The current economic downturn and challenges of raising a family in the 21st century has an impact on young boys. Family separations, divorces, a parent's loss of employment, and the transition from a boy to a young adult are faced by boys across America. I am proud to help many of those boys in Fairbanks, Alaska become productive citizens as adults. Being a Boy Scout Troop Scoutmaster provides me an opportunity to lend a hand, share an encouraging word, and yes, give necessary advice. It is a year-round volunteer position with many rewards.
This past summer our troop spent a week at summer camp and a week- long camping adventure in addition to monthly weekend camping trips. Our weekly meetings give the boys some time to practice their leadership skills and blow off some steam playing games and learning outdoor skills with their fellow scouts. Our scouts have helped take an empty railroad depot and turn into a meeting place for the troop as well as local bands, a cub scout pack, and charity groups. They also planted and maintained the flower and garden beds at the depot. With donated cedar lumber they made flower boxes and filled them with plants. The flower boxes were anonymously given to homes in the neighborhood. Slowly but surely they are turning an empty building into a neighborhood asset. Their next community service project will be to repair cracks and potholes in local bike trails.
I hesitated to share my volunteer efforts with Scouting but knowing the goals of Scouting, I had to. The growing needs of young boys need our full attention. Thank you for listening and take some time to help a young boy.