I've been thinking lately about the romance of Scouting. What was it that made Scouting a success to begin with? Why did boys start forming patrols and recruiting adults to help them? What got them interested and kept them motivated? I've thought lately that it was largely a romantic ideal of actually becoming a Scout. Boys were presented with a Hero, or heros, and told that they could become like them.
I've started to wonder where the romance has gone. What appeal does Scouting provide to boys today? What makes them want to keep doing it? I'm not sure I have the answers.
Later this month our stake is holding an Aaronic Priesthood camp. Although they are not advertising it specifically a Scouting event it kind of is, really. I've had a lot of thoughts about this camp and how it might relate to my thoughts on the romance of Scouting. I'll probably blog about those thoughts later as I develop them further.
Anyway, that's sort of a long introduction to say that I've been struggling a bit with where to go and what to do with our young men. But I got a telephone call last night that I think will help me. It went something like this:
Caller: "Hi Brother Mathis, this is [so-and-so]. I understand you've taken Wood Badge."I've been wanting to be on Wood Badge staff pretty much since the day I arrived at Wood Badge for my course. Of course I said yes.
Caller: Did you finish?
Caller: Would you be interested in serving on staff this year?
I'll have a few meetings in the next couple months to get ready and then it's off to Gilwell at the end of August. I don't know what assignment I'll have at the camp but I don't care. I would be happy to be a Dishwasher, Second Class if that's what they need. I just want to be there.
If you can't tell, I am pretty excited about it. Partly because I think it will be a fun thing to do, and partly because I believe it will help me be a better Scouter and improve the program for my young men. At least it did when I took the course. And I think it can for anyone who attends.