Sunday, April 3, 2011

John Conard-Malley Eagle Court of Honor: Scoutmaster Remarks

Thank you Selectman Heavner, Commander Lanza, Mr. Case, and Coach Carabillo for joining us to celebrate a great accomplishment tonight. You all give a great deal to our community, to our country, and to Scouting. That, as always, is a great example to our scouts.

Kyle and Rich, congratulations to you! No scout ever gets to sit in John’s chair without very active love and support of his parents. One down, one to go!

I often talk about great campouts and “high adventure” trips an Eagle Scout has been on. I am not going to talk much tonight about John summiting Mt. Washington in winter 2009. I expect he will talk about that some. Except, I want to say how proud I am of you for doing that trip. Know that you making it through is one of the highlights of our time in scouting for Josh Gilbert, Mr. Bartholomew, and myself.

There are many ways to lead in this troop. John is not often the guy in front; he doesn’t call attention to himself. He is reliable and kind and sets an example for the other scouts.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu wrote:
“The best leader is one that people are barely aware of. The best leader puts great value in words… and says little. So that when his work is finished the people all say, “We did it ourselves!”

In John’s case. it would be better to say, “The best leader puts great value in movies… and says little.” John has been troop Historian for the past four years. As we’ve all sat and watched his movies from summer camp, troop campouts, and that 2009 Mt. Washington trip, we all said to ourselves, “We did it ourselves!”

Not everyone knows that John leads in Scouting in another way. The Patrol Leader Handbook says, “Good leaders accept leadership roles because they want to make a difference. Good leaders are servant leaders. They focus on helping others succeed.” Three years ago we asked him to serve on staff of National Youth Leader Training. This summer will be the third time he’s been invited back on staff – a great way to represent the troop and give back to scouting, and help the next generation of scouts develop into leaders.

Coach Carabillo talked about all the hard work that went into, and how much you learned from, your Eagle project. But that is only one part of being an Eagle. The bigger part is the example you set every week at troop meeting, on the campouts and service projects, at summer camp, and in your every day life. That is what people see and how they will form their impression of you and of what it means to be an Eagle Scout from Troop 76.

Finally, I mentioned John being kind – the 6th point of the Scout Law. It is another way of leading by example. Amelia Erhart said, “One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” John has always looked out for scouts who need it. It is one of the reasons we miss you at summer camp…besides the movies. And why we’ll miss you in the troop.

But I imagine we will get by. John, you have done a great recording the traditions of the troop. Even more important, you’ve done a great job upholding them.