Friday, January 30, 2009

Mike Rowe on Becoming An Eagle Scout

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs Pens a letter of encouragement to scout losing steam. From here.


Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It's a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing - The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.

Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock.

I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn't want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.”

Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I've made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, staring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them. But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done.

Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.

Good Luck,

Now for the (ta dah!) Major Announcement: Mike has written the attached letter and will personalize and sign it for any Eagle Scout out there who requests it. All you have to do is mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Eagle Scout Letter, Pilgrim Films and Television, 6180 Laurel Canyon Blvd., #350, No. Hollywood, CA 91606. Please allow 12+ weeks for Mike to fill it out, sign it and get it in the mail to you. And folks - this is an offer, a nice thing, a volunteer deal Mike wants to do for you - please don't complain if it takes a while to get to you, OK? It'll get handled as quickly as possible.

Letter HERE in Mike's Forums.

Court of Honor Last Night

Last night we held another Court of Honor, our troop's second since starting back up in February 2008. (long story).

4 of our scouts have now advanced to First Class, including one of the youngest scouts in the troop who is not yet 12. They were also awarded several merit badges from our last MB Fair, and those being worked on themselves.

We had a good turn out with several committee members, parents, and the pastor from the charter organization. We also had our DE in attendance to observe our Friends of Scouting Campaign kick off.

I'm very proud of the progress these boys are making - and after some parents seeing the progress being made by some boys and not others, they appear more motivated to help out and help their boys tow the line!

It takes a lot of parent involvement for a scout to succeed.

Our Troop

So I wanted to share a little blurb about the composition of our troop:

1) Chartered by United Methodist Church
2) Troop Committee Chair is LDS
3) Scoutmaster is LDS
4) 3 Scouts are LDS, 6 are Lutheran, 3 are Catholic.

Get Off My Honor: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America

Amazing book by Hans Zeiger. Must read for all people involved in Boy Scouts, and citizens of the US in general..

Product Description
Hans Zeiger may represent the hope for the future. He is not the typical postmodern young twenty something. You don't see his type portrayed on The Real World on MTV. But he isn't alone. He is part of a movement that is alive and well-and thriving.

Nineteen-year-old Hans is a Boy Scout. More specifically, he is an Eagle Scout. And he is tired of the attack on the Boy Scouts by those who would like to see it assimilated into the politically correct culture that dominates many of our nation's institutions. Get Off My Honor! analyzes a half-century of events leading up to the present struggle for the soul of the Boy Scouts. Hans shows how those who wish to destroy the scouts are attacking it for what it represents at its core-Christian values. With biting commentary, Zeiger paints a picture in which the Boy Scouts have been spat upon and cursed by its critics. Groups as diverse as the United Way, ecumenical church denominations, unions, educational and medical organiztions, judges, members of the Clinton administration, and left-wing activists have labeled the Boy Scouts as bigots and homophobes. Hans Zeiger is ready to let the world know the truth about scouting and the truth behind those who wish to destroy it.