The value of Scouting

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Sitting at the press table at any given Fishers Town Council meeting, I’m always entertained to see a group of Boy Scouts sit through the hour-plus deliberation on construction, ordinances and all sorts of things that adolescents (and some adults) find boring.

After a decade of going through the program, I know why they’re there before Scott Faultless, Fishers Town Council President, calls them to the podium. They’re probably working on the Citizenship in the Community merit badge – a required badge on the road to Eagle Scout.

It reminds me of my days and adventures growing up as part of the Scouting program. I remember going to a town council meeting in my hometown. The meeting room was tiny in comparison to the town hall here, but that’s all I recollect. However, my dad, to this day, will tell you how astounding (and a few other choice words) it was to see elected officials establish a “slush fund” in front of Boy Scouts.

Having been disconnected from my troop for four years now, I think I take the whole experience for granted. Yes, it opened doors for me that can be measured in financial and material value.

But the experience amounted to something priceless that I’m just beginning to understand.

It wasn’t a popular decision by any means. It took a lot of time. I learned how to deal with people, winning, losing, success and failure in a realm most kids don’t see. Best of all, I can sit down with my dad, who was with me every step of the way, about trips that we’ll both never forget. And I know my mom won’t ever forget things like taking me to my preliminary Eagle Project meeting – a project that she pushed me to do the right way, especially in how I treated the volunteers that made the whole thing a possibility.

So what I say to the Scouts and Scouters out there preparing to plan or volunteer at an Eagle Project, keep going. If you’re a Scout that is a few ranks and badges away from that last step, stick with it. Like most things that are difficult, meddlesome and sometimes down-right tedious, it will be worth it in the end.

Scout leaders and Scouts:  if you or someone in your troop is working on an Eagle Project, tell me about it – that’s a story I want to tell.




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