Millions of men around the world have the Boy Scouting program to thank for some part of their success.
I’ll count myself among them along with Matthew Obrien and Hamp Johnson.
Obrien is a local teen who came up through the ranks of Scouting at Troop 26, sponsored by Easley Presbyterian Church. He spoke eloquently about the way that Scouting and the role models surrounding the organization helped in the years after the sudden death of his father.
Johnson, former District Chairman for Scouting in these parts and a successful business person in Powdersville, shares a history in scouting with Obrien. Both are Eagle Scouts and Johnson lost his father at an early age.
I knew Johnson when he was Obrien’s age, a high schooler, when we both lived in Clinton. I had just started my reporting career. He was known for Scouting and the anticipation that he would become one of the greater success stories to come out of that little town.
That designation — “great success story” – is yet to be fully told for both men. Whether they are ultimately known widely for great success or quietly for small accomplishments in their communities, I am sure Scouting is behind it.
I’ll not claim great accomplishments in life, but the accomplishments have come my way, arise out of the little lessons learned while camping, organizing or leading other Scouts.
Relating to others, learning how to work as a team was a good lesson for me. It included listening and learning from others.
There were particular skills that I enjoyed and some that I didn’t care for. Hiking and setting up a campsite were among the enjoyable ones. Washing dishes according to the strict requirements of the summer camp director was not high on my list.
Setting up a campsite rarely happens to me anymore, but arranging the details of newspaper operations happens quite frequently. The ability to see the needed details in both tasks are similar in ways.
Perhaps the greatest lesson learned in Scouting is the ability that I can work through issues and problems and come to a reasonable outcome. It takes tenacity sometimes and a willingness to see my own shortcomings and seek the advice of others.