I am always in a quandary about what topic to approach when it’s my turn to write a My Turn.
If you listen to most of the big news media out there you would probably feel that America is about to collapse and Chicken Little’s prophecy that the “sky is falling” is surely true.
However, I don’t live in that world of doom and gloom because almost every day I watch people in our communities who step up to the plate and make the world a better place.
This last week, I was overwhelmed by the dedication and enthusiasm of two different, but similar groups of folks who understand the necessity of teaching our younger generation about the country’s history, traditions and values.
The two groups are the people who take six to seven weeks of their summer off each year to staff the various Boy Scout camps around the nation and the many parents, moms and dads who care enough to take a week to accompany the kids to camp.
This “epiphany,” so to speak, has been right in front of me for a very long time, but it became vividly evident to me this last week as I wrote a story on the 65th anniversary of Camp Fleischmann near Chester.
Many of the people who make up the “senior” staff at the camp have been in scouting for many years and, in some cases, decades.
Some still have children active in scouting, but many do not, and it doesn’t really seem to make any difference because they are all dedicated to the vision of creating more opportunities and a brighter future for young people.
I do believe that each and every one of them could easily find an alternate activity for the summer that would be personally beneficial, but they have chosen instead to help someone else.
The other half of this group is made up of what are termed as youth staff and in some cases “counselors in training” or CIT staff (volunteers).
These are mostly young men and women who already have some background in scouting and take on specific teaching roles under the direction of senior staff.
They, too, appear to believe the ideals that make up the scouting experience and want to pass those ideas along.
The other group is the parents — moms and dads who probably have taken a week of vacation to be with their kids and in most cases, children of others, to provide encouragement and support.
As I chatted with people from different areas of California and Nevada from both groups, some had come from more than 400 miles away to have their kids experience a presentation of lifestyle they believe will give young people a better chance for a positive future.
I am certainly not trying to say that the Boy Scouts is the only group of people out there that has a good message for our younger generation.
Over the years, I have worked with kids in 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls clubs, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and more.
They are all dedicated to the betterment of America’s youth.
It just happened that I was so impressed by the quality of the people and the program as I watched them for a week.
One parent said, “If everyone actually believes the world is lost and gives up, it will be lost and I’m not willing to let that happen to my kids.”
There are many people in America and right here in our local communities who know if all people were to live by the Scout Law, this tumultuous world would be a totally different place.
Think about it: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
If you don’t want our youth, and ourselves, to live by those ideas, then you are probably part of the problem and our future will be dim.
The alternative, of course, is to get off our duffs and support all the great souls that work so hard to make a better future for America, or, better yet, become one of those people.