Today I was reminded as to exactly why I am a leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and found a source of renewed purpose.
My son and I were returning from a Cub Scout Pack campout today and stopped at a local restaurant for some lunch. While enjoying our meal, a young man that worked there quietly walked up to our table and politely excused his interrupting our meal. My first fear was that they identified something wrong with the food and he was notifying us that our food was bad. I couldn’t have been more wrong. You see, my son and I were still in our Cub Scout uniforms from the campout (and I’m sure we weren’t smelling all that great). This young man stopped by our table to tell us that he grew up in the Pack that we are a part of and he also was part of the Troop that our Pack feeds (the same one my older son is a part of as well). After a few minutes of chatting, he also revealed that he earned the rank of Eagle out if our Troop. He went on to tell us how important his experiences in Scouting (through our Pack and Troop) were to him and how the things he learned through Scouting still help him in life now. In fact, he said that when he applied for his job at the restaurant, they immediately gave him the job when he mentioned that he was an Eagle Scout.
It made me realize exactly why I volunteer my time as a Scout leader. The program exposes the boys to character development and gives the boys confidence to do things that they may not otherwise develop. By helping with the leadership of the Pack, I hope that the program that we present will make a positive impact in the lives of the boys that are exposed to it. I hope that, through fun activities, it keeps them engaged long enough to learn the character lessons. I hope that many of them will continue their Scouting adventure to learn the life skills that the trail to Eagle can offer. I hope that some day one of the boys that is in our Pack and/or Troop will one day tell a stranger sitting with his young Cub Scout son just how important Scouting was to his life.