I’ll be honest. I threw myself into Scouts because I watched a TV show about it and felt I would develop into a hardworking, strong, macho-man. I, despite resting my faith in the Boy Scouts of America, was wrong.
I never became that strong manly-man who in the show rescued people from burning buildings, or ascended mountaintops in a dramatic, action-packed and poorly filmed montage. In hindsight, I never wanted to be that person, instead I wanted to be the person who could look at themselves in the mirror and say “I’m happy.” And for many people, that is quite the feat.
So off I went, on a journey of Scouting, where I was met with rope, canvas and the infamous neckerchief. There were badges and woggles and uniforms and mountains and no matter where I looked there was always something new and exciting. It was a world filled with oodles of journeys, journeys, that unknown to me shaped me into the person I am today.
But what does one mean when they say “I wouldn’t be who I am without Scouts”? What does tying knots and paddling down a river have to do with forging ones identity and how can a group of people be so in-touch with who they are, all because of Scouting?”
It’s all very simple. It’s the road.
Regardless of what path of Scouting we take, be it an adventurous one, a political one, a volunteering one – we all walk down the same road. It’s a big bendy road with trees and lakes and beautiful scenery and full of smaller paths that lead off into all directions – your job as a Scout? To find the path that makes you feel at home.
As I said – it’s all very simple.
We get too caught up in the ideology of a ‘true’ scout. You know… that macho-man who climbs mountains and saves cats from trees and people from near death experiences, but that isn’t who I am. And I don’t consider myself anything less than a true scout because of it. And neither should you. A ‘true’ scout wears a neckerchief, is sprinkled with a little pride and stands on the shoulder of giants.
And that’s what we do. We are a family of these exceptionally gifted people, who make the world a better place, for ourselves, or for other people. A family brought together by one common promise – to do our best, and with that become anybody we want to. A family that, without discrimination take in people from all walks of life, because, like a family, we look out for each other. I am so very lucky to be a part of this family, to be a part of some purpose to the greater good.
And in this little family, I guess, was nothing more complex, than the fact that I became a little more human.