Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This thing called Scouts

For most of our married life (which is only a short blink different than that of our adult lives) either Ryan or I have been involved with the youth. For obvious reasons they don't give you the responsibilities of being the Scout Master or even the Young Women's president when you are nineteen, but age - neither young nor old - is an excuse NOT to be called to play with them!

I couldn't tell you the first calling Ryan had with the scouts, because other than a few short stints, I'm not sure he really ever graduated from the program. (Plug to Ryan: he was an Eagle Scout before his 14th birthday, so in that respect, I suppose he did "graduate", but at heart, he's always been just one of the boys.) I do recall as a mere 23 year old, that he served as the Venture Leader and I only remember this perhaps because he seemed more like one of the boys (16 - 18 year olds) than a leader of them.

This may come as a shock, but there have been times over the years when I've been a less than eager Scoutmaster's wife (gasp). As I'm sure any Scoutmaster's wife will tell you, it's not any easy roll. And about 4 or 5 years ago I'd come to the conclusion that we were DONE! I wanted my husband back. I was tired of sharing him with the boys. Every Wednesday night he was gone. One Friday a month - gone. Over a dozen vacation days a year - gone. Not to mention what amounted to over $1000 each year in unreimbursed expenses and personal resources - gone. I was DONE!


So, here's the lesson with murmuring: Even when you think nobody's listening, Somebody is. And sometimes that particular Somebody has a different plan for you.

The very evening that I'd been complaining, I got an unexpected knock at my door. Hesitantly (and kicking myself) I welcomed executives of the Great Salt Lake District 29 scout committee into my home. Within moments I had become one of THEM! I can't say that my attitude about scouting changed in that moment - or even in the immediate weeks and months to follow - but it was the beginning of a transformation for me. And, more so, it became the channel through which I have week by week, month by month, and even year by year developed a testimony about scouting. I by no means believe that it is a flawless program, but I do believe that it is an integral tool by which to mold boys into confident, capable, responsible men.

Sometimes I still grumble as I trip over scout gear in my garage. And some weekends I get a little growly when I'm sacrificing a date night so the boys can enjoy a camp out. But, at the end of the day, I have decided to call a truce with this thing called Scouts. I am honored to have these boys be a part of my life and humbled that my dear husband has the opportunity to make a difference in theirs.

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