Advancing through Scouting and Life

Think about when your son marched down the aisle at the beginning of last week’s Court of Honor. Did you take a good look at him? Did he look different somehow – heavier, taller, and older than you imagined? But, as he stood there, you realized that the difference in him is more than muscle and bone. You may even have a momentary fear that he does not need you as much as he once did and that he is closer to his friends than to you, his parents.

Now is the time to think back – think of the many times you played, worked, celebrated, and suffered with him. Reflect on the support, encouragement, and time you provided to help him overcome the obstacles he has faced to this point. Think of the things he has been able to accomplish in his young life, and what he may be capable of in the future. Because, whatever you have done, great or small, positive or negative, has had an effect on him.

Then, think ahead to the time a few years from now when he will be walking down the aisle at other ceremonies; his own Eagle ceremony; his high school or college graduation; or maybe even his wedding. Look ahead and try to visualize him as an adult, a citizen, and even scarier, as a parent.

Please reaffirm your pledge to yourself and to your son, that you will continue to help, support, encourage and challenge him. Motivate him to do more than “just enough” to get by. Challenge him to do his best and not settle for anything less. Teach him to set goals and then figure out how to achieve them. Let him know that it is okay to fail and that we usually learn more through failure than success. Remind your son that the best things in life never come easy, but are worth the effort that it takes to achieve them. Just as you have done in the past to allow him to arrive at where he is today.

Be there to celebrate his accomplishments and achievements, support him in the pursuit of his goals, get him over the humps in the road, and help him set the course he will follow for the rest of his life.

Remember, today is but one stepping stone on the road to tomorrow.

Evan Smith

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