Breaking News Bar
posted: 4/9/2014 3:39 PM

Boy Scouts still make a difference

Success - Article sent! close
  • A picture of Eagle Scout Jeremy WhetstoneJeff Whetstone

    A picture of Eagle Scout Jeremy WhetstoneJeff Whetstone

Jeff Whetstone

Today in our culture we have forgot to focus on the values which help to hold a community together. The values like:

• Trustworthy,

• Loyal,

• Helpful,

• Friendly,

• Courteous,

• Kind,

• Obedient,

• Cheerful,

• Thrifty,

• Brave,

• Clean,

• and Reverent.

These are values taught to our young men by the Boy Scouts for over 100 years.

The Boy Scouts have gotten a lot of bad press and been in the center of controversy over the last few years making headlines in the news that were not exactly complimentary. In our society today with the scandals in business, government and in ever aspect of our culture it seems the original values that the Scouts emulated have been lost.

I would disagree and I would like to share the story of just one boy, a Boy Scout in Troop 309 in Lake Zurich, IL. Realize also that he is not special, he is one of many boys made of the same character. I believe these young men and young women like them provide hope for a better, kinder nation and world.

He received his Eagle Scout Award on March 30, 2014.

I wanted to share a small excerpt of some of the things that were spoken about Jeremy at his Eagle Court of Honor.

Jeremy Whetstone is an Eagle Scout that almost wasn't.

It was in September of 2007 and Jeremy was approaching his 12th birthday.

Jeremy had not been a Cub Scout or Webelo. Jeremy wasn't interested in being a Boy Scout, it wasn't cool. He thought Boy Scouts were all nerds and all they did was sell popcorn in front of Walmart. But Jeremy's dad had been an Eagle Scout and knew what great experiences and opportunities that Boy Scouts offers. So Jeremy was told he would participate for 90 days in Boy Scouts whether he liked it or not and then if he still didn't like the Scouts he could quit.

Well its now been over 6 years and today we are gather to recognize Jeremy for achievement of Eagle Scout.

So what happen from September of 2007 to today March 30, 2014?

As millions of other boys have over the last century in Scouting, its was camping, knots, knifes and poking at fires that got Jeremy's attention.

In today's society there are very few opportunities for a boy to camp, canoe, start a fire, cook a meal over a fire, burn a meal over a fire, and spill the meal over the fire accidently. All of which Jeremy has had the opportunity to experience.

Scouting allowed Jeremy to get out and ride mountain bikes, sleep overnight in a submarine, learn to canoe and pitch a tent in a rain/lighting storm, with 30 mile an hour winds in the dark.

Jeremy moved through the ranks learning first aid skills, how to tie knots, but more importantly he learned how to care for others, serve others and lead.

Over the last several years I and others have observed the Jeremy grow from a boy to a young man who has modeled the ideals of Scouting which are frankly something that has almost been forgotten in today's World.

Let me give you just a few examples:

Just yesterday the Scout master of Troop 309 shared that when his son and he attended their first Scout meeting they stood awkwardly at the door not knowing who to talk to or what to do. Jeremy was the first Scout to greet them. Jeremy took the son and immediately got him involved and introduced him to the other boys and showed him the ropes. Jeremy continued to watch over Michael over the next few months and helped him and his father connect and feel welcome. The father shared that Jeremy was the key factor and responsible for he becoming the Scout Master of Troop 309 today and his son on the way to achieve Eagle.

Another story was when the troop was attending summer camp at Camp Napawan. One afternoon a huge storm came out of nowhere with high winds, driving rain and tornado watch and warnings in the area of the camp. This was after the summer that another tornado hit a Boy Scout Camp in Iowa, killing four teenage scouts and injuring 4 dozen. The sirens went off and everyone was told to run for shelter. At that time the adult leaders weren't present. During all the chaos and confusion Jeremy (14 years old at the time) kept his head and organized the boys mostly aging from 11 to 13 yrs old and made sure they all got to shelter. Afterwards the parents all shared with me (his father) how much they admired him and that his character and actions went well beyond this single event.

During Jeremy's time in Scouting he grew over 2 feet in physical height. But I believe he grew twice as tall in the eyes of others.

I would like to share one last experience. Jeremy has been elected to several Scout positions including the top leadership position of Senior Patrol Leader. Leadership positions in Scouting are not appointed by adults but earned by being chosen by your fellow Scouts. Jeremy ran for the position of Senior Patrol Leader and won. As a part of his responsibilities he appoints 3 boys of his choosing to be Assistant Patrol Leaders. Two of the boys Jeremy chose were obvious choices because of their experience, rank and popularity and close friendship to Jeremy. Jeremy's choice for the third boy over many of his buddies surprised everyone. This boy was a bit of a loner and didn't really wasn't a close friend. When Jeremy's dad asked about his choice on the way home that night Jeremy shared that "he believed the boy needed the position and it would give him a chance to be more accepted and known by the troop" which completely floored his dad.

During Jeremy's Eagle Court of honor guests were invited to sign in a guest register. After the event Jeremy's parents noticed that the first page of the register was written this paragraph,

" Great Job! Thank you for all the hard work you put into our troop and thank you for being the friendliest scout on my first day. If you hadn't said Hi! I probably wouldn't have ended up joing. Thank You," a Scout in Troop 309.