The Stalwart

Scouting Adds Value to Our Young People of Today and Our Leaders of Tomorrow



With the celebration of Scout Sunday in several faith-based organizations this past month I feel it is an opportunity to give credit to all Scouting organizations and the values and leadership skills they impart on young people that participate in Scouting. Neil Armstrong, Taylor Swift, Steven Spielberg, Sandra Bullock, John Wayne, Jimmy Buffet, Martin Luther King Jr., Harrison Ford, Andy Griffith, Venus Williams, Mariah Carey is just a few notable persons impacted by Scouting organizations in their youth. It is their leaders, and those that support Scouting that have helped to create that impact.

The Boy Scout Association was established in1908 by Robert Baden- Powell, in Britain, and then established in 1910 in America, which began the firm foundation for the worldwide Scouting movement. The Scout Law & Oath are integral to the BSA organization and is recited at all Scout meetings and ceremonies. “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

“The Scout Oath and Law are the road map and the beginning of a thought process of what forms a young person through Scouting” states Ed Caldwell, Erie Shores Council BSA Executive Director, and it invokes service to others at its core.

The Scout Law has 12 points that are a goal for every Scout. Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent. The Law and Oath are challenging, but important goals for every Scout and Scout volunteer, to strive towards in their daily lives.

In March 1912, Juliette Gordon Low brought the first group of girls together in Savannah, GA, wanting them to explore new possibilities and the wonders of the world around them and redefining what was possible for young girls everywhere. Through activities such as hiking, swimming, camping, playing basketball, telling time by the stars, these first Girl Scouts shared a sense of adventure and a belief that they could do anything. They were also led to offer a helping hand to those in need and work together to improve their world. Currently there are more than 2 million members of the GSA, and more than 5 million Girl Scout alums. They are united in sharing adventure, friendship and making the world a better place to live.

Leadership in both Scouting organizations is fostered and nurtured initially through adult leaders for the youth in the packs, and into youth leadership as the young Scouts mature and grow into leadership roles within their individual troops and districts.

Both Girl and Boy Scout organizations encourage participation and adjust and schedule programs to meet the needs of the Scouts and community that they serve. Adult leaders are integral to the programs, adding value by serving not only the Troops as a whole, but also as adult mentors that can positively influence young people in their packs/ troops. The Scouting organizations understand the value of community partners and work with area businesses, community partners and community leaders to ensure the success of their programs, and with an eye on cultivating future leaders.

When you support a Girl Scout or Boy Scout organization through volunteerism – you are directly impacting lives. When you contribute to a Scout fundraiser: cookies, popcorn, coffee, wreaths, Eagle Scout or Silver and Gold Awards, dinners, events – you are providing an opportunity for a young person to lean into values that can influence them for life, and lead to success.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to say “Yes” to co- leading a Northwest Ohio Girl Scout troop, with a woman who became a great friend. For over 8 years we planned and coordinated events with an eye towards advancing the young women that were a part of our troop, even on into their high school years. We are still connected with some of these women, formerly young girls from our troop, and now strong and accomplished leaders in their families, professions, and other areas of life. I have volunteered, along with others, on Eagle Scout projects, working side-by-side as youth draft a plan, fundraise, coordinate volunteers, and execute the plan to completion and ultimately serve their community. I currently serve on Erie Shores Council BSA committees and have served the local BSA board for more than 15 years. I am a strong advocate for both Scouting organizations and look for opportunities to promote and support Scouting activities at my church and in the community. If you know a Girl or Boy Scout, or a Scout volunteer, THANK THEM for their service. If you are asked, consider an opportunity to support Scouting: either through volunteerism, in-kind support, or financially. The impact of your support offers millions of Scouters, and volunteers, to make this world a better place.

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