Over the past two weeks we have had a wonderful Scouting experience learning about the fantastic people that we have in Scouting. Our Council Court of Honor was held a few weeks back honoring those that received their Silver Beaver award this year. As they read the bio’s of the recipients I sat listening and soon found myself in awe of the people that had the shiny new Blue and White ribbon around their neck holding on to that little beaver. I leaned to the person next to me and mentioned how proud I am to be there among all these great people. People that do so much for Scouting and the youth in our programs. The hours of service they dedicate, the talents they have, and the love for Scouting made me feel that Scouting is in good hands with people like this. He leaned over to me and pulled on my Silver Beaver… “yep” he said, “Make you feel good to call them your friends”.
Then the big Rendezvous weekend with the Order of the Arrow. Our Lodges biggest event and when we have our annual Lodge Awards banquet. The Rendezvous is always a great event, this year marked with the 100th Anniversary of the Order of the Arrow, needless to say it was going to be special.
Rendezvous is always fun and the annual gathering of the Liars Club. A great group of Scout friends of mine, each year we take some time to just sit and chat,, liars club? The first liar does not have a chance in that group. Seriously, we have a great time together and the discussions typically result in fixing all the problems in Scouting and sharing best practices within our Troops.
Again it is one of those things that remind me of the great people that are in Scouting and all of the fantastic things that they do. Saturday evenings events conclude with the awards banquet. The Lodge Chief gives a state of the Lodge address sharing the members with the amazing things that the Lodge did last year. Thousands hours of service, Journey to Excellence (Gold) Lodge, Thousands of dollars donated that help the council camps and other programs, a recap of the Lodge service project. Really impressive to say the least. And just when you think you have seen the best in Scouting they present the Founders Awards and the Lodge Service awards.
The Founder’s Award recognizes Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to their lodge. The award is reserved for an Arrowman who demonstrates that he or she personifies the spirit of selfless service, as advocated by founder E. Urner Goodman and co founder Carroll A. Edson. I love this award in that every Scout or Scouter that I have seen that was awarded it truly exemplify that which I think is the very best of not only the Order of the Arrow, but Scouting.
This year was no exception.
The Lodge Service Award is also presented to those members of the Lodge that go above and beyond that which the average Arrowmen does in service to the Lodge and as a result the Council and Scouting.
The Lodge awarded 5 Lodge service awards this year, and again, they are 5 people that are so remarkably deserving that it leaves me thinking about how much I admire those recipients for the work that they do within Scouting and their communities.
The last recognition of the night is the call out of the Vigil Candidates for the year. This is a special group of people that have proven themselves worthy of the Order of the Arrows highest honor. From the Order of the Arrow’s website; Alertness to the needs of others is the mark of the Vigil Honor. It calls for an individual with an unusual awareness of the possibilities within each situation. The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting. Membership cannot be won by a person’s conscious endeavors. The Vigil Honor is a high mark of distinction and recognition reserved for those Arrowmen who, by reason of exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest, have made distinguished contributions beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position of office to one or more of the following: Lodge, the Order of the Arrow, the Scouting community, and our Scout Camps.
After the banquet a group of us sat and talked about the evening. I shared my thoughts and how impressed I am of everyone that received awards. We talked about what motivates people to do as these recipients have done. It takes a willingness to wake up every morning and look in the mirror and say “I am going to be great today”.
It takes a person that understands that if we aim at the bulls eye we will hit it more times than not. This commitment to not being average, after all, any one can hit the target… but hitting the bulls eye takes practice, skill, and focus. We need to have that kind of focus when we talk about making a commitment to being a cheerful servant. Again, not being willing to be average. Just like our Silver Beavers, Lodge Service award, and Founders Award recipients have been recognized for the service they have done, it is never done for the award but because they have been focused on being the very best that they can be.
I shared these thoughts with my Scouts the other night at our meeting. I asked them to take that look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are willing to be their best.. not good. Good in not good enough in the world today. Every morning they need to make a commitment to being a great person.
I think that we can look to our Founder, Baden Powell when he said that “But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.” This thought has weighed on my mind lately as I watch all of the great things that are happening in Scouting. All of this at the individual level.. and that is what drives Scouting. Being Great! Great people doing Great things. This helps our program, our Scouts, and the world.
I am happy to know these people and to be counted with them.. I wake up every morning and try me best to be one of those that do something great. I don’t always hit that bulls eye.. but at least I am aiming to be my very best.
Are you hitting the target? Are you aiming? Think about it.
Have a Great Scouting Day!