Our Scouting Family
On a dark cloudy night storms rolled into a summer camp. As the storms raged throughout the night the participants and staff sprang into action when thunderstorms grew into tornados. In the aftermath four youth were found dead, they were my brothers . . . and yours.
On the night of Wednesday June 11th the scouting family experienced a tragic loss. Four youth died in the wake of the storms crossing Iowa at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch and over 90 other scouts were involved.
I want to take this week to remind all of us of the importance of the scouting family. From helping each other look for lost keys in the dark to being a pillar of strength in tragic times our scouting family can be one of the greatest resources we have.
Though I knew none of these individuals personally I am sure there are participants and/or staff here that did. I know if I received a call that friends or family members of mine had been in such an event I would devastated. So I encourage any one who is aware of people involved with the Iowa tragedy to reach out a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, or merely be someone to listen.
I see Philmont as my summer home and participants as out of town family coming to visit. Let us treat these "out of town" guests as long lost cousins we have been waiting all summer to see.
Our scouting family much like our families at home have shared many of the same experiences that we have throughout life. They have reached for the same goals, struggled through the same troubles, and really have walked a mile (or 50) in each others shoes. These facets of the scouting family allow us to foster a bond that can help all of us through the good and the bad.
So as the summer continues remember that when tragedy strikes the same people you were mad at last week for eating your Oreos will being those we lean on.
To the boys who acted as men that night as their peers where in danger I applaud you .It is easy to study leadership and recite ideals but to put them into action under pressure takes character that will last you a lifetime. A Scout is brave.
Tawny Slaughter, Scout Leader from Troop 121, Bloomington, IN
Published in the PhilNews Issue 3, June 20th 2008