Moving On

on October 23, 2011 in Leadership

It is time. After 30 years of serving as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 I have decided to step down and let someone else assume the role. My last day as the adult leader of the troop will be December 31, 2011. I have had some great times and awesome experiences during those three decades, but it was not always a bed of roses. There were four times I tried to quit, when the frustrations became so intolerable that I just could not handle it anymore. But after a few good nights sleep everything seemed to be a little better so I stayed on.

I still remember that evening in September 1981 when the troop committee appointed this young twenty one year old kid to the position of scoutmaster. I was shocked. I really did not see it coming. I was a little overwhelmed. I accepted the appointment and vowed to do my best for the troop. I took all the training offered by the district and council. I went to roundtables every month. I attended a weeklong scoutmaster training course at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1984. I wanted to be the best scoutmaster that I was capable of being.

As I step down from the position I never dreamed of holding for this long, I have to say that I will not be walking away from the Scouting program. As the first day of the new year arrives I will become a member of the troop committee. I will continue to be a merit badge councilor for eight awards. I do plan to assist the new scoutmaster as he or she prepares to assume their role in the troop. I still plan to attend some of the troop’s activities and outings.

Of course, I have mixed feeling about leaving the role I have held for sixty percent of my life, and nearly all of my adult life. I will miss sitting around the campfire on cool Minnesota evenings. I will miss working closely with Eymard, my assistant for 23 years. But most of all, I will miss working closely with the boys. The boys were my second family. They were and always will be the number one reason for remaining as the scoutmaster for as long as I have.

I do look forward to beginning a new phase of my Scouting career even though I am not quite sure what that will include. I do look forward to having Monday nights free and more weekends available to spend with family and friends. I look forward to having my very first summer vacation away from a Boy Scout camp. (Yes, I have spent every summer vacation of the past thirty one years with Boy Scouts at summer camp, Philmont Scout Ranch, or some other high adventure trip.)

I will not be able to give up Scouting completely. It has been a part of my life for too long. Lem Siddons was a scoutmaster for twenty years before he was retired by his troop. I would rather the idea to retire be mine, and not the committee’s. Reaching the twenty mark kinda became a goal of mine after watching Follow Me Boys in 1984. I never actually thought I would achieve it, but now I can say I not only achieved it but surpassed it by fifty percent. How do you like them apples Lem?

Thanks for Sharing!

    7 Responses to “Moving On”

    1. Joe Parajecki says:

      All those boys that benefited from your wisdom……When I grow up I hope to be half as good as you are!!! Cubmaster Joe

    2. Scouter Paul says:


      Thanks for all your efforts in Scouting, and for sharing them with us all online. Fortunately, there’s plenty of other ways to guide the scouts without wearing that one patch. It will be fun to hear how it goes next year.

      Scout On,
      Scouter Paul

    3. Thank you for all your years of service to our young men. Being a SM is a noble job, and my 5 years seem paltry in comparison.

      You might want to consider becoming a Unit Commissioner — you have a lot of practical knowledge I am sure your District could use!

      This year, my own Scoutmaster (well, he was the third one I had as a youth) will step down after 41 years as SM – and he was about 30 when he started. You both amaze me, and inspire.

    4. Scouter Jeff says:

      Congrats Steve on a job well done! You had 30 years of young men who were very lucky to have a Scoutmaster like you.

      Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for Scouting. You have inspired more people than you know.

      – Scouter Jeff

    5. Scoutmaster Wil says:

      Thanks Steve for all of the time and dedication you have given to a great purpose we all beleive in.
      Your wisdom and advice has helped so many Scouts and Scouters alike over the years.

      Be well, and enjoy that vacation!

      Scoutmaster Wil
      Port St John, Florida

    6. On behalf of Troop 466 (NCAC – Silver Spring MD), I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank you for your many years of service to Scouting.



      Joseph Barone

      NB: I stumbled across this blog by accident. So could not pass up the change to congratulate you.

    7. Gary Musselman says:

      Congratulations and thank you for all you’ve done.

      I found a very meaningful post-Scoutmaster as a (District) Commissioner. Just sayin’…..

      Gary A. Musselman
      Quarrylands District Commissioner

    Leave a Reply