Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Master of the 11 Year Old Scouts

A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.
~Robert Baden-Powell

Since Tiffany and I have been married, I have always tried to avoid becoming Scoutmaster. I grew up with a Father who was Scoutmaster for many, many years of my growing up. He put together a very successful program, of which my own Eagle Scout was one of those successes. To do so, he spent a lot of time with the boys, and away from the family. From my perspective, not too much time, but any time away from family is time that is hard to get back. But then, back in the day, when dad went on a scout outing, he would often take one of his boys with him (he has three) and therefore I had many opportunities to be with him. Perhaps mom and my sisters feel like he was away more often than even I recall.

But, giving up a week for scout camp, leaving the family for a campout each month (or close to that), weekly meetings, monthly round tables and other trainings, and the time and energy I saw him give to ensure that the boys he lead had ample opportunity to learn new skills and abilities, has made me fear the day that such a calling would come.

So this last Sunday was just that day.

Except, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, I am working with the 11 year olds, which is a far cry from the 12 and 13 year old scouts. Somehow, when a boy turns 12, they seem to lose respect for their elders, find out they know more than just about anybody, all while gaining a new sense of freedom that 12 year olds gain.

I 'get' to go camping. I 'get' to do fun things with the boys. And when all is said and done, I 'get' to learn more and experience more than I would without this. What could be better, you ask? Oh, it comes as Dallin turns 11 this year, and that is about as sweet as it gets, to be able to do all these things with your boy.

It's a good thing I had a good example growing up, though. Without the example that was set by my good father, I don't know if I would be as excited as I am, nor would I know what to do.

Though a surprise, I have had the example to know what to do.

So, thanks, Dad, for being that example on how to be a great scout leader. Though it will be tough, I hope I can follow in your footsteps and accomplish, at least to some small degree, what you did.




  1. My expectation from all my kids is that they would learn from my example and use that as a starting point for their accomplishments. Nathan, you will do bigger and better things than your Dad. No question about it!

  2. Must be a Miller thing. The past two wards we moved into, the bishops start asking me about scouts and that they have need for cubscout leaders. As soon as I mention I was in school, they changed it to sunday school teacher with the youth. I must say, I already miss working with the youth. I wonder what it'll be when I get back.