Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Building Men

"It is easier to build a boy than to repair a man"

This line greets participants of Scoutmaster specific training early in the session. These words more than any other to me sum up why I give so much time to Scouting. As the year comes to a close, I am looking back and wondering how much of a builder I have been. Am I doing my part? Am I making a positive difference? What about my Troop? Are the adult leaders and youth leaders really building foundations for the future?

The youth of this generation are facing challenges unknown to those previous and an American future that is very much in doubt. Changes in technology, communication, economics, family life and cultural focus have reached a tipping point that may move our country up to promising future or down to an abyss of despair.

I do not consider myself just an adult volunteer. I am construction worker on mission from God to help build men of the future. Men who will be faced with choices someday that will impact the lives of others. Men who hopefully will at a critical time will maybe--just maybe in the depths of their subconscious think "brave" when deciding to go against the crowd. Men who will think "trustworthy" when faced with a critical ethical choice or personal temptation. Men who deeply know the meaning of the phrase "On my honor" and put these words into action with their daily lives.

Reflecting back on 2009, I am not so sure of my success. What I do know is that no matter what challenges I may have faced I was clear in my personal mission.

I also know my effort was only a single brick in this project. There are many other influences that will impact the future of these boys and there are many other influencers working to make a difference as well. In the end, if I have only made a difference in the life of one young person then I have been a success.

What about you? Are you a builder of others? Do you keep the Oath, Law and Aims of Scouting in your heart as you interact with your Scouts? Do you have clearly defined personal vision as to why you are involved?

I would like to challenge you as this year comes to a close to look deeply inside yourself. Reflect on your actions of 2009 and look to making even more of a difference for others in 2010. The boy you help build today may indeed be the man that changes the world for the better tomorrow.