In January of this year my wife Debbie and I were in Washington, D.C., where we met a former member of the Maine state legislature and aide to President Reagan.
While driving from the Washington Monument toward the White House, he directed our attention to a monument dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America. He asked who among our group had achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and then volunteered it had been his experience in Maine job applicants who were Eagle Scouts were “always given the job.” At age 60 he then recited the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. He had been an Eagle Scout and was still quite proud of that accomplishment.
I believe in my life Scouting laid a strong foundation for the development of moral character, the achievement of goals and the process of learning new and varied skills. Scouting also gave me the opportunity to belong to a group of peers, a strong need for all of us, and particularly so in those years of maturation and development.
Gangs prey on youths for this very reason, and tragically a gang allegiance will produce nothing of lasting value for the individual or for the community. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to pursue merit badges and not notches on a gun.
I have been blessed by many things in my life and know were it not for the unselfish commitment of scouting volunteers like Bill Burcham, Harold Kip Wells and many others, my life would be remarkably different. I am reminded Scouting taught me camping skills which turned into many years of great family camping trips and leadership opportunities provided a head start in college and then in business. I am confident much of who I am today likely initiated on my road to Eagle.
As director of a medical foundation for nearly 24 years now, I have hired many people. Eagle Scouts may not have been “always given the job” like in Maine, but they sure have always been given an extra measure of consideration and respect. I too am proud to be an Eagle.
Northwest Oklahoma Osteopathic Foundation