Thursday, March 11, 2010


“I wasn’t a very good scout when I was a kid,” his letter started. “In fact, I was a very bad one. Even though I enjoyed the meetings, activities and camps, I also stole money from the dues box – ten cents per week per kid, candy from the quartermaster’s canteen, and cheated to get the few merit badges I wore. No one ever caught me and I never confessed, until now.”

I wondered where this was going.

He continued. “Time passed and I grew into adulthood. I got married and had four children. Three sons and one daughter. As they reached scout age, I realized that the Scouts had taught me more than I deserved.” Here he enumerated many of the things he had learned and put into practice as an adult, husband and father.

“I encouraged my children to become active in Scouting,” his letter said. “And they all did very well and while I am still ashamed to say I am not proud of my years as a Scout, I am very proud of my children’s years as Scouts.” Here he enumerated the scores of merit badges his kids had earned, the right way, along with the many life lessons they were putting into practice.

His letter ended: “Enclosed please find a check for $1,000. I am sorry for having stolen and cheated during my early years but I am very, very thankful for the life lessons learned and practiced, even if it took me years after leaving the Scouts to learn them.”

I wanted to share this story with my readers because it illustrates a simple moral. Sometimes the seeds we plant in one season will produce fruits that others will eat in another season.

The Scouting Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent”

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