When I was about five years old, I used to love looking at my oldest brother’s Cub Scout Book. I would read it as best as I could and enjoy the pictures. There was something about the artwork, that drew me to the activities they depicted. A few years later I was able to join Pack 685 in the Polaris District of the Sam Houston Area Council in the fall of 1972. Fast forward about thirty-five years when my son joined Pack 18 in Boerne at Saint Peter the Apostle Catholic Church and they were looking for an Assistant Cubmaster. I signed up and haven’t looked back! On to Cubmaster a few months later, Wood Badge, Roundtable Staff and Commissioner, Day Camp, Assistant Scoutmaster, Pack Trainer, a few District positions, Scoutmaster, OA, National Jamborees, Powder Horn, International Scouting, World Jamborees, Philmont, Northern Tier, The Summit, Sea Base, co-founding a Venturing Crew and Girls’ Troop, and on and on.
I like scouting! But why?
The people? Yes, that’s a big part of it. Birds of a feather flock together and I’ve found some life-long friendships in scouting.
The fun? Well, that goes without saying.
The Mission? Wait …
…the what? What Mission? There’s a proverb I usually quote for parents when recruiting scouts, Proverbs 22:6 that says: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This sums up an important philosophy for me, we should all do what we can to make sure that children grow up right. Before I knew about the Mission of the Boy Scouts of America, I believed in it – I lived it – and that is what drew me to scouts; even though I didn’t know it at the time. The Mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the scout oath and law. That’s why I like Scouting!
With Eagle Scout and Summit Award scouts for children, Benjamin and Ella who are still active in Scouting while in college, my wife Dianne and I continue to support scouting. When I was asked to be Council Commissioner a few years ago, I had to think about it – but not for long. What better way to help fulfill the Mission than representing all volunteers as the Chief Uniformed Volunteer? My broad range of experience has been handy in representing us as volunteers and our issues at the Board and Executive Committee levels. More importantly, my responsibility in seeing that Unit Service through the Unit Commissioners via the team of excellent District Commissioners creates great units where our Mission is accomplished. Becoming a Unit Commissioner to make sure that units operate as they should is an excellent opportunity for experienced Scouters who no longer have the responsibility of Unit Leadership or direct contact with the youth.
Commissioner Service and keeping our units strong is the foundation of scouting. I am happy to serve as your Council Commissioner and I welcome your experience on our team of Unit Commissioners.
Article by Lance Hirsch
Alamo Area Council BSA, Council Commissioner
Interested in learning more about the Commissioner’s Corps? Visit the Commissioner’s page, or email Commissioners@AlamoAreaBSA.org.