“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington
This weekend was our annual University of Scouting training event. Like most Councils the training includes everything from Basic Leader training to Women in the Wilderness. It is always attended well and with a lot of enthusiasm. I marvel at the amount of Scouters that take an additional Saturday from their already busy lives to get trained. Training that will ultimately make their units better. But more so do I appreciate the Scouters that take the time to train those that show up for this event. These amazing people spend time and energy and their own money to make great training happen. They over deliver when it comes to training the Scouters of our Council. I love to hang out on the Midway, that is where the action is. That is where the parade of Scouters happens, a constant din of enthusiastic Scout chatter fills the air. Scouters learn about program elements of the Council. They are introduced to the adventures their Scouts have available to them. They meet old friends and make new ones. The networking at the University of Scouting is perhaps the greatest tool they put in their box for the day.
As I manned the Wood Badge booth before and in between classes I could not help but note that these are all really good people. I shared with a friend of mine the quote that I opened this post with from George Washington, a quote that I have used frequently with the Scouts of my Troop. Essentially it is about the character of the people around you and how you are perceived by others because of the folks you hang out with. In short, be with great people and you will be great.. the opposite is also true. As I watched Scouters walking about the midway I counted my blessings to have so many of them as friends and thought to myself that there was no where else I would rather be at that moment.
I taught three classes over the course of the day. I was asked to teach “Effective Order of the Arrow Representatives”. A class that I taught at the National Order of the Arrow Conference last year. I was pleased to have a good group of Scouters that wanted to make their units better using the Order of the Arrow as a motivator in the unit. I also taught a class introducing Scouters to Backpacking. The gist of that class was to help unit adult leaders understand that backpacking does not have to be hard or expensive and that even first year scouts can do a 50 miler in their first year (ours have). And then in the final session of the day I was a Co Instructor in a class that introduced and answered question about Wood Badge. We called it “Wood Badge, What is it and Why should I go?”. That class was packed and yielded some outstanding questions. It gave me an opportunity to share the Wood Badge program and what it has done for me. It was also an outstanding opportunity to meet some really great Scouters that are dedicated to making their units better.
University of Scouting is always a motivating experience. For many it is that event that recharges scouting batteries. For many it is a first look at much of what Scouting has to offer. But for all of us it is an opportunity to build our reputation by being among some of the best people I know and surrounding ourselves with good company.
A day well spent. Hope you have those kinds of days.
Have a Great Scouting Day!