12/13/2011 - Mr. Wheeler's Final Scoutmaster Minute

posted Dec 22, 2011, 5:35 PM by Paul Diming

Where has the time gone?

Look closely and you’ll find touches of time’s passage. Its traces shine in the faces of our sons. Young men’s boyhood features and mannerisms fading. Rising in their place is the demeanor of a man.

It tears at my heart to see my son so grown.  I’m bursting with parental pride to see the man he is becoming while fighting memories fade of his youthful days filled with wonder and joy.  Playful boyhood energies are still within him.  They peek through his layers of maturity winking their reminder of time’s passing. 
What I’m also reminded of is that my work is unfinished.  He needs a parent more now, perhaps, than ever. 
I recall a conversation I had with one of our Scouts a year or more ago.  He confided that he was apprehensive about growing up.  Scared, I think, was his word.  His future coming at him too fast, unstoppable, without his invitation and despite his state of readiness.  

My wife and I chose to delay knowledge of our child’s gender until he was born.  That was almost sixteen years ago.  His birth brought clarity that one day we would be at this life juncture, he a young man, and I a seasoned parent.  
The challenge of parenting morphs with time’s passage.  At grade school days beginning your son is immersed into a sea of influences outside a parent’s control.  Sorting through this sea we found Scouting.  

Parents readily identify the value of the tenets of Scouting and want them to be pillars of their son’s life.  The strength of a Scouting partnership becomes immediately apparent.  I signed on as a Tiger Den leader without hesitation.  

With the awesome Jeff Lee taking lead as Cub Master and I at the helm of our son’s Den, we set our sail and tack, our course and destination not clearly known. 
What was known was that my son would grow to be a man.  He was doing so too fast, unstoppable, without invitation, and despite our state of readiness.  
The years pass quickly.  One parenting challenge washes over you and another forms.  Life plays its hand and you ante up as best you can.  
Somehow I found myself as Scoutmaster for my son’s Troop.  For three years I’ve welcomed Scouting’s passionate spirit to ebb over me as I helped set our Troop’s sails and tack.  My life of ten years of Scouting and almost sixteen years of parenting now absorbed by my son and the young men I’ve help mentor.

To answer the question, I know exactly where time has gone.  All the years of shared adventures, meetings, projects…life.  The results displayed by poised and confident young men towering over a bedrock steady foundation.  Our Troop and their Scouting being a significant pillar of this foundation.  

Our work is not done.  Our time is not finished.  Our sons are not yet grown.  Have confidence when looking to the future.  Our program sails are strong and the tiller of values firmly set.
I offer a message to my son and all of our sons.  Don’t be afraid.  Your time is coming fast and unstoppable.  Greet the winds of life with invitation and know that you are ready.  Strengthen your foundation pillars with the values of Scouting, with the values of your parents, with your values as a man.  Honor this time with your future and you will honor your mentors.  Let life fill your sails.  Set your tack and true your course with your values no matter the destination.  You are prepared for your time.

Boy Scout Troop 2860 Scoutmaster
December 2008 – December 2011
Mark Wheeler