As everyone that reads this blog knows, the BSA’s new(er) slogan is as the title reads… “Prepared. For Life”. I have often stayed away from advertising gimmicks and jingles.. “An Army of One”, and “Be all that you can Be” come to mind. But this one hit home as I thought about how Scouting does impact our lives. Yesterday was my first day back from vacation and so I spent a little time catching up on emails, reading my favorite blogs, and cleaning camping gear. My good buddy Adam posted a piece about his vacation last week. It is a great article and illustrated just how Scouting is Preparing us for life.
I was and I suppose still am reluctant to tell this story in light of Adams blog post, but once again I find myself in need of sharing this wonderful thing called Scouting.
Last week we spent at Glacier National Park. If you have never been.. GO! It is truly an amazing place. So as you can imagine when I go camping I go prepared. We are ready to sustain for a week in comfort and have a good time out in the woods. This time was no exception. Since it was family time, I went a lot heavier than I am used to, the big cabin tent, the big stove, the coolers etc. But I still had my day pack which had my 10 essentials in it and since we were in Glacier NP, a canister of Bear spray.
One afternoon as we sat in camp, a scream came from the road in front of our camp site. The boys were throwing a football around and one fell. HE ran straight into our site crying. Why our site and not to his parents.. I don’t know. Maybe instinct told him that I had just completed the Wilderness First Aid course, or that I was a Scoutmaster, or he had no idea where he was.. either way.. here he ran into our site bleeding from the hand.
I had him sit down and told him to look me in the eyes. Josh, my youngest son, had already got to my day pack and retrieved the first aid kit. I told this youngster to relax and that he was going to be fine. His alligator tears started to dry and I just kept talking to him. Found out that in three days he would be turning 9 years old and that he was from Canada.
All the while I gloved up and started treating his cut. He had fallen on his hand and took a good layer or two of skin off his palm. Cleaning the area and bandaging with non stick pads I was done with the bleeding part. Then I started looking for possible fracture. He asked why I was poking and pressing on his wrist and hand.. I told him I wanted to make sure he was ok. He was. Right about that time, his dad came into our camp. He said he had heard the scream and started heading in this direction. I told what I had done and that I think everything is going to be ok, keep it clean and if he needed I would change the dressing the next day.
He saw the Scouting stickers on the back of my truck and made a comment about them stating that his son had run to the right place. “Who else would be ready to anything”, he said referring to the stickers.
So all of this got me to thinking about just how we Prepare our Scouts for life.
It’s not just first aid and camping skills, but as the mission statement states, Making ethical choice throughout their lives.
I often talk in this blog about character and making choices. Being fit and healthy, being of service to others, and of course skills that will help them get through life.
Scouting is a great platform for this learning, discovery, and practice of the life skills that these young men will need as they go through it. Being Prepared for as Baden Powell said.. Anything.
So it’s not just about camping and fun. It truly is a game with a purpose and all of us should remember what that purpose it. This new(er) slogan.. Prepared. For Life. Is the Boy Scouts of America mission statement in three words. It is our call to action as Scouters. It is what we are here for.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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