Olaf has been in Scouts since the day I met him. He's been on endless camp-outs. Summer and Winter. He's worked with all ages of boys. He loves it. I endure it. I'm glad he loves it. And most times I don't mind it.
As our boys got old enough they also joined Scouts. They worked on rank advancements. They went to Pack nights and Court of Honors and many camp-outs. They loved it for the most part.
I knew it was a good program. I knew the boys were learning things that were helping them to grow into good adults and responsible citizens. But I never thought it was a program my boys could live without. I really felt like we were teaching them most of these things anyway. And maybe we were.
And then Calvin went to Timberline Training Camp the summer of 2008. He grew up a lot that summer. I just assumed he was growing up. Olaf felt that Timberline had been a big help in that growing up.
Then Calvin died that October. When we came into the cemetery after the funeral, the cemetery road was lined with Scouts holding American Flags. It was unexpected. It was wonderful. It was a tribute from the Scouts he'd been with at Timberline. They were honoring a brother of theirs.
Over time Olaf ran into and talked to several of the parents of those boys. They told Olaf how this event was so important to their boys.
After that small but important event I realized that Scouts isn't helping the boys to become better adults and responsible citizens, it's also helping them today. Right now. Helping them mature as responsible teenagers. I realized that if these boys who hadn't had much contact outside of Timberline camp could care about each other this much, then this was something Great, not just Good.
And that was how Scouting went from Good to Great in my Book.