A few recent experiences have caused me to ponder on what the Boy Scouts of America can mean to a boy and to a nation.
My nephew recently turned 8 years old. We invited him to join the Cub Scout Pack in our neighborhood. He wanted so badly to join Cub Scouts because he wanted a pocket knife. He's a real boy! Each Wednesday my wonderful wife, Jerrea', picks him up from school and takes him to his den meeting. He is always excited and enthusiastic to learn. Recently we were working on his Bobcat award and discussing the Cub Scout Promise: "I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the law of the pack." We discussed duty. We discussed how he could help other people. If an eight year old boy can internalize these simple principles he will succeed in life.
I have recently been serving as a Unit Commissioner for the BSA. In that role I have the opportunity to participate in Board of Reviews for scouts who are candidates for the Eagle rank. It has been very rewarding to review with these young men their scouting experience, the Eagle Project, and how Scouting has impacted their life and how it will impact their future. I saw that Scouting had truly changed most of the boys. This experience has given me an inside glimpse into how Scouting can shape boys.
Finally, I recently attended a Court of Honor where four boys were awarded the rank of Eagle. As I listened to their mothers pay tribute, as I viewed a video presentation of each boy, as I listened to each of them describe their Eagle Projects, as I heard them pledge to live a life that honors the ideals they had learned in Scouting, I couldn't help but wonder what positive impact they would have on society because of Scouting.
I truly believe that there are only two other organizations, besides Scouting, that can have a greater impact on a boy and on our country's future: the Gospel of Jesus Christ and family. Yet adding Scouting to church and family only helps and enhances their roles in preparing boys to be real men, fathers, and contributors to society.
On my honor, I promise to do my best... to support the scouting organization so that the ideals of being "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent" will permeate more boys and have a greater impact our communities and nation.