You know, there are well over a million Boy Scouts in our country. I wonder how many of them will stay in Scouting and climb to the top and achieve the rank of Eagle, don’t you? Honestly, the odds are that not all of you will make that climb, but in this Troop we certainly have a tradition of helping many Scouts to achieve this ultimate goal. Tonight we celebrated the rank advancements and Merit Badge achievements for several of our scouts, but getting merit badges and rank advances is not what Scouting is all about. Believe me, there are other good reasons, too.
Boys, and Girls in the case of Venturing, enter Scouting for several reasons — They join to make new friends or form stronger relationships with current ones, they join for the camaraderie, they join so they can get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has provided for us, and to learn more about the community and Scouting is all about these things and more. In the words of Baden Powel, the founder of Scouting, "Scouting is having fun with a purpose". Sure, there are other things that most of you do along with Scouting like play sports, video games, the computer, go to the movies, watch television, etc. Scouting is more than just fun. As corny as it sounds, Scouting is a way of life, with an oath and to which you are loyal. Unless you try to live Scouting, you’ll find that other kinds of fun are easier and you’ll quit.
The loyal Scout is dedicated to the Scout Oath and the 12 points of the Scout Law. He has a deeper reason for sticking with it than just having fun. He sees the importance of learning the Scout skills, of developing himself so that he can be prepared to face anything that comes. He wants to grow to be a man that understands what it is to be part of his community, his family, his school. He stands tall, confident in himself and is confident in what he is doing and will do in the future. That’s why he’s trustworthy. That’s why he is honest. That’s why he will do his best. That’s why he sticks with it. I hope you won’t ever quit until you’re up before a court of honor some day to get your Eagle Scout badge. That will be one of the biggest days of your whole life—and mine, too.
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster, Troop 348