Every culture has its right of passage to manhood, but there is an ancient Cherokee right of passage in which the father of a young man takes his son out into the forest, blindfolds him and sits him on a stump.
The young man can not make a sound, he can not move, he must remain on the stump blindfolded until the sun rays of the morning light shines through it. He can not shout out or call for help from anyone.
Once he survives the night.. he is a man.
He then can not tell any of the other young men of the village of his ordeal, because each must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him, maybe there is even some human that may do him harm. The wind blows the grass and shook his stump, but he sits stoically, never moving from the stump, never removing the blindfold. This is the only way he can become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removes his blindfold.
It was then that he discovers his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at the watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
As we become men, it is important to know that we have mentors, protectors, teachers that will guide us and show us the way. As men, it is important for us to realize that there are those young men that look to us for those virtues.
As a father of sons and Scoutmaster it is my duty to remain on the stump with them. To guide and protect, teach and mentor and allow for their dreams to come true.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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