Letters to the editor: Scouting ethic should be used today
Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2007
As young people, my wife and I were both enthusiastic scouters. Marsha was a member of a Girl Scout Troup in Jacksonville, Florida, where she earned every merit badge available. I was a member of Boy Scout Troup #1 in Miami, Florida. I never made it to Eagle Scout, but it wasn't due to a lack of effort.
As a member of Troup 1, I learned a lesson about “pride” which remains with me to this day. Our scoutmaster had a philosophy similar to Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi: “winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.” In other words, our scoutmaster taught us to strive for the best, regardless of the nature of the competition.
It worked. Our Boy Scout drill team marched annually in the Orange Bowl Parade on New Year's Eve. We performed regularly in the Edison Pageant of Light Festival in Ft. Meyers. Our patrols consistently won first place in the camporee competition.
There was another habit he instilled in us that has also stuck. He preached that we should “always leave a campsite cleaner than we found it.” After packing up our equipment, we would form a long line and walk abreast over the entire camping area. We picked up every single piece of trash that we could find. Imagine if we carried that ethic with us today.
Can we stoop down to pick up a piece of trash, a can, bag or bottle? Can we collect whatever trash we come across as we walk from our car into the grocery store? Can we go a step out of our way and place trash in an appropriate receptacle? What about teaching our children - at home and in school - the importance of a clean environment? This is the air we breathe, and the ground where we walk. Our future, our children's future, and the future of this community depends on simple acts such as these.
Dr. Dan Raulerson