The Silver-Haired Scouter

Why should I be an Eagle Scout?
was the question I asked that day.
All that work and time for a piece of cloth?
Why — there must be a better way!

What would they say if I failed a test?
If I wasn’t the best, what would they say?
What would they say if I wasn’t so great?
Who really cares, anyway?

I’ll bet I wasn’t the first young man with excuses
That silver-haired Scouter had seen.
He extended his hand for a squeeze on my neck
as he smiled at me with a gleam.

Why, it’s up to you!, he said.
Freedom means you get to choose
Between climbing the hill and winning the prize,
Or just sitting around waiting to lose!

You’ve got to decide if you’re going to hide
And blame others each time you fail,
Or if you are going to try, and shoot for the sky
As you start on your trip up the trail!

If you’ve been given a great gift of opportunity
(For our ancestors, a dream come true!)
Yet, though it is free, it means nothing you see.
Opportunity does nothing unless you do!

“Why choose to become an Eagle?” you say?
It means you have learned Lesson Number One:
To have a dream and a goal that comes from the soul
Ensures that work is begun!

Lesson Number Two says: Do what you can do!
Never give up on yourself or your dream!
Take steps each day as your dream guides the way
And you’ll be amazed how you build up steam!

People everywhere will know by your energy and glow.
That you are a man who has chosen TO BE!
They’ll help you to grow, teach you things you should know
To help make your dream a reality!

People who help you, as you climb up the trail,
Are really just part of a team,
Of friends and loved ones who work alongside
That’s the best part of achieving a dream!

So, make excuses, if you must, and wait for your fate,
But, remember this one thought, son,
You’re one of a kind, destined to be great!
It’s time your trip up the hill is begun!

He sauntered away to do whatever silver-haired Scouters do
And left me standing alone.
Now I give thanks each day, for his words and the way
He smiled… and drove his point home!

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