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Scoutmaster Musings

fire piston Yet Another Eagle Scout - yesterday was his ceremony and I gave him this fire piston which I carved. The kit is from

You remember Hannibal Smith's favorite line on A-Team? "I love it when a plan comes together." You usually hear it right after everything goes completely wrong and things finally just plop into place, resulting in an unimaginable success. That happens so often in Scouting!

This Eagle went through three or more project ideas, hitting dead ends along the way until Presto! he found a perfect one and nailed it. A couple years ago, he almost couldn't finish a backpacking trip - but the other guys pulled his gear and they all supported him to the end of the trail. Seven years ago, he almost didn't even go on to Boy Scouts. And, now he's an Eagle - and will most likely get a palm next month before he ages out.

Every path taken by a scout is full of failures, from poorly cooked meals to cut fingers to cold feet to slipping knots. Fortunately, the plan of Scouting is very flexible and adapts to unforeseen challenges. After all, the personal challenge really is the plan.

Most new scouts, when I ask them, will readily say their goal is to be an Eagle. No idea how they'll do it, or what it entails, but that's what most of them want. I tell them they can absolutely reach that goal as long as they do two things. First, make a plan - look over what's required and set smaller milestones of how to reach their goal. Second, remember that no plan is ever followed exactly - things will come up, things won't go right, people will let you down, you will make mistakes. As long as they modify and adapt rather than get discouraged, no setback in Scouting will be big enough to stop them from reaching their goal.

It hasn't failed me yet, when looking back over the Scouting career of the Eagles I've known, that every one had obstacles, bumps, detours, and apparent catastrophes. None of them have breezed right through. But in the end, the plan came together because that scout had a goal and kept at it - and THAT is probably the most valuable thing they'll get from that Eagle medal.

Scout On
Posted: 19:19 12-12-2011 716
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