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Sue's Views -- Timeless value of Scouts

Anyone who knows me understands that mornings are not my thing. Never have been. I have struggled with this through the years at many jobs -- cleaning cabins at a resort, working at a bakery, having a newborn, even doing the sign-on shift at the radio station. I was sure I had been utterly evil in a past life and having to be cheerful and care for others before 9 a.m. was my penance. Undoubtedly, my parents, spouse and children have had similar thoughts having to deal with my night owl ways as well, but let's not ask them for details.

Anyway, you can imagine I was not the first one at a 7 a.m. breakfast Tuesday. But I did get there in a close enough time frame and was one of a handful of folks treated to that rare glimpse of a young person recognizing that they have success and that they've had help achieving it.

The breakfast was organized in support of Boy Scouting. Of course, the goal was to raise money. But according to Jim Stratton, District Executive for the Northern Lights Council, they also are looking for partners for things such as the Exploring program, which helps young men learn about a career, and Learning for Life, which supports classroom lessons.

Of course, there are lots of people and organizations who have also asked for my time and money. Why Scouting?

Well, that's where the conversation got interesting. Tim Busian and Ryan Donovan, both Eagle Scouts and former members of Troop 467, told us what Scouting has meant for them.

Tim earned his Eagle Scout in 1995. He said that through Scouting, he was able to learn more about himself, what he likes and what he doesn't like. "I would never have known some of this without Boy Scouts and it has defined what I like to do and brought me to where I am."

Okay, parents, how much would you give to have your child stand up and say that they have come to appreciate doing things they didn't like because it helped them become a better person? Honestly, I wanted to drag Tim to my house to repeat that for my son, who has in just these brief first few weeks of summer, told me dozens of times that I am ruining his life by making him do things he hates.

Alas, my son has inherited my internal clock and he wouldn't even be close to conscious at 7:30 a.m. How's that for ironic?

Ryan Donovan became an Eagle Scout in 1994. And he said that the values that he learned while earning the rank of Eagle Scout -- being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent -- are the same skills that employers are looking for in their workers. He has also found that it is life experience that defines a person more than age. Donovan also admitted that young people need to have someone besides their parents helping them learn that, because sometimes when you're a teenager, you don't listen to parents.

Oh, how I envied Tim and Ryan's parents, listening to their children be the kind of adults that we all hope for from the moment they are born.

The good news is that there is room for more in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts -- more youth, more adults, more community.

Here are a few other thing about me that aren't a secret -- I don't camp, fish or shoot things. But even with these limitations, I have been able to help out in a very small way with the activities of scouting.

Dr. Pat Burke is the local Scoutmaster and Steve Dudding is the Cub Scout leader. Help is needed year round for big and small projects. Ask them how you can help our community's young people make us all proud.