Today I flew to Washington DC for a three day conference for my company. Sadly, I will not be able to go into DC and go sightseeing. My one target would be the Boy Scout Memorial. I didn’t see that last time I was here.
During my 4.5 hour flight I watched two movies. The first was “Google Me“. It is about a man named Jim Killeen. The crux of the movie is for him to find and visit several people with his name. His travels led him to Ireland, Australia, New York City, Missouri and other locations. Along the way he asked several basic questions and wanted to see what the other Jim’s were like. Were they like him.
The second movie was “The Buddha” with Richard Gere as the narrator. This movie was about his life and times. I only got through the first part before I switched to several Podcasts. Needed a break. However, I was pretty taken aback about how Buddha came to be. Meaning from Birth and his upbringing for the first 30 years before he started out on his own.
Alvin Townley who wrote two books about Scouting had a similar journey. In these books, Alvin traveled the Globe talking to many Scouts about their journey within Scouting and their everyday life.
So, where is this all going? A blog that I wrote about doing something different where I traveled to another Council and spoke at a Round table, I am reminded of the quote I used from Baden-Powell.
“When you join a Patrol you become part of a worldwide brotherhood in which every member has promised to keep the Scout Law. Because of this it doesn’t matter if they speak different languages, are of different colours or hold different religious beliefs. When you meet Scouts at large gatherings, remember that they are your brothers and show by your actions that you regard them as friends.”
We are all brothers (and sisters) because of Scouting. We have a common bond and link to each other. Like Jim Killeen, we have brothers worldwide. Like Buddha, we have a journey that we are on. And like Alvin, his stories about Scouts that use the Scout Spirit to guide them on their journey.
All of this got me thinking. What is my journey? Why am I in Scouts? During my first Wood Badge Staff meeting this last weekend, I was asked what is my memory of Scouting.
My stock answer is Bad Crafts. I am a victim of a craft project gone wrong as a Wolf Cub in 1976. Full story is that the Den Mother had us use a Folgers Coffee Can for a Card Holder for Mother’s Day. It was a can that we took off both top and bottom tin lids with a bottle opener. Thus having jagged edges. Then wrapping green yarn around the walls. This was made possible by us putting our hands through the jagged edges many many times. The edges were pushed back, but not enough. I got scrapped up kinda bad. Because of this experience I ended up leaving Cub Scouts. Yes, I did Pinewood Derby. I did get my Bobcat. I did not get my Wolf. Cub Scouts was not FUN for me.
While this much shorter explanation got a huge chortle out of a few of my fellow Wood Badgers, it is my story. I am not ashamed of it. It’s not what I wanted looking back at it now. However, it’s my journey within Scouting.
However, that is really just the beginning. I leaped into being the Tiger Den Leader and Cub Master because I needed to make sure that any boy within my Den and Pack did not leave because of Bad Crafts, being bored or not having fun. If they left because they really did not enjoy it and wanted to play Sports or sing, take Tae Kwon Do or something else that they were passionate about. Great. I get and understand that.
Since becoming the Cubmaster, I knew that the basic training within MyScouting.org was not enough. I am a training junkie. I am a trainer within my company. I search out training. Because of this, I have taken the BALOO, OWLS & ITOLS BSA Training. I have also been certified in First Aid and CPR by the Red Cross. I have gone to two Pow-Wows and a Training Adtravaganza. At the latter, I was able to learn more about being a Cubmaster, ceremonies, Blue & Gold, Awards, Packmaster and how to hold cool Pack Meetings.
I also went to and completed my Wood Badge course. I learned a lot. I am now on staff for the 2011 course.
This is all well and good. YAH…. I am Trained. I got the patch! Is that it? Is this all there is?
Nope, my journey is only really beginning. I have a lot to learn. My future goals in training? I want to be a Merit Badge Counselor, Assistant Scoutmaster, District Trainer for Cubscout Leaders plus more. I want to go to Philmont Training Center and take classes.
But, how do I do all of this? How do I learn? Who can I learn from?
Those are great questions to have. Which leads me back to Jim Killeen in Google Me. He went out and found people with his name. Can I do something similar? I wonder.
What if I somehow visited Scouters that I have met over Twitter & Facebook and asked them their journey? (or maybe they could come to me?) How could I do this? Would they want to? Do I have to cook a Peach Cobbler in a Dutch Oven to tempt them? Will they do it for a cool bead? What if I asked them to teach me something that they thing is the most important thing in their Scouting life?
What’s your Scout Journey?