It's that time of year
when schedules are hectic, children are anxious, and adults are stressed - especially
those adults who are trying to juggle job demands, parenting requirements, Scouting
duties, and somehow make it all fun and worthwhile at the same time. Many of us have
a question that pops up during all the commotion: Is it worth it? Let me a
share a simple Holiday story that bumped into me a few days ago. Perhaps you'll get
Bob was Scoutmaster of the Troop sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.
It was a small, active Troop with caring adult
leaders and enthusiastic Scouts. The Troop roster included Bob's sons, Mike and
Jim. Along with the usual Scout activities, the adult committee, like those in most
Troops, encouraged the Scouts to include service work in their yearly planning.
Adults were always there to provide transportation and help out while the Scouts worked
camp clean-up days, city beautification days, food collections, and other helpful
projects that came to their attention. One of the favorite projects was ringing
bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. Leaders, Scouts, and family members
joined together to make the bell-ringing a special time of caring and sharing.
Scouts being Scouts, the boys soon discovered that singing carols along with the
bell-ringing, attracted attention and increased the donations from passers-by who found
themselves caught up in the Scouts' enthusiasm and Christmas Spirit.
Time passed. Mike and Jim both became Eagle Scouts. This
Christmas season found Bob, still a member of the Knights of Columbus, but no longer
a Scoutmaster. Mike is a computer specialist with an international company.
Jim is a newlywed who just completed his BA degree this December.
A few days ago, Bob asked his sons for help. As they had done so
many times as Scouts, but now as members of the Knights, they met him outside the local
grocery store to help KC Council #7909 assist the Salvation Army in the current
The boys (excuse me, men) donned Santa hats, waved at passing cars, and wished a Merry
Christmas to people passing by. Donations were few.
I ran into them just as they had formulated a plan. While Bob rang the bells,
Mike and Jim whistled a Christmas tune and did a little dance reminiscent of the
Rockettes. True to what they had discovered years ago in Scouting, the extra
activity attracted attention and almost everyone who entered or left the store made
One woman remarked with a smile, "If I'm going to get entertainment, I'm going to
make sure I pay for it!"
As for me, and for all of you who sacrifice to set an example for your Scouts and
provide them the opportunity to do a Good Deed, these reassuring words come to mind:
Train a child in the way he/she should go - and when he is grown - he will not depart from