Ask the average person who their friends are or how many people they know, and they will likely rattle off a list of names. Ask about the list, and one discovers probably better than half of them are acquaintances, not friends. The word “friend” has lost its meaning in our modern world. We are likely to list someone we had a cup of coffee with or chatted with in line at a grocery store as someone we “know.” That is “meeting” someone, not “knowing” them. It takes a long time to really know someone, and it also takes work and commitment to invest in being a friend with someone.
With so much to do and so many distractions, unfortunately many of us give up quickly the moment we get busy or they have a bad day and are not so FUN. All relationships, including friendship, require work. But it is the effort and the “not so FUN days” that define us as friends. Our Scouts know it is the character they demonstrate in the dark of night that counts as much as the character they demonstrate when others might be watching.
When we say our Scouts know each other and we know our members, we mean it. Truly getting to know someone takes more than a day. Our Team Counselors and Counselors go through a comprehensive screening process before they are admitted to our Scout Programs.
Then, we get to know them as people as well as we can. Getting to know those in Scout Programs is both the FUN and safe thing to do.
We get to know our parents as well. We encourage our parents to come with their children to team meetings whenever possible. Get to know the people who are in charge of your children. Get to know the spirit of the team. Get to know the other parents and Scouts. Your skills and know how may be needed and we can all help support and protect each other by being part of each other’s lives.
On camping trips, movie nights, trips to the zoo, and service projects our Scouts choose to participate in, they have the opportunity to participate with other Scouts with whom they have something in common. Bonds of friendship begun in our Scout Programs reach beyond our Scout Programs into the daily life of our Scouts.
We instill in our Scouts the skill of fostering friendship. We want our Scouts to help each other succeed and have FUN now, and for the rest of their lives. Although it is getting much rarer, there are people who have been friends with someone for 20 years, who can pick up the phone and call, just to talk or to lend support. We want our Scouts to have the competitive advantage and the personal support they can get from having lifelong friends. Our Scout Programs provide one of the few places that allow youth to make good friends while young and keep them. The friendships our Scouts form bridge communities, cities, states, countries, and years. Our Scouts give and receive support to each other that will help them for a lifetime.