Unofficially, my Scouting career began just after my son was born. Like many new fathers, I started thinking about what my son might do in his life. He might play sports; he might learn music; he might like the outdoors. While driving home one day, I saw the local Boy Scout Service Center and I stopped in to find out what I could about the program. The lady sold me a Boy Scout Handbook and she told me to come back for a Scoutmaster's Handbook if I liked what I saw.
Reading the Boy Scout Handbook was an eye-opening experience. I was amazed that so many wonderful activities were crammed into such a small book. I was also dismayed that I never was a Boy Scout, that I never got to do all the wonderful things I was reading about.
Needless to say, I went back and got a copy of the Scoutmaster's Handbook. Reading it was a shock. I thought Scouting was just about camping and stuff - you know, the things I read about in the Boy Scout Handbook. Then I find out it's really about taking boys and shaping them into fine young men. Good morals, active citizenship, and physical fitness were the backbone of the Scouting method with educational opportunities thrown in that were often unavailable anywhere else.
Now I was convinced my son had to be a Scout. I was so thoroughly enchanted with the idea that I decided to join up and be a Scout leader when my son was still only two. That was in 1986 and I've been a Scouter ever since.
There aren't many positions in a Boy Scout troop I haven't held at one time or another. I've also been a Webelos leader and performed many jobs at the district and council level. Of all the positions I've held, I was at my best as District Roundtable Commissioner, three of the most memorable years of my Scouting career. However, at the time I write this I've been the Scoutmaster of Troop 108 for three years as well and I must admit this experience will probably eventually outstrip my Roundtable fun. The only reason it hasn't is because the job is much harder to master even with 18 years in other positions under my belt.