Posts Tagged ‘Scout Motto’

Eagle Scout board of reviewI would be willing to bet that most young men who go before their council Eagle board of review are a little nervous. I know that many of the Boy Scout from Melrose Troop 68 were when it was their turn. Adult members of the board have told me that some Scouts are very nervous. I can understand this. For many of these young men this may be the most important interview of their lives, up to this point.

Alex E. is the latest member of Boy Scout Troop 68 to go before the Eagle board.He turned in his paperwork last month (December). He is 16 years old, which is young when you consider that many Eagle Scout candidates have their review within a couple months of having their 18th birthday. It is even more impressive when you realize that Alex joined Scouting when he was 13 years old. He has gone from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout in less than three years.

I went to Alex’s review representing his scoutmaster, since his dad is the troop’s scoutmaster. Dakota represented our committee. Alex did not seem nervous as we waited in the lobby. He was very confident during his review and was quick to answer their questions. The three council board members were impressed.

As is normal, the board asked him to leave the room after the questioning so they could discuss his performance. They asked Dakota and myself a few questions about his leadership and character within the troop. It was then time for the vote. It was unanimous! Alex had passed his Eagle Scout board of review.

The board decided to have a little fun with the new Eagle Scout when they called him and his parents back into the room. One of the board members had a length of rope in his briefcase. He laid it on the table in front of where Alex was sitting. They wanted to see if the rope would make Alex nervous. After all, many Boy Scouts have a challenging time learning knots to pass their rank requirements.

Alex and his parents were invited into the room and asked to be seated. Alex sat in the same chair, with the rope on the table before him. His parents sat one on each side of him. Dakota and I sat in the second row of chairs.

Alex seemed to ignore the rope as the board chairman began to speak. Finally, one of the other board members asked Alex to tie a knot. Alex immediately grabbed the rope and asked, “Which one?” I knew that Alex knew his basic knots fairly well so before the board member could answer I suggested the sheepshank. (Remember that knot from the movie Follow Me Boys?) Alex proceeded to tie the knot, held it up for inspection, and set the rope back on the table. The board was even more impressed, and so was I.

After the review, as we were putting on our coats in the lobby, I told Alex that he did very well. I asked him if he had been nervous. His reply? No. He stated that he had studied for the board of review and felt confident.

The moral of the story? Live the Scout Motto. Be Prepared!

The Boy Scout and the scoutmaster sit down by the campfire ring for a scoutmaster conference. The sun is shining brightly. The birds are singing. A squirrel watches them from his high perch in a nearby pine tree.

During the conference the scoutmaster asks, “What is the Boy Scout Motto?”

“Be prepared!” the Boy Scout quickly replies.

“Be prepared for what?” the scout leader asks.

The Boy Scout thinks for a moment. Be prepared for next month’s camping trip. For the rain that is bound to happen during a hike. For giving first aid if someone gets hurt. For helping a neighbor when needed. Finally he answers, “Be prepared for everything!”

“That is a good answer.” The scoutmaster smiles. “But everything is a lot to be prepared for. How can you do that?”

The smile vanishes from the Boy Scout’s face as he looks to the ground. He thinks to himself, how can a person be prepared for everything? The scoutmaster is patient as he watches the young man concentrate. Finally, the Boy Scout’s gaze returns to the scoutmaster. “Learn about a lot of stuff?” he asks. “Like first aid, camping skills, knots, and other stuff that we learn in troop meetings?”

“Yes,” the adult leader says. “Anything outside of Scouting?”

The Boy Scout thinks for a second. “Well, school, I guess. My parents. Other adults. Books maybe.”

“Very good.” The scoutmaster smiles again. “Knowledge is a key. Pay attention in class and what people tell you. Learn from them, even if you find the lesson to be boring. You never know when that knowledge will help you later in life.”

The Boy Scout’s smile is reaching from ear to ear. “And always pay attention to what is going on around us. So that we don’t get surprised or caught off guard. Right?”

“That is right”, says the scoutmaster as he pats the boy’s shoulder. “So, if we quickly sum this up…”

The Boy Scout sits up straighter as the sunshine radiates from his face. “To be prepared a Boy Scout should learn about as much as he can about as many things as he can.”

The unseen squirrel nods his approval at the Boy Scout, then turns away. It is time to find a few acorns.