>"You Gotta Believe"


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!


  1. >So what is "miss a few meetings"? Would being late for troop meetings and missing all camp outs during football season be okay? Would missing all troop meetings during FIRST robotics 6 week build be okay?Our unit punishes those scouts who cannot attend 70% of all activities by not allowing them to attend summer activities. Whenever I hear a SM say to a scout that you need to participate, my response is you need to be flexible. If summer is the time that my son has for scouting why is he being told no because he could not during football and robotics season. BTW when I was a scout we camped only 4x a year and had a better balance of school. sports, and scouts. More fun too.


  2. >Anon..Here is what I have to say about that… Do whatever you want.This is Boy Scouts, you don't sign a contract that says you must do this and that. In my Troop we camp 11 times a year plus a summer camp. Those are opportunities to be a part of the Troop and get in the outdoors. If you have Football, Robotics, or Band… I don't care. Enjoy yourself and be as active as you want to be.The BSA defines being active as "Paying your registration".. it is not up to a unit to decide what active means.. it is also NOT the BSA's policy to "Punish" scouts for not paricipating.Missing a few meetings.. well I guess thats up to you. My son misses all the camp outs during Football season.. he doesn't get punished for it.. its three camp outs and I want him to be happy. He loves Scouts and he loves Football.. he can do both. Thats why we camp every month.. he still has 9 more to go on, plus summer camp. Again, there is no contract. Come to 1 meeting a year, I don't care.. thats up to the Scout.. not me. We dont take attendance in my Troop.Flexible.. I agree. You get out of Scouting what you put into it.. and that is the Scouts choice.. not the Scoutmaster.We provide opportunities.. if the Scout and the family choose not to take advantage of them, that is up to them.My personal opinion on the being active is that it is all about hanging out with the my friends in the Patrol. Camping is when that happens the most. Looking back on my Scouting experience as a youth I can honestly tell you I wished we camped more than 11 times a year. I loved going out with the gang and testing our collective skills and seeking new adventures.Be Flexible and Have a Great Scouting day!


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