“I Never Knew”

I want to share this experience I had last night:

After ordering my sub at D’angelo’s, the young man behind the counter asked, “So are you like a Girl Scout?” After a moment I recovered from my confusion, realizing I was in my Scout uniform, and I said “Actually the Boy Scouts. I’m a professional with the Boy Scouts of America.” The normal questioning expression fell over his face, followed by surprise as I explained that, actually, a lot of women are involved, especially considering we have a co-ed program called Venturing. What he asked next really surprised and pleased me.

Instead of asking, “So what do you do?” he asked, “So what do the Boy Scouts do then? Like, as their mission?”

I was SO happy to hear someone ask that! I summarized the mission of the BSA, the Scout Oath and Law, and explained all the different kinds of programs and activities we use in order to accomplish that (thank you training for drilling the Aims and Methods of Scouting into my brain). And when I finished, his reaction gave me so much hope! In everything- the youth in this country, the world, humanity as a whole, why I do what I do.

He said, “You know, I always thought of the Boy Scouts as those kids that just go camping and learn how to tie knots, but I never realized how many different important life skills and lessons you guys taught. I REALLY could have benefited from that as a kid, and if I ever have a son he’s totally going to join the scouts. I bet this world would be a whole lot more caring if everyone was a scout.”

People care. People care about their children growing up to be responsible, caring, upstanding citizens who can take care of themselves and others. People care about character development. People care about the effect they have on the world. And considering how much hatred we are trying to fight right now, I’m starting to believe more and more in the value of Scouting for our youth. People say to only surround yourself with caring, positive people with good intentions, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 90% of those people in my life are those I know through the Boy Scouts (for Pete’s sake, both my roommates are Eagle Scouts!). They are the funniest, most caring young men and women I’ve ever met. They keep me laughing, and hopeful, which, as you know is pretty much the entire point of this blog here.

I’ve been saying that I need to figure out a way to change the world, not realizing that all along I was doing it just by going to work everyday. It’s an incredibly stressful job and sometimes my exhaustion tears right through me, down to my core, but the Boy Scouts is,when you get down to it, a program that can change the world. And I’m pretty darn proud to be a part of an organization that can help with that.

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