A friend dies unexpectedly, and so this road trip is undertaken; harder than expected in many ways, but doable – necessary, messy and complicated – like life. I love my husband and my sons and through them I am deeply in love with some Boy Scout Troops. Life is complicated.
I have seen up close the lives changed by caring BSA leaders. Boys grown to men demonstrating personal growth and responsibility; and life-long friendships this organization fosters. Living with three men in my household, I also appreciate those life-long friendships.
The BSA troop we traveled to support this weekend – after the untimely death of our friend, an assistant scoutmaster who died at Scout Camp – is one such troop. Scout leaders are not perfect. It is in their humanness – quirks, humor, love of camping – that they model the Scout oath for their young men they mentor.
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
“I will do my best.” On his last day of life, our friend looked across camp at another troop and saw a young man not having a good scout camp experience. So, he invited the young man to come fishing with his own troop. Our friend taught the young man how to fish, and congratulated him on his catch. Our friend heard taps and scout vespers on the last night of his life.
Softly falls the light of day,
As our campfire fades away.
Silently each Scout should ask,
“Have I done my daily task?
Have I kept my honor bright?
Can I guiltless sleep tonight?
Have I done and have I dared,
Everything to Be Prepared?”
We heard taps played Saturday afternoon for our friend, as the American flag was folded by a joint USN and BSA Honor Guard. He did his best. In the experiences of his life he thought his daily tasks included service to his country, service to his BSA troop, service to children and young men.
Life is complicated. Good men who model doing their best for others – helping other people at all times – we support this.