Last night was my first Eagle Board of Review of 2013. I am growing to really like these. They give me comfort and knowing that there are really smart young men who will do very well in life. While I have now have done only two, it’s very fun.
This young man once I got to talking to him and listening to him, really reminded me of my son Elliot.
Here’s why. Billy, as I will call him, is deep into STEM activities. His Eagle Book had all of his Merit Badge Cards. Outside the normal 21 for Eagle, there were the FUN ones. I believe he had a total of 27. He took Aviation, Space Exploration, Metalwork and Rifle, Archery & Shotgun. Coupled with that, he took classes at school on Physics and Astronomy and is in his fourth year on the Robotics Team. This young man is very smart. His book also had his Webelos and Arrow of Light Rank Cards.
So, why does he remind me of Elliot. Let me explain further.
As his Scoutmaster and Parent said he attended all the Summer camps and really loved them. He did do some of the Outings, but wasn’t a huge outdoors person. He does a lot of Robotic Team Competitons, so he’s there a lot. His Parents are Mazama‘s and go Mtn Climbing a lot. They think they wore him out. This is because they took him and his brother and sister out all the time. They still go out as a family. But it was clear in listening to Billy, that he likes the Outdoors. It calms him from being in the City. He can think better. Billy talked about a recent snowshoe outing on Mt Hood that they took.
My point here is this, Scouting is about the personal journey for the youth who is in it. You do not need to be in a backpacking high adventure Scout Unit, or be one yourself. Scouting is your own journey. What the program provides is access to opportunities to find what you like. The Merit Badge system. I told Billy that I was very impressed that he had all these other Merit Badges, and asked what he thought of them and how they helped. He pointed out that the Aviation was great since he was taking Physics at that time. His most fun was the Shooting Sports ones. He took great joy in explaining how he got 25 clay birds to get marksman. He also got all the Donuts. Donuts are the clay birds that were altered by the Range Officer to fly wrong. He got all of them as well. Not only did he met all the requirements of the Merit Badges, he excelled. He said, he didn’t know how much fun it was to shoot. Even his parents didn’t know that he was that into it until he earned them.
So, why does Billy remind me of Elliot. Elliot loves all these things. Shooting, building things and exploring. He loves nature in his own terms. He is not a huge hiker, but will go on a trail. Also, it’s Billy’s demeanor and thoughtfulness that got me. Billy really cares about people. Loyal is the one point he cherishes. Billy puts a lot of thought into what he says and does. He cherishes his family, friends and people that he meets. Again, Elliot latches onto people who are loyal.
For me, I saw Elliot. He could be Billy in the future.
I saw what Scouting offers to those who are in it.
Scouting is there to help the Youth excel at what excites them.