The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 6, 2010

Scouting makes an impact

— Looking back on my experiences while in the Boy Scouts, it is amazing to see how the lessons and trials of Scouting had such a remarkable impact on me throughout my collegiate and professional careers.

At the time I don’t think I would have been able to take a step back and truly appreciate the impression it would have on me.

While many people unfamiliar with Scouting may only associate it with camping, knot tying and starting campfires with flint and steel, there are many, more important lessons learned from Scouting.

Two of the most important skills I learned relate to being a leader and working as a member of a team.

There has not been a single day in the past 9 years since completing my Scouting experience with Troop 27 in Enid I have not put these to use.

Learning these at an early age has allowed me to develop and tailor the skills to the situation at hand, whether it be working on a group project while in college, working with my coworkers or, simply stated, working with a group of people with a common goal in mind.

Outside of these two skills, there were many other important life lessons learned, including being a respectful citizen, managing my personal finances, the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle and being a good steward of the environment.

The list of skills, both tangible and intangible, could go on and on. Similar to the skills I learned, the memories created I believe are equally as important.

From waking up to snow covering your tent and ground to spending a summer week camping in the west Oklahoma heat, I am still able to vividly remember many of my troops outings and events.

And on these numerous trips, I was able to build friendships that have endured much longer than my years in Scouting.

And to that, I thank the Boy Scouts and congratulate them on 100 years of building men.

William Matthews,