Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Active in the Lodge

Never underestimate your impact on youth when you interact with them.  I always tell the story of an Assistant Scoutmaster that yelled at me when I was a first year scout when I thought I was trying to be helpful and washing a Dutch Oven with soap and water.   The lesson I took from that incident is not that soap is not how you clean a Dutch Oven (well actually I did), but the more important lesson I learned is that when you are dealing with Scouts always put in context what they are doing before you get angry.

A scout is Trustworthy, so to say that I never yelled at the boys of little Troop 5 would be one heck of a lie.  However, my voice will raise when the boys impact a health and safety issue.   Teenage boys tend to push the health and safety because they have no fear.   I have seen boys leap across 100 foot drops, play with copperhead snakes, and create their own boat to drift out onto a large lake.   I will not even go into the stupidity with fire.

This is relevant because this past weekend, Little Troop 5 reemerged as participants in the Order of the Arrow lodge.  As scoutmaster, I lost a two generations of boys in the troop because one adult in the Lodge made a bunch of candidates go home because of some strange interpretation of national policy five years ago.   Voices were raised over something that had nothing to do with health and safety.  That one adult caused a break in the chain of a long tradition of Troop 5 having active participants in the lodge.  This participation manifested itself through ceremonies, chapters, tribe and lodge positions.  Little Troop 5 has had five youth vigils while I was scoutmaster.

Over the years, my boys have been asked how big our Troop is because of the level of active youth in the lodge.  They are always surprised we are not a super troop.

This past weekend, the orange hats of Troop 5 were again seen and made an impact through service and ceremonies.  Congratulations to our new Arrowmen and Brotherhood members.

Maybe we can learn a lesson from this one adult, just as I did from one so many years ago.


  1. Scouting would be a better place overall if even a fraction of the active leaders shared your sentiment.

  2. Amen! Proud to have been In scouts with you, and just as proud of the impact you are having on the current generation.

  3. Thanks for sharing your wise words and experience .