Scouts benefit communities nationwide

The older I get, the more I attempt to focus on the positive aspects of life here on earth.

Granted, every once in a while I venture into areas of society that can be quite irritating to my daily life, but on the whole I try to write about the good things that are happening in our communities.

Within the last few months I have been told about the lack of courtesy and respect that young people have for adults and people in positions of authority by numerous residents in the area.

I have also personally witnessed occasions when students have disrespected teachers, youth leaders and adults with a sharp tongue or a “know-it-all” attitude.

Irritating? Yes! But for the most part I simply lay those actions off to ignorance.

Those smart-alec kids simply have not lived long enough to learn about courtesy and civility or, in the case of older juveniles, their parents haven’t taken the time to teach them how to properly function in the real world.

My response to these folks who believe the younger generation is going to hell in a handbasket is to relate stories from the other side of the spectrum.

Just last week I was privileged to reacquaint myself with a young man and his family at his Eagle Scout board of review.

The five-person board listened to this young Scout relate how he discovered a need in the community and then planned out a project that would help young people in foster care for years to come.

The evening for me was a reconfirmation of the value of families that encourage and support to achieve positive goals at an early phase in their lives.

My involvement in the Boy Scouts has given me the opportunity to witness the positive side of the spectrum for many years now — watching numerous boys mature into healthy, caring and productive young men.

The ones who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout may be the cream of the crop, but every boy who stays involved is going to learn life lessons that will help make him a better person for life.

I get to watch the fellows here in our area, but there were 134 Scouts who earned their Eagle rank in the Nevada Area Council (NAC) in 2018.

That’s 134 success stories for communities across Northern Nevada and Eastern California.

There are 272 Boy Scout councils in the United States, and when you consider that NAC is one of the smaller councils in population, it doesn’t take a mental giant to realize there is a massive constructive impact on towns and communities across the nation.

Want more? NAC Scouts accounted for 52,539 hours of community service projects in 2018 and that’s just what was reported. Again, do the math and calculate the benefit nationwide.

The Scouts recently accumulated a list of 109 famous people who were Boy Scouts.

The list includes presidents, Pulitzer Prize recipients, astronauts, athletes, celebrities and CEOs.

Some are Eagle Scouts and some are not and the list is limited to 109 in honor of the 109th birthday of Scouting in the United States.

Check them out on scoutingmagazine.org.

I know! I know! Yes, I am one of those who is happy that Boy Scouts is including girls into the experience. I know there are naysayers, and most I have talked to were ill- informed.

I happen to believe there are many wonderful youth programs out there. I have personally been involved in many and have come to the conclusion that the Scouting program offers the best overall, comprehensive path to success for young people. I would love to discuss the Scouting experience with anyone — we can get together for coffee or whatever.

Many years ago I heard an old timer say, “Anyone who doesn’t have their kid in Scouts is coming close to child neglect.”

Even though it was said in jest, it did indicate how much he thought of the program.

My point today is even though I acknowledge there seems to be a growing trend toward confrontation, incivility and rudeness, let’s also acknowledge that there are good parents teaching their children to do good things and take part in positive activities.

Let’s not get stuck on every ignorant action of an ill-informed child, but focus on teaching them the paths to success and who knows, maybe even fame.

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