Every once in a while I come across a story that I can celebrate. Not only is it worth celebrating it is a perfect background to make some points that I have been wanting to get to.
Back on April 5, Ann Curry, the NBC newscaster was hiking in Harriman State Park in New York. She apparently misstepped and broke her ankle. Along came a troop of Boy Scouts also on a hike. They asked if she needed help and she refused. The troop would not take no for an answer. They splinted her ankle and tried to help her back to the trail-head. The ground was too rough, so they improvised a stretcher and carried her out. They saw to it that she had transportation to a hospital when they got off the trail. When park rangers arrived and asked if there was someone in need of rescue, the simply said "all taken care of".
These boys are receiving a lot of praise for their efforts. And they deserve every bit of it and more. But since I have two grandsons in that organization I have kept close to what the Scouts do and how they do it. I will state right here, that I would be shocked if I found any troop in the Boy Scouts of America that would have acted any differently.
The Scout organization is for boys from 11 to 18 years of age. They start out with the rank of Tenderfoot and through much hard work and perseverance they finish up as an eagle. In their time in Scouts they will learn a wide range of skills and knowledge. But they also learn leadership, cooperation, and self-sufficiency. They learn a lot of the old skills that have gone out of fashion today like woodsmanship and survival. They learn to rely on each other and to take care of the younger Scouts. To teach the young ones the skills they have learned.
Boy Scouts are just that, boys. They are learning to become good responsible adults and generally doing it well. It angers me when I see the Scouts dragged into the political arena by adults with axes to grind and a lack of common sense. The kids and their leaders have been working out their own problems for decades. They do it far better today then they did when I was a Scout. But it is about the boys not about applying political pressure so that some ego can get headlines. Political hacks, leave them alone. There is not a better organization in the world. And no matter how many stumbling blocks thoughtless adults throw in their path, they will adapt and prosper. Their the Boy Scouts.