Without getting to wrapped up in politics, flag waving, and humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic while draped in a flag, I want to talk a bit about citizenship in Scouting.
Today, I sat in the back of our meeting place while 8 of our Scouts took advantage of a merit badge counselor’s day of instruction. Three of the Scouts of our Troop wanted to work on the Citizenship merit badges, they contacted the counselor and set up a day that the three of them would meet with him. Well, word got out and then a few more guys wanted to work on the merit badges, so they contacted me and asked if they could all meet in the Knights Hall where the Troop meets. I agreed to open it up, get the heat on, and make the room available for the group to work with the counselor.
Eight Scouts showed up today to work the Citizenship in the Community, Nation, and World merit badges, what I got was a civics lesson unlike I have seen or heard since I was in the sixth grade.
The counselor taught these young men what it means to be a Scout and a citizen. I was so impressed with the class, the scouts, and happy that we, in the Scouting movement provide this opportunity.
Baden Powell’s goal for Scouting was to produce good citizens. In the book Aids to Scoutmastership, BP says; “…the Scout and Guide movement has the following possibilities;- the making of the individual into an efficient and happy citizen. The harnessing of the individual to work for the community… the promotion of the International goodwill, and through its brotherhood, as a practical step towards permant peace.”
These merit badges do just that, especially when they are not just rushed through. In 4 hours, eight Scouts learned more about being a citizen than most kids will learn throughout their years of schooling. In this game with a purpose, these Scouts will serve their communities through food drives, flag placements, bike rodeos, Good will ~ Good Turn events and countless other service opportunities. They will grow up with the knowledge of responsible citizenship, understanding the weighty task of voting and staying active within their communities.
I sat quietly for four hours today.. a remarkable feat in and of itself and watched Scouts learn and grow in a fun and interactive program. I am sure the word will get out and more and more of the Scouts of our troop will jump into this. Regardless, I had a remarkable time today watching this part of the Scouting game.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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