How I Came to Believe Scouts was Great

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.


Midwestern Gone Idahoan said...

Well, now that I have tears in my eyes! It was quite a sight to see those boys standing there with the American Flag! I don't have boys in Scoutings yet - but I hope they find scoutings as wonderful as your boys do!

sally said...

I remember being in awe as we drove by. It was a chilly fall day and those boy didn't once falter in holding the flags high. We are so impressed that Calvin went to Timberline. This is one part of that weekend that I will never forget.

Shannon said...

I remember this like it was yesterday. As I drove into the cemetary that day I saw these amazing boys holding their flags high, standing at attention in honor of their friend. I remember instantly losing my breath and then even though I was trying to be my daughter's strength that day......I could no longer hold the tears back. My daughter and many, many other people lost an amazing friend that day and seeing those boys honor him like that was something I will never forget.

Lonita said...

That's one of the images that sticks with me the most from that day - all of the boys, some so small and choking back tears, struggling to hold their flags against the cold wind, to honor Calvin.

Urban Parks said...

I have seen this since Calvin's funeral, but the dignity, love, commitment and honor will always be with me. It represented all the very best in Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood. It is about building boys of integrity now and honorable men later. I love Scouting and those, like Olaf, who commit their lives to prepare young men.

Abbott Family said...

Thank you Donna, You are an amzing lady. You just helped me a whole lot with your post.

denverallens said...

What a moving post. That was so special to see when we drove into the cemetery that dreary October day. What good boys, doing something they will never, ever forget and honoring their brother in scouting. There were so many of them, how many do you think? I love this, I'm so glad you shared it.