We were having lunch and both my son and I noticed a busboy who looked familiar, but neither of us could place exactly who it was until he came over and said “hi” to us, or more specifically, to my older son, five years removed from the troop but who must have made an impression on the younger fellow. He was working hard, clearing dishes and doing side work, and it looked like he was giving an extra measure of service when compared with the other bussers. I didn’t recognize him at first, because he had grown what must have been several inches since the last time I saw him a couple years ago.
Later in the week I was waiting in line when the manager paged another cashier to come up front. He stepped behind the counter and said “Hi, Mr. Maynard!” I recognized him as a Scout who just graduated and aged out this past year. He was helpful and courteous to the customers he served. After my purchase, I found the manager and told him that he was one of our former Scouts, what a nice fellow he was and that he made a good hire.
I’m frequently surprised and impressed with the politeness exhibited when I meet our Scouts in public. Most young people wouldn’t acknowledge an adult acquaintance, but Scouts are not like most young people. The way adults associate with youth in Scouting is so much different than in most other youth activities. It fosters respect on both sides and forges relationships while extending unique experiences and making memories. It’s not something I would have expected when I first joined as an adult but it has been rewarding watching our young people – not just my own sons – grow into responsible adults.
Image from Beaver Valley District, BSA