I believe that leadership potential in young people today will make a difference in the world tomorrow. The question is will that leadership be constructive or destructive?
History has proven time and again that when young men seek a role model, they will find, follow, and learn from that model, for good or evil. The good news is there are more positive role models than negative. As a Scout leader for the past 15 years, I have mentored many young boys along the trail to Eagle Scout, and I am proud to say these energetic boys-becoming-men are the constructive new leaders for the next generation of doctors, lawyers, professionals, and business leaders in every walk of life. They will swell the ranks of Eagle Scouts who have gone before them, and take their place writing the continuing history of this, our great Nation, and ultimately our world.
I am part of a million man volunteer army whose main purpose in life is to quietly instill leadership principles in any young man who comes forward and wants to be a Scout. Leadership principles firmly rooted in the first three words of the Scout Oath, “On my Honor”. The three cornerstones of that “On my Honor” foundation are duty to God, country, and helping other people. Each of twelve branches growing from that foundation is part of the Scout Law. Words like a Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent are the fruit of each branch, and become milestones for each boy as they grow in both stature and spirit. I am overjoyed when they suddenly comprehend those twelve words they have been saying as the Scout Law. When those twelve words take on meaning, they convert to action, action turns into habit, and habit then becomes a way of life. When that way of life makes a man good, then I have successfully done my job.
Years ago, there was a saying that went, “You can’t talk the talk unless you walk the walk”. No truer words were ever penned, and Scouting has changed my life forever. Becoming a mentor has made me a better man, teacher, husband, and father. Years ago I learned the military meaning of the word “Honor” every time they pinned a medal on me while serving in Viet-Nam, but it wasn’t until I became a Scout leader that I learned the true meaning of the phrase “On My Honor”. It is duty to God, my country, and helping other people at all times…..just like the Scout Oath says.
I believe in teaching our young people to be good, and standing up for what I know in my heart to be right. I believe in being a positive influence in young peoples’ lives, as I believe those same lives will become a constructive force in this world tomorrow. There is so much leadership potential in young people today, and all they need are mentors who care. This I believe.
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