The way he began the sentence was interesting enough, but what followed was one of the most unexpected and amazing things I had ever heard. After 7 summers of working at a Boy Scout camp I have seen many campers, some who became staff, come and go. Many I’ve had the opportunity to witness their growth from a new 11 year old Scout to a responsible, mature, 18 year old Eagle Scout. It’s strange being a part of that world and a part of their lives, but absolutely most rewarding. I’ve stayed, because I’ve known that it’s the perfect opportunity to influence the lives of the young men and women I cross paths with. So when one of those 18 year old staff members that I’ve known since he was 11 said this to me, I knew I was where I was meant to be:
“I feel like you should know… I had to write this essay for a class about someone who has positively affected my life, so I wrote about how you influenced me to stay in Scouting.”
I don’t think I could begin to describe how important that was for me to hear, especially at this time in my life. Two weeks from now marks one year since beginning my job as a Professional with the Boy Scouts. I got the call a week or so after camp had ended in 2013, and having just graduated college only months before, I was hesitant at first to simply accept the first job that fell in my lap. Yes, it was a miracle, especially with what I studied in college, to be offered a job with a decent salary and benefits so quickly, but I was worried that it wouldn’t be the right job for me; I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Then I thought about how much Scouting has changed me and influenced me and I knew that taking this job meant that I had the opportunity to keep Scouting strong and allow it to influence young men and women in the same way. It’s been hard. It’s been stressful and time-consuming. I’ve shed some tears and lost some sleep. And as I’ve approached one year on the job, those “is this right for me?” questions have begun again… But upon hearing what this staff member said, I knew it was worth it. It wasn’t just that Scouting had influenced him… I personally did.
I don’t need to make six figures. I don’t need to drive a fancy car and wear fancy clothes and have a big house with a two car garage and a swimming pool. My true and honest dream in life is to be able to influence young people to want to keep going and never give up, even if it’s one person at a time… so it looks like I’m right on track. And it looks like I should never give up on my dream. I’ve discovered exactly what I want to do with my life.
Tell the people in your life whom have influenced you the most what they have done for you. You never know how important that will be to them.