The Gifted Underachiever

My life so far

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Proud graybeard Scouter with Eagle Scout son.

I’ve been an adult Scouter for almost 40 years now. I was a district executive for my local council, and I’ve guided three sons in the program, the last attaining the all too rare rank of Eagle Scout.

I love this program and firmly believe that it has performed tremendous good work for the country and the world in developing the next generation of leaders. I love the rich traditions of Scouting, and I have been trained beyond my comprehension through different leadership programs for adults through which I have met and become friends with some great men and women leaders.

I believe that there is no other youth program available that provides opportunities for children and adults to be their best by doing their best.

That said I am completely baffled why some of my peers in the program would want to deny this opportunity to anyone who seeks it. The benefits from the program will never change. With good leadership, adult leaders who are willing to make an effort, the program will remain as strong as it always was.

Those fearing change don’t know the program very well. The values have remained constant, but the program has evolved over the decades. For over 100 years Scouting has appealed to boys of all countries and cultures. We know it’s appealed to some girls as well.

I will be proud when the first young woman reaches the rank of Eagle. That means that she has proven herself to be a true leader and deserving of respect. I do not believe the program will be “watered down.” We didn’t do it for the video game generation, so I don’t see it happening in an effort to be inclusive. In fact, the latest change in rank advancement to reach the rank of Scout has actually been toughened in just the past few years.

The question has already been raised: what about overnight camping? What about it? Scouting already has a young adult program called Venturing, and has had Exploring for decades. Again, it all comes down to trained leaders exhibiting their leadership skills.

So, to those of you who are thinking that this is our demise, let me ask you what you believe your mission here is? Mine is to provide the best program to youth, currently that’s only boys. I hope to wear my full field dress to my yet-to-be-born granddaughter’s Eagle Court of Honor.

Categories: Bordering closely on religion

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