Of any one hundred boys who become Scouts, it must be confessed that thirty
will drop out in their first year. Perhaps this may be regarded as a failure,
but later in life, all of these will remember that they had been in Scouting and
will speak well of the program.
Of the one hundred, only rarely will one ever appear before a juvenile court
judge. Twelve of the one hundred will be from families that belong to no church.
Through Scouting, these twelve and many of their families will be brought into
contact with a church and will continue to be active all their lives. Six of the
one hundred will become pastors.
Each of the one hundred will learn something from Scouting, and all will
develop hobbies that will add interest throughout the rest of their lives.
Approximately one-half will serve in the military, and in varying degrees,
profit from their Scout training. At least one will use it to save another
person's life, and many may credit it for saving their own.
Four of the one hundred will reach Eagle rank, and at least one will later
say that he valued his Eagle above his college degree. Many will find their
future vocation through merit badge work and Scouting contacts. Seventeen of the
one hundred boys will become adult leaders and will give leadership to thousands
of additional boys.
One in four boys in America will become Scouts, but it is interesting to know
that of the leaders of this nation in business, religion and politics, three out
of four were Scouts.
This story will never end. Like the 'Golden Pebble' of service dropped into
the human sea, it will continue to radiate in ever-widening circles, influencing
the characters of men through unending time."
Judy Polak, Buckskin Council, Charleston, WV sent this to me to encourage our
We are not experts. We're your next door neighbors. We're not perfect, we are
just parents like you. We don't have anymore spare time or energy than you do,
we all work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep
it all together as best we can. The only difference between us is that we
believe in what Boy Scouting has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our
time, our miles and our talents to help our sons and your sons grow in
We complete authorization forms, budgets and registrations and fill our homes
with boxes of paperwork that you will never see. We are required to take 13-20
hours of training the first year, as well as attend Roundtable meetings every
month, so that we can meet our greatest challenge-providing a variety of
programs which meet the needs and interests of very individual boys. We try to
involve parents who want us to understand that they don't have the time to drive
on outings or help at meetings. We rejoice at the generosity of others.
Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions. We run out of steam.
We have memory lapses. Communication lines break down. Time slips by. But that
doesn't mean we don't care.
So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice and support from other
leaders when disappointments or problems occur. "How do I keep my boy's
attention?" "What are your ideas for the ceremony?" "How do you work with boys
in three different grades?" Our dining tables are covered with bits of rope,
menus, tour permits and merit badge cards for each and every boy in the troop. A
couple of them won't show up and don't think to call and let us know. Sometimes
we feel unappreciated. Yet, these boys can fill us with pride at their
determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room; and when they
say "Thank You" it makes it all worth it. We help these boys build
relationships. Some struggle more than others.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly - is encouraged by the Scout Oath and
Law. And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and over again with the
boys. But we are willing to keep learning.
Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated or overwhelmed at
times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of Boy Scout Leader you would be if you
had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offer your help. Keep us
in your thoughts and prayers. We are, after all, only mentors, role models,
leaders. Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these boys, your boys, the
most precious gift we have to offer -- the gift of time.