Yesterday was Scout Sunday, and Fr. Tom asked me to speak after the sermon on that last Sunday of Epiphany about the value of Scouting. Here is the "sermon" I presented:
Today, I want to talk just a moment about scouting. Here at St. Peter's we have a growing scouting community. Only four years ago, we started a small Cub Scout pack, Pack 39, with less than 20 boys. St. Peter's was gracious enough to take us on and give us a place to call home. Luckily, we had some very energetic and volunteer-oriented parents, and we got off to a brilliant start.
Our pack prospered, and we are now an organization of over 60 boys, with six dens, and nearly as many adult volunteers as we have children. We are an open and welcoming pack, never turning away boys in financial need, never turning away those siblings, friends, grandparents, or anyone who makes up our pack family. We're large, but we're a tight group.
And now, at St. Peter's, scouting continues to grow. Last year, St. Peter's chartered our first troop of Boy Scouts, Troop 39. This group is now in it's humble beginnings, just as we were four years ago. And Tom recently informed me that St. Peter's is taking on a Scouting Venture Crew... This is exciting news. It means that if you have a child between the ages of 6 and 20 (yes, 20), then we have a scouting program for you here.
And do you know what else? Raise your hand if you're over 21. (Go on... go on...) Well, all of you people with your hands in the air, you can be an adult volunteer! So I guess, really, we have a scouting role for every single one of you!
So, why do I value scouting? There are some of the “official” reasons: scouting teaches my boys responsibility, safety, self-reliance, and confidence. Scouting teaches my boys learn to be leaders, to set the good example. Scouting offers my children a chance to grow in their faith and in service to others. Scouting gives my boys a chance to go camping, and fishing, and biking, and swimming, and skating, and bowling. In scouting we have Pinewood derby races, and Raingutter regattas, and cake bakes. In scouting, we have a lot of fun.
But the real reason, the biggest reason I love scouting, is that it gives me time to spend with my boys. Quality Time. Capital Q. Capital T. The time spent in the workshop, cutting out Pinewood derby cars. The time spent walking door-to-door collecting food for the poor. The time spent reading the bible as we prepare for our faith requirements. The time spent in the tent at night, freezing our butts off, hands sticky with melted marshmallowy goodness. These are all the special moments that I spend with my boys. And I grow from it, and they grow from it.
And twenty years from now, I won't remember a darn thing about what project I worked on at work, or what car I drove, or who was this year's American Idol. But I will remember the time I spent with my boys, as I watch them, grown into men, proud of who they've become.
If this sounds interesting to you, and you'd like to take part in some way, see me after church.