Is it worth my time?
By Ken Bostwick
As a parent of two active boys (one soon to be Lion Cub), I often find myself evaluating what is worth our time as a family. Every parent knows that in today’s world there is a plethora of options; each one pleading for your family’s attention. We are charged to distinguish which activities provide value and which ones are truly just a waste of time. Please consider my experience as you ponder:
After finishing my engineering degree at BYU, I was passionate to become a Naval Nuclear Power Officer (a Nuke), and work with submariners. Unique to navy nukes, every potential officer must sit down 1-on-1 with the Navy’s Nuclear Power Director, a four-star Admiral. The Navy is so serious about who is allowed to drive a Submarine that they require the guy at the very top to screen every single officer coming in. I was terrified.
My interview did not start well. Somehow the Admiral found all of my application flaws in about 30 seconds. He asked two pointed questions, without even looking up from his papers, to which I responded the best I could, but the ship was sinking fast. Then, maybe as an act of mercy, or maybe he was just bored, he asked what I like to do in my free time. I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Sir, I love Boy Scouts. I volunteer with a local troop.” For the first time in the interview the Admiral looked up from his papers, stared me strait in the eye and asked, “Are you an Eagle Scout?” I responded with a smile, “Yes Sir, I am.” The Admiral immediately closed my file and said “That is all I need to know, you are dismissed.” I was sworn in to the US Navy ten minutes later.
Putting aside the fact that I literally can attribute my career to scouting, to me scouting is priceless. Fellow church members often ask me whether scouting is still “worth it.” Despite what the social media thinktank may distribute, an Eagle Scout is still revered in our communities as honest, trustworthy, and courageous. Yes, our program is changing but, the core values are constant. These are the values I need my boys to learn as they progress to become good fathers, husbands, missionaries, and community leaders. This is why we choose scouting.