Monday, May 17, 2010

A Scouting Recap

A speech I presented at my Eagle Court of Honor:

Since starting as a Tiger Cub Scout in first grade, I have come a long way through Scouting to arrive where I am today. It has been an amazing journey through which I have struggled, endured hardship and laughed, but in every experience I learned something.

Throughout Cub Scouting, my den leader (a.k.a. Mom) provided Den 2 of Pack 104 with phenomenal field trips, getting us to go places and do things few people get a chance to do. We toured a land fill and radio station, raced cubmobiles, went grunion running, attended a city council meeting and backpacked all BEFORE I was a Boy Scout.

My transition into Boy Scouting wasn’t a hard one (even if I did have to let go of pinewood derby races) because my older brother had already told me about many of the activities I could expect in Boy Scouts. As long as he was in the troop he mentored me and we enjoyed many outings together.

I quickly learned the ropes (literally as well as figuratively), and acquired many Scouting skills I would need for future trips. My father became Scoutmaster not long after I entered the troop and served in that position for the majority of my Boy Scouting years. We enjoyed many engaging meetings and exciting trips together, while also sharing ideas for improving the troop.

Occasionally on outings, a Scout’s creativity can overflow. I’ve found that hiking sticks provide excellent leverage for launching dried cow patties, slippery grass on a dew-covered hill is the best surface for urban canoeing, and when trying to catch mini bears (i.e. chipmunks) you run the risk of them dashing through your tent.

Of all the outings I’ve been on, a few stand out from the others. Emerald Bay’s “Rugged E” was filled with cliff jumping, night kayaking, and war canoe trips. Philmont Scout Ranch included over 70 miles of backpacking, amazing campfires and a hilarious train ride. My participation in the 2001 and 2005 National Scout Jamborees allowed me to tour the east coast, meet Scouts from around the world, and applaud the President’s address to the Boy Scouts of America. These experiences have been some of the best in my life.

Scouting’s journey has impacted me, and not just Scouting in general, but specifically those people who taught, encouraged, disciplined, and supported me. I am grateful to my parents, Scout leaders and friends for all they have invested in me along the way. Your contribution has made me a better Scout and I will continue to grow and learn --being prepared to do my best and doing my best to be prepared.


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