Letter: Thank you, Leaders of Troop 7
A centennial celebration began in 2010 that most of you may not have realized. The Boy Scouts of America celebrated 100 years of organization and dedication to the young men of America.
I would like to recognize the adult leaders of Elburn’s Troop 7 for the outstanding service they provide to more than 25 boys in the community on an annual basis. For 87 years strong, Troop 7 has thrived, and cultivated many successful young men. Not that long ago, I was among those boys who regularly met at Elburn’s Congregational Church with the troop. It was there, and at a variety of High Adventure camps with my fellow scouts, that I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life.
The men and women who volunteered as my leaders then, exactly as they do now, helped shape who I am today by being living examples of the Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” I’ve ingrained these words into my own work as an adult, and I can’t help but wonder, what might my life have been without scouting?
Scouting teaches boys about the value of heritage, as well as leadership skills. Boys are motivated by achievement, moving up the many different ranks from Tenderfoot, to Star, to Eagle; every one of them earned. Their character is tested on a weekly basis, and more often than not, that Scout Law comes into play when it’s time to make a decision. And the impact on a scout’s potential in life is greatly enhanced, not only by the work they’ve put forth to earn merit badges, but by the experiences they have and learn when guided by their adult leaders.
Elburn Troop 7 has been one of Fox Valley’s best at graduating boys to the rank of Eagle. In 2008, only 2 percent of all the boys in Scouting rose to the rank of Eagle. In the six years that I was a member of Troop 7, nine of my fellow scouts earned that highest rank. If you interviewed those nine, I guarantee you that each would say their Eagle Award would not have been earned without the presence, dedication and thrust of the leaders. Not only do the former and current leaders of our troop sacrifice an evening a week to the boys of the Elburn community, but also their own personal vacation days, as well as sometimes hundreds to thousands of dollars in personal finances, in order to help fund trips, food and expenses for Eagle project materials that aren’t donated.
If you have a son who is entering fifth grade, and you are looking for new ways to challenge, thrill, and teach him how to not only be responsible and respectful, but motivated and a “go getter,” then I offer the Boys Scouts of America, and Troop 7’s services to you.
Get your son (and yourself) involved in scouting. The bond your family will share through the experiences is indescribable. I thank God that my own dad was one of the leaders of Troop 7. Without his example and push, I’d not be the adult I am today.
Elburn’s scouting heritage is alive and well, thanks to the amazing men and women who have stepped up to lead. Everyone’s invited to Troop 7’s annual pancake breakfast on the Saturday morning of Elburn Days at Lion’s Park. Come meet the young men, and their leaders, who are shaping the next leaders of America. I applaud their service to Elburn and our country.
Troop 7 Eagle Scout (’89)