The Boy Scouts of America’s purpose is simple: Build the character and integrity of America’s youth and prepare them to become responsible adults. Or as better defined in the Scout Oath and Law, “responsible adults who are leaders and who participate in society.”
As a young man, I was a boy scout and can say with great pride I support the Boy Scouts of America, as does our company, Massey Services. As a company, we are aligned with the organization’s values of honesty, mutual respect for others and consistency, and are in full agreement with an entity whose oath and laws are founded on trustworthiness, loyalty, bravery and values that put community and family first.
As stated earlier, the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The organization is committed to giving young Americans the tools, experiences, knowledge and faith to make the world a better place. This mission may be lofty, but with our help, it is attainable.
There are many reasons scouting is such a worthy movement and critically important for the times in which we live. These include the benefits of volunteering, youth who are engaged, the importance of tradition and, in particular, the tradition of scouting and the impact it has made on our country, and ultimately in creating heroes.
As we look at history, we find many of our national heroes are boy scouts. Many scouts have gone on to become champions and astronauts, and five have become U.S. presidents. All of these key points are important to the scouting movement, but I want to focus on the question of why heroes are important.
Scouting and heroism go hand in hand. Scouts have always looked up to role models they consider heroes, and they have been heroes as well. That is no accident. Having heroes is an important step on the road to becoming one. Since the space program began, more than half of all American astronauts had scouting backgrounds. In fact, 11 of the 12 men who walked on the moon were scouts. Every scout promises to be brave, and these men showed us what bravery really is.
Whatever kind of life inspires you, you can find a hero who was a boy scout. Do you like sports? So did scouts like Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, Bill Bradley and Nolan Ryan. Do you feel the power of words? So did a scout named Walter Cronkite. Entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Sam Walton and J.W. Marriott built campfires with us before they built empires in the business world. Scouting gives you the confidence to perform in the spotlight, as Harrison Ford, Jimmy Stewart and Steven Spielberg learned first-hand.
But not all heroes become famous.
In the February 2018 edition of Scouts in Action, three young men — Gregg Wilcox, Nathan Crisco and Grant Wuensch — were featured after rescuing a fellow scout who fell 70 feet onto jagged rocks while hiking.
We spend our lives wondering what we would do if faced with a moment like this. I believe a scout knows the answer a little better than the rest of us. Some of us never face that defining crisis. Is there a chance to be a hero without it? There is.
I share the benefits of scouting so you can encourage others to explore the many opportunities offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Helping youth make the most of themselves is a high calling. For more than 100 years, parents, friends and community leaders in towns across this country have answered that call, and they have made scouting what it is today. When you give your time and money to help preserve and enrich the scouting experience for youth here in Central Florida, you are a hero, too.
Harvey L. Massey is an industry leader with more than 54 years of experience in the service business in public and privately owned companies. He will be honored at the 2018 Boy Scouts of America Metro Orlando Golden Eagle Dinner.