The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

January 22, 2014

Scouting still matters

Well 2014 is upon us and the Artic Vortex (whatever that is) is behind us. I spent some time over the cold — three dog night — holidays thinking about what 2014 will bring for the scouting movement and how best to continue to advocate this time tested program. This I did because my role in the local troop is changing. I will no longer be the Scoutmaster of Troop 481 but will remain active on the Troop Committee. Other qualified and caring adults have stepped forward to fill the gap. I wish them the best on their journey with the boys and will remain in the background as a mentor.

So where does that leave Scouting Matters? I hope it will remain entertaining and informing for its readers, however, some of the focus might have to change due to a lack of interaction with the boys. That’s where the nutty tales are born.

So I thought to kick off 2014 I would focus on some random thoughts breaking down the Scout Law. This month I have selected cheerfulness, because it is something we could all use more of, especially in times of cabin fever and continuing snow.

When Checochinican, Chief of the Delaware people, created a brotherhood that would memorialize the efforts of his son, Uncas, and the others that put service above themselves, he chose three words, to describe the direction of their brotherhood… Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. In the scouting movement and our daily lives, these are as important today as they were to the Chief. Problem is, in our hectic lives, it isn’t often that we are able to sit back and clearly think about these pillars and what they mean in life.

Each is very different, yet interconnected at the same time. Brotherhood you feel when you’re with those important to you; cheerfulness is an attitude, a way we can look at and be a part of the world; service is something tangible, that we can do for another. Of all these things, only one appears in the Scout Law – the one we may think least about, but is still central to the scouting movement: Cheerfulness.

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