This blog is by guest writer Sean Deese. It is sponsored by Boy Scouts of Northeast Florida
Scouting has become our family connection. My 16yr old son, Nathan has been in Scouting for 10 years and as a Life Scout, is rapidly approaching the rank of Eagle Scout. I have been his Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and Tent Buddy. The campouts, hikes, and pinewood derby cars are cherished memories, enshrined while I watched him grow and develop into a young man.
My want to support my son has evolved into a passion to help any Scouts who cross my path. As a Scoutmaster, I've watched many Scouts earn the respect and acceptance of the Troop. The opportunity for a Scout in Middle School to talk with and learn from a High School Scout is important for the younger boys' confidence and self-control. The interaction also develops the older Scout's patience and leadership. The boys learn to rely on each other and quickly learn accountability if they let down their peers.
The 12 timeless points of the Scout Law are as important today as they were 109 years ago, when the Scouts were created. A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. The type of boys who stay with Scouts tend to be different than your average teenager. They look you in the eye, they speak with confidence, they roll up their sleeves and do what's needed to solve important issues; they are mature, high character youths with a noble purpose and strong resolve. It has been an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with directly developing the next generation of leaders.
I often thought that, while a group of boys leading boys was vital to their development, the Scout program, process, and hands-on outdoor knowledge was not gender specific. I found myself wishing my daughter could be exposed to the same high quality program as my son. On February 1st, 2019, this dream became a reality for my 11yr old daughter, Brooke, and thousands of other girls who had wished for the same program as their brothers and friends, and who wanted an opportunity to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout; a title synonymous with success. Many girls had already been present for Troop meetings, excursions, and Community Service projects, so they knew what they were getting into and steadfastly signed up on day one.
While my wife, Nikki Deese, has had a hand in Nathan's Scouting, she will take an even more direct hand in Brooke's. Nikki has signed on as the Assistant Scoutmaster, turning Troop 465 into a Husband and Wife lead program. To be quite honest, there hasn't been a challenge we couldn't successfully resolve when my wife and I work together. We are immensely excited and abuzz with ideas, strategies, and energy to expend on such a historical adventure. Brooke is excited and talking nonstop about all the campouts and pioneering a new path forward in the future of BSA.
As Nathan's time as a Scout comes to an end and Brooke's just begins, I am thrilled to witness such an historic crossroads within my own family. I couldn't be more proud of the effort and dedication my son has shown on his journey. I am equally excited to see the interest and zeal my daughter is already showing for her fledgling path. Scouting has been such a blessing to my family.
In short, Scouting has ensured that I have been witness to some of the most pivotal moments in my children's young lives. I imagine a day when my wife and I can reflect upon our chaotic days in the storm of rearing children, and fondly remember when the seeds of success were planted in our own two Scouts.