Monday, August 8, 2011

Strangers on a plane...

A Scout Twitter friend of mine recently wrote this article for her local paper in Panama City Beach. It is kind of preaching to the choir to share this with you but I thought I would anyway.

It got me thinking....

On our way back from Sea Base we had a young man sit with us on the plane. He was a second year student from OU that was traveling back to norman for the weekend from his home in Houston. We had our uniforms on and since it was a SWA flight he had specifically chosen to sit by us. Why? Turns out he was an Eagle Scout.

He told us over the next hour how he had never really got the value of Scouting until just that summer. He had applied for a summer internship with a Houston company that based upon his grades and work experience he really did not qualify for. To his suprise he was selected. Why? You guessed it! They told him that after seeing Eagle Scout on the application they had moved him to the top of the "pile" and did not consider any other candidate. What an awesome story.

He wanted us to hear this as a word of encouragement that what we do in Scouting does make a difference even if at times the Scouts don't realize it. Throughout that trip we had random people come up to us at the airport to share similiar stories.

There are so many distractions in the busy world of our youth and being a volunteer is a thankless job for sure. So...thank you for all you do and are doing. You make a difference.
What stories have you heard from strangers when traveling with the uniform? What about from former Scouts? 
Great stories to share this time of year as people consider joining Scouts and others consider quitting due to busy fall schedules.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Training for Philmont #3

Saturday was our third training hike for Philmont as the Scouts continue to train and work on requirements for the Hiking merit badge. Once again we met at the crack of dawn to get ahead of the oppressive heat here in Oklahoma City. This was an interesting route with a walk from one Edmond park to another basically through town. How lucky these Edmond people are to have such great walking trails basically in their backyards. Everyone seemed to do great on this hike and personally I found this one to be the most enjoyable so far mostly due to going a way I have never been before.

Next up for us is a gear meeting with the Scoutmaster to learn everything that will be needed to purchase. The total estimate for this is around $500 and includes pack, boots lightweight sleeping bag and more. My son and I are kind of lucky in that since we like hiking and have been buying Philmont ready gear already for a couple of years. That will help reduce the shock of what to buy in the next few months.

Overall things are going well for the boys. There are a few that currently do not meet the BSA high adventure guidelines for weight. Unfortunately, as with most teenagers the coaching to correct is having the opposite effect with some of them actually gaining weight. If they were to not meet criteria there is a real possibility that we will not have enough Scouts for two crews and some Scouts (and adults) will have to be pulled out. I am keeping my thoughts positive on this with hopes everything will work out for everyone. More on this later!

Less than a year to go!