On one of his first episodes of the Scoutmaster Podcast, my friend Clarke Green offered an essay in tribute to Extraordinary people. I found it to be one of the most true-to-life descriptions of the kind of person who becomes a Scouter. At this time of Thanksgiving, I’d like to present Clarke with his essay from Scoutmaster Podcast number nineteen from 2010. It’s a bit over six minutes long, but I’m sure you’ll be nodding your head in astonishment that Clarke recognized the type of person you are.
If you’d like to read along or have the text, I’ve transcribed it and it can be found on the Roundtable Resources page. Clarke would want you to feel free to use it in your own unit or Scouting program as long as you give him credit.
From Clarke, and from me, Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for all you do in service to Scouting and to youth.
A Scout is helpful. It’s the third point of the Scout Law. And to help other people at all times is part of the Scout Oath.
Scouts help others every day. Service is part of our rank requirements, and troops and packs do service projects regularly. Service to an organization outside of Scouting is a requirement for Eagle.
As the holiday season approaches, we find ourselves helping out in many ways – collecting food and clothing for the needy, staffing holiday shops at hospitals and churches, caroling in nursing homes and running errands for senior citizens.
Something drew you in to be a Scouter. Maybe it was your son bugging you to let him join the Cub Scout pack at school. Maybe you were a Scout as a kid, and you remembered the good times and wanted your son to enjoy them too. A friend might have suggested you get involved because you have talents that should be paid forward.
One thing’s likely: you didn’t just look at the mission and values of the Scouting movement and decide that you should become involved.
You’ve probably seen the t-shirts that read (Fill in the blank) is life. The rest is just details. Put any activity in the blank: Football, softball, soccer, cheerleading, golf, snowboarding… and you can probably find a shirt with the slogan.
I came across a picture the other day that espoused how life is simple, and gave the three steps: Eat, sleep, and play basketball.
Is that it? Is that really all there is to life? Take care of the basic human needs, and play whatever game you happen to enjoy?
Fall is approaching, and as the temperature goes down, the pigskins go up. Every Friday night at high schools and Saturday afternoons at colleges all across the country, players take to the field to see who can dominate a one-hundred-yard patch of turf. Winners and losers emerge, along with the attendant lessons of sportsmanship, humility, leadership and dealing with disappointment.