful.
Man, I love this stuff!
Yesterday I also received an invitation to the BSA National meetings in San Diego! I am really excited about this opportunity. It really was a great Scouting Day yesterday!
Have a Great Scouting Day!