I have had and still have people that I look up to.
They have been and are my Dad, Uncles (Pete, Dick and Bob) and cousins.
As I grew up I found others. They were my friends and others within school.
Yes, I had famous people that I looked up to: Space Ghost, Green Lantern…you get the idea.
The people that I look towards for inspiration are generally people who are doing something that I cannot do for some reason or something that I want to do.
The Football/Basketball Star in High School, a friend who snowboarded before snowboarding was invented (think pre-1984), dudes in local bands just to name a few.
Do I have people that inspire me now? Yes.
Do these people generally know that they inspire me? No, they generally do not.
The reason that I bring this up is during the final Wood Badge beading ceremony I found a person who had retired as the Scoutmaster of the Troop a couple months ago. He was at the Court of Honor and was doing his bit as being the former Scoutmaster. His son had Eagled out and he was done. The current Scoutmaster chose to recognize him with a personal unit award. He also was able to get two Leader Knots. I beleive that they were the Scoutmaster Key and Scout Trainer’s Knot. According to the current Scoutmaster, the former really did not care about knots. Really did not need them.
However, what happened next really sunk in with me. The Patrol Leaders (10 of them) got up with a Walking Stick and proceed to explain what the Scoutmaster meant to them. Then they each attached a momento to it. Each Scout had a story about how he was influenced by this man. All were very incredible moving. You know it’s good when men cry.
I got a chance to talk to him after it was all done.
He basically took a failing Troop with 20 boys and turned it into a Troop that is 80 plus boys with more transfering in from other units. All the Scouts are well behaved. Smiling and enjoy what they are doing. This Scoutmaster changed lives and is their inspiration.
This was one of those moments that I realized that no knot, patch or plaque will ever convey what that walking stick will ever convey.
He is my new inspiration on what a leader is and can do.