Over the Edge

Ok, so before everyone gets completely tired of hearing about the Over the Edge fund Raiser.. let me do one or two more posts on it and then we will call it good.
Yesterday I went over the edge for Scouting.  So far the Council has about 125,000 in donations for this single event, that’s an unofficial number.. I am just doing the math that 50 of us went over the edge, and to do that you had to raise at least $2500.  That’s a pretty good chunk of change for a quick fund-raising effort.  The nice part, in my opinion, is that we did it without a ton of hype and with the effort of just a few.
That said… it was a good fund-raiser and I am happy that there is a cool incentive for raising the money.
When I ‘landed’ I was interviewed by some one with a camera looking very official.  He asked some questions about the event and what I felt about it.  I thought I might share some thoughts.
First.  As stated above, I think it was cool that relatively a few people raised this much money for our council.  50 people.  There were more people who participated in the fund-raiser, many Scouters made an attempt at getting to the edge, a lot came up short, but every penny counts.  Now just imagine if more people would have made the commitment to go over the edge.. We could have made a lot more for Scouting programs.  Just a thought.  I am taking a “that’s cool” approach to the few because I value their dedication to the effort.  I talked with one Edger.. he never thought that he would get to the Edge.  It was never his intent to go over the edge, he just wanted to raise some money for the council and call it good.  One thing led to another and here he was… getting in the harness to go over the edge.  So when I say 50, I am focusing only on the folks that went over the edge.
Now, for those folks to raise that kind of money a lot of people had to step up.  Each of those 50 people asked for donations.  That amounted to a large amount of participation from within the Scouting community as well as true friends of Scouts and Scouters.
I did a lot of “asking” via Twitter and got a great response.  Georgia, Maine, Canada, England, to name a few areas that responded, and from around my Council too.  Parents from my Jamboree Troop, Wood Badge Friends, Parents from my Troop all stepped up.  Leatherman’s headquarters is here in Portland and as luck would have it a Scout in my Troop has a Dad that works for Leatherman up in the big office.  Conversations leading to the Edge caught the attention of Jake Nichol the President and CEO of Leatherman.  He took interest in this effort and made a major contribution to my fund-raising goal.
Second.  Friends.  Yesterday was like many days at Scouting events.  Filled with laughter and friends.  Adam Cox and I were scheduled for 10:00 Am to go over the edge together.  But from the time I checked in to the time we drove away… it was friends all over the place.  I suppose that is the way it is everywhere in Scouting.  I saw so many Scouters that I had the pleasure of working with at Jamboree, Wood Badge, Order of the Arrow functions, Training classes and other Scouting Events.  The more active you are, the bigger your circle of friends is in Scouting.  I could not turn in any direction without seeing a friend.  And that made the whole event special.
Our Scout Executive went over the Edge right before Adam and I.  It was fun to joke around with him and encourage him all the way down.  He is an enthusiastic leader and sets a great example for not only his staff but Scouters in the Council also.
I was talking with my wife last night about how great it is to have so many great Scouting friends.  They are good people who really dedicate time and energy to Scouting.  And at the end of the day, when you look at the profile created by this great group of people.. it is all about serving others.  They all could have spent yesterday making money for themselves, or enjoying the time with their families or doing something other than being a part of this event.  But time and time again, we see the same folks, these same dedicated people giving of themselves to make Scouting better in our community, to make our council just that much stronger, to be among friends.
And finally, the event itself.  The fact that on Friday in June the Boy Scouts of America would be rappelling down the second tallest building in Portland.  Right in the heart of city.  The fact that all day long, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Scouters took turns going over the edge of the roof of the USBancorp Tower in view of the whole city.  That was cool.  It is no secret that the city of Portland does not maintain traditional values that are consistent with the Scout Oath and Law.  Why that is?  I don’t know.  It’s just the way it is.  But we have a very large Scouting community here.  There have now been two major events in the heart of Portland that I would never have thought I would see.  Hundreds of Scouts and Scouters marching in the Rose festival parade and this Over the Edge event.  I am glad that I have been able to not only see these events, but participate in them.  Maybe the more we put it out there.. the more the city will embrace Scouting and soon will take to our values.  That last one, I will wait for, it’s not going to happen any time soon.
But none of that will dampen the scouting spirit of those of us that love Scouting and are willing to put our bodies over the edge.
The Over the Edge event was very well-organized.  From the time we walked into the “Ready Room” the professionalism and enthusiasm was there.  The Council staff and the OTE staff were friendly and dedicated to making this the safest, funnest event ever.  And they did.  From the fitting of the harness and explanation of the process to the training on the roof and ultimately the hook up and decent from the top, the staff did a fantastic job.  At no time did I feel in danger, frightened, or uncomfortable about what I was doing.
It was great to go down the building with my friend Adam.  He had a bit of a challenge right at the edge, but it was great to see him conquer his fear and take the next step and go over.  We were talking on the roof that we were either Stupid or motivated.. or a bit of both.  But you know this is what it is.. we love Scouting!
Final thought.

If the Over the Edge comes to your council.  DO IT!.   We will be doing it again next year.  It’s a great way to raise some money for your council and a fun way to do it!  Sure beats selling popcorn.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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