I know it’s not woodworking but…

Ok, so I’ve already posted today. It’s my blog and I’d like to post something else. In fact, it has nothing to do with woodworking…kinda.

Today is a special day, at least in my household it is. I wrote in my Father’s Day post about my son being active in scouting and attaining his Eagle Scout rank. Today is the day we have his official Eagle Scout presentation ceremony (sure, I’ll post some pictures later tonight once the event actually takes place).

He initially didn’t want a ceremony. He hates the thought of being the center of attention (unless it’s in some place where he can garner a laugh like…school for example). Scouting has been a big part of his life for a very long time but now it’s coming to an end. He doesn’t realize it yet but the world (for him at least) has changed. He’s had some good times as a scout and some not so good times. I think that, since he’s been a scout more than half his life, he’s just ready for it to end. But is he really?

Sure, he’s got a car, a girlfriend and a job (the first two necessitate the third). He’s got his preferred hobbies and recreational activities but what’s he going to do with all those Monday nights now that he is technically an adult in the troop and free of responsibility? I think, for a while at least, he’ll probably just find other ways to occupy his time (homework would be a good alternative…he’s actually a fine student). I’m sure he’ll eventually come to the conclusion that he had lots of fun on all those Monday nights. He may even decide to drop by the meetings from time to time.

I think, in the end, he’ll discover that he’s more of a scout than he wants to admit. He doesn’t view himself as a “super scout” but rather as just a kid who had some fun in scouting. What he doesn’t realize is how many of the other kids in the troop view him as a “super scout”. Numerous times throughout his scouting career I’ve seen other scouts look to him as their roll model. I’ve heard plenty of scouting parents tell their kid “if you’re unsure what you should do, watch John and do what he does.” This doesn’t happen because you’re just another ordinary kid in a troop. This happens because, at the end of the day, you’re a leader who lives up to, and exemplifies the scout oath and law. It happens because you are a living example of the definition of Eagle Scout.

So to John I say, remember fondly the good time you had in scouting. Learn from the not so good times and always remember the oaths you have sworn, the pledges you’ve made. Live by the rules that have governed so much of your life and never forget to do it all with a smile. Every task is easier with a light heart, every burden easier to shoulder when you are part of a team. Remember also that to lead is to have the greatest responsibility of all, to serve those whom who you lead.

Leadership is sometimes a natural ability, often thrust upon a person who doesn’t really want it but can see the need for someone to bear the burden, and occasionally people are groomed for it. The best leaders know that leading isn’t about power or control. It’s about surrendering your power and control completely to serve those who are being lead. Those are the kind of leaders who fully comprehend the principals of scouting. They understand the meaning behind the words “brotherhood of cheerful service”. They know, firsthand what Lord Baden-Powell meant by “fun with a purpose”. So, John, always keep in mind that leading others can actually be fun. It is certainly rewarding and fulfilling, certainly never more so than when you see someone you’ve lead become greater than they ever thought they could be. 





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One thought on “I know it’s not woodworking but…

  1. Chuck,

    I understand how and why you are so proud of your son.

    Scouting is a great organization to help build character but the kids derive most of their character at home, so you and your wife deserve lots of credit to a young and promising life.

    I too am proud of him. America needs more young people of great character and purpose. Thankfully, I am privileged to see lots of it around and lots more of it in the ranks of the military.

    Charlie Mullins

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