see There are many Walt Disney quotes I really like. Many have inspired me, many make me think, many set a direction I take as a leader.
http://paulfentonphotography.com/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=https://paulfentonphotography.com/ This one gave me a thought I recently shared with a large gathering of Scouts who, for the most part, came to America as refugees. Looking for a better life here and using Scouting to help in that search.
For Walt, a simple character – Mickey Mouse – built the foundation of what has become arguably the greatest entertainment empire ever. The drawing above is the oldest known drawing of Walt’s mouse.
I urged those Scouts to use Scouting to find their “mouse.”
One of the things Scouting helps many of us do, in my opinion better than any other youth activity, is to find that thing which provides a foundation for what you become in the future.
For Scouts, our mouse is very often a skill, behavior, or interest that guides our future. An attitude of service that calls us to devote our lives to service. A merit badge that leads us to a vocation or avocation. A skill that shapes our life, or influences another life. A concept such as Duty to God that leads us to ministry.
Scouting has such a broad, diverse program that helps a young person discover a variety of potential interests and skills at a very important age.
Most of us who were Scouts know what I am talking about. Perhaps you found your mouse as a Scout as I did. If not, I am sure you learned something you still use, and/or know someone who can trace what they do today back to Scouting.
I recall a couple of big examples.
Steven Speilberg who once said the Boy Scouts kicked off his Hollywood career when he earned the photography merit badge.
One of America’s great leaders, Robert Gates, said this about a junior leader training course he took at Philmont: “It was the only formal management course I’ve ever had in my life. Can you imagine a better experience for learning leadership? Being thirteen years old and figuring out how to get a bunch of kids your own age to do what you want them to do and what they may not necessarily want to do, and do it willingly.”
Of course there are more, many more. Last night I heard the story of a man here in Salt Lake who not only saved a life because of Scouting, and learned a skill – swimming – that got him a college scholarship, but found an interest through merit badges that led to his life’s work.
How about you?
Did you find your mouse in Scouting?
What are you doing to help Scouts find their mouse?