A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Over the years I have received such invitations regularly. This invitation was really special.
This Court of Honor was given for two young women – the second and third girls in the city of Saint Paul to have achieved this rank. One of the scouts is Lucy Dosch, a member of Saint Matthew’s parish.
Only two percent of scouts achieve this rank. It is the highest advancement in scouting.
In becoming an Eagle Scout, the scout must undertake a project which leads to the betterment of the community.
Over the years as I have had the chance to speak with those preparing for the Eagle, I have reminded them that projects are a dime a dozen. The project is a vehicle through which a scout can demonstrate leadership. It is all about leadership!
The scout has an idea or plan for the betterment of the community. The scout is enthusiastic about this. Yet the scout is not the one who “does” the project. The challenge for the scout is to engage other people to undertake the project; to embrace the dream of the scout and become a partner with the scout in the project. These collaborators are to take ownership for the work; and they can take pride in the accomplishment.
A leader must have the dream, see what no one else sees. The leader propositions others to buy into the dream and bring their resources to the accomplishment of the dream.
Leaders are not “Lone Rangers”. They build relationships and they share the dream. They call others to the mission, the work, the project. They animate collaborators.
Scouting is a fine leadership academy. Scouting invites young people – boys and girls – to grow in the work of leadership.
Father Steve Adrian