I know that the blog, once again, has taken a back seat to this crazy thing called life. I suppose an apology would sound nice, but hey, we all have lives I assume.
This week has been a real moving one for me and I want to share it. Once we get through this first part, the rest is going to make sense in the context of this blog and my Scouting world.
On Tuesday, my wife and I participated in what is called “Challenge Day” at our High School. Our youngest son participated last year and it really made a difference in his life. So much so that he asked to be on the Challenge Crew staff for this year. He was accepted and has been on the Challenge crew for the high school this year.
At our high school, they offer the Challenge day to the Junior class. Now there is an “opt out” for those students that do not want to participate, but for those that do take the day and participate it is an eye opening, life changing event. Not just an impact on the lives of the participant, but, if it is received by the participant, it will impact the whole school and community.
Challenge is a program that asks the participant to open their eyes and their heart and see how behavior effects people. Name calling, neglect,, bullying, race, gender, all of that come to play in how we treat one another. OK Jerry, we all know that… No.. No we don’t. We hear it, we say it, but we don’t live it. We assume that we treat people with respect and dignity, but we really don’t. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself… honestly am I? I suppose the bottom line is that we all can do better.
I was an adult leader for a small group “family”. When I say adult leader.. I really mean adult participant. We went through everything with the students. In my group we had 3 males and 2 females (myself included with the group). I got to hear their story and the stories of many of the kids in the room, there were about 150. My heart broke when I listened to some of the kids open up and share the pain and hurt they feel every day.
Being abandoned by their parents, abuse, neglect, and dealing with families struggling with addiction.
Towards the end of the day there was an activity called “Crossing the Line”. Two long stripes of tape were placed on the floor and the entire room stood on one side of the tape. As a category was called out, if it applied to you, you crossed the line and turned and faced the rest of the participants. The idea was to demonstrate that no one is alone, and pain and hurt is not unique to you… we all feel it and the impact is great.
“Have you lost a loved one to a violent act?”
“Have you ever been a victim of a violent act?”
“Have you lost a loved one to cancer or another illness?”
“Have you been effected by addiction?”
The list went on and on… and large groups of kids and adults crossed the line and returned… many crossing several times.
At the end the facilitator asked that everyone seriously think about the next category and then she said “If you have been allowed to be a child…cross the line”.
My heart sank as I looked around at all of the kids standing that did not move. Better than half of the room could not cross the line.
The say ended with healing and affirmations that this class would make a difference. The buck stops here. As they left the room, they made a commitment to make a change, not only in their School, but in their community… and it starts with how we look and treat people.
So what does all of this mean? There is way to much pain in our communities. We need to make a difference.
Baden Powell called for us to be a movement of peace. Are we? Does a patch on our uniform make us agents of that peace?
I am blessed,
I have a great family. I have fantastic loving kids. I grew up in a house with both parents that still to this day love me. My kids have never had need and have always been loved. We are a family of huggers,. My life is good.
So what? Is a blog going to make a difference? Nope, I am just sharing.. what you do with it is up to you.
I think it is time that we all reevaluate what we are really doing to be messengers of peace. I would suggest that we forget about global problems and focus on what is right outside of your front door. If we all do that then the global issue will right itself. Our Government can’t get it’s own house in order.. I don’t want it screwing up mine. WE need to make a difference. WE… US…
We start by adding this as part of our Junior Leader training. We adults start by living the Scout Oath and Law.. Daily. We reinforce our values in everything we do in Scouting and we invite all young people to join our adventure.
There is a big push to get leaders trained. We need to train them right. We need to make sure that all of the methods are being used in Scouting. It is through those methods that we will achieve our goals or aims… not to crank out Eagle Scouts.. but to have good young men that are great citizens and everything that the word citizen means. Men of Character that are fit.
I looked at the room on Tuesday and saw a lack of all of that somewhere along the line. Crapping parents, teachers that looked the other way, friends that are afraid to be friends. Scouting is designed to change that… but we don’t. It’s easier just to camp and call it good. We need to take the time and teach our boys to be men.
So… here we are. What is the blog going to do?
Leadership posts that direct that sort of change.
Gear reviews that encourage adventure.
Tips and techniques to make Scouting better… as I see it.
I have been away a lot from the blog recently. I have been freeing up parts of my life that did not really matter. The blog really matters to me and I think that it helps.
I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and family and I am blessed to have great readers of this blog.
Thanks so very much.
Think about the tag line.. “Have a Great Scouting Day” What does that mean and why do I close with that? A Scouting day is one in which we live the Scout Oath and Law. One that we are prepared and looking for the opportunity to “Help other people” It is a promise that we make daily to not just be in Scouting but allow Scouting to be in us. It’s more than Monday night meetings, it is how we live.
Think about that for a moment and see where you are.
You can learn more about Challenge day at www.challengeday.org
Have a Great Scouting Day!