06/21/2011 - T2860 Vantage Point

posted Aug 25, 2010, 11:37 AM by Paul Diming
Greetings Troop.  Lately I’ve spent a great deal of time on the far end of Scouting.  Please allow me to share with you some observations from this vantage point. 

You’ll have to forgive me about my lack of understanding of what a regular parent’s perspective is about the Scouting program.  I don’t think I’ve ever been what amounts to a typical parent.  I started Scouting with my little Tiger Scout as a newly minted Den Leader.  From day one I was committed to the program and the success of it for my son and the many others involved.  No one in the room that day we joined Scouting with our Tigers could have known the amazing life changing adventure we had just started.  

Nine years of Scouting has placed me in the position of seeing the results of the Scouting program as represented in Scouts completing Eagle Scout Rank.  These Scouts are just beginning a new chapter of their lives and it’s my honor to assist them at this important stage of their Scouting career.  

I’ve had some incredible conversations with our T2860 Eagle Scouts.  Also, last week I attended the Buckskin Scoutmasters conference and was offered understanding of a program designed with extraordinary power to teach and empower young men.   It is humbling and inspiring to see the effect a successful Scouting experience has on a young man.  

Obviously the young men represented in our older Scouts are the product of a very complex mosaic of experiences including many years of hard parenting work and effort.  Scouting is just one small part.  But when you talk with them, and more importantly listen to them, it is with their own words that they tell you how much Scouting has affected them.  Inevitably when we’re together there is the recounting of camping adventures, misadventures, adversities overcome, and many laughs often at each other’s expense, that are told and retold among friends.  

If I were to darken out my son’s Scouting experiences, I’m unsure of how I’d fill in the void.  To be honest, I don’t know of any way to do so.  This program when wielded with your other parenting efforts is truly a strengthening for a family.  This may not be fully understood and that is to my point.  

Please allow me to be clear with this message.  I want more than anything for your Scout to reap all the program can offer.  But there’s this little catch.  You can’t bring your son to it and hope it will work for him without your direct involvement.  The key ingredient for every successful Scout, and every successful Troop program, are involved parents.  Parents who lead, teach merit badges, go to training, attend committee meetings, help with ceremonies and events, and critically important is to answer pleas for assistance the Scouts have asked for as they strive to run their Troop.  Even with your committed involvement a boy might not continue in Scouting.  

So what’s in it for you, a parent who is killing weekends, nights, more hours that we could possibly track, with all this scouting?  I’ve seen the results.  You’re going to meet the most amazing young man you didn’t even know existed.  Your son.

Mark Wheeler