Scouting is a window to the rest of the world.
So many kids in our units are familiar with their hometowns but not much beyond that. Scouting offers opportunities for them to broaden their horizons.
The merit badge system introduces Scouts to career and avocation opportunities they might not ever have known existed otherwise. District and council camporees and summer-camp experiences introduce them to other Scouts outside their unit — often hundreds of miles away. Council international committees do a great job of connecting our Scouts with Scouts from other countries through programs like Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet or council excursions to the Kanderstag International Scout Centre in Switzerland and Scouting events in other countries. Many councils hire international camp staff for the summer, enabling many more youth the opportunity to have a one-on-one friendship with a Scout from another country.
This spring, I met Stanislav Chvila. (That is Stan and me above.) He’s a student at our local community college working on a master’s degree in music education. Stan is also a Scout leader in the Czech Republic. He visited with the Scouts BSA troops in our district and told them a lot about the Czech Republic and even more about Scouting there.
Stan’s experience was much like that of the members of our troops — he told us the things he valued most were the opportunities for adventure in the outdoors and travel that Scouting provided. But most important to him are the lifelong friendships he has made. He’s looking forward to returning home and leading units again. Stan taught us that through our common values — the Scout Oath and Law — we are more alike than different. What a great thing to learn at an early age.
Scouting is a window to the rest of the world. Find a way to open that window a little wider for your unit this summer.
Yours for Better Scouting,