What I Learned, What I Hope For

This week, I was remising on the day I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Man, all my years of scouting have been meaningful and worth-while, as I learned how to live in this world through the outdoors, leadership, and every possible thing a boy wishes he had and learned by being a part of the scouting program. However, this past week, I should say, I visited Camp Mattatuck, the place where I grew up, and spent my summers there with my boy scout troop, and great friends. While there are a million scouts who visit this camp regularly, I never condone them for doing that. However, every so often, something extra-ordinary or something occurs, and it requires a sacrifice. I am sorry, because that is a reason for why I have not visited this camp in a few years that I have called home. The reason was going for my BSA Lifeguard re-certification, so I could keep my employment at Woodtick Recreation.
So after long thought and discussion at night, I realized that I hoped for the chance to leave a legacy to a great camp such as Mattatuck, and that was what I learned to do.
Yes, I spent one week away from parents earning merit badges, learning outdoor skills, and destroyed my body hiking and living in the woods each summer, until I earned Eagle Scout rank. Yes, I enjoyed myself and friends going to the trading post for some candy, soda and other awesome things we did, when I was a young scout and a camper here; but, more importantly, I learned some very important lessons during my re-certification training on the waterfront.
1. Cherish every moment you have with people, because you never know when you will see them again, or if you will ever see them again.
2. Savor every experience! For scouting is about experience; and, being a scout is about creating these experiences that people who are not involved in scouting will never get anywhere else.
3.  Make memories; they will last forever.
The entire week, being able to talk to the new waterfront staff at camp (a big change to when I was a camper there), was emotional. I laughed with them about similar experiences, I cried, I smiled with them, and I cried again. As with Camp Mattatuck, there were scouts who were in my same exact place I was when I was a camper here, and their fathers were campers at Camp Mattatuck, in addition to their grandfathers crossing through this camp. Regardless of age, everyone had the same stories to tell or new ones to tell, so we could remember them. Everyone experienced so many of the same things I experienced as a camper, and the only part that was different, were the names of the people!
As a boy scout, now Eagle Scout, in the scouting program, we learned to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. We were taught to be prepared, and to do a good turn daily. We learned how to turn ourselves from boys into men. We learned to give 100% all the time, and realized that our actions affected everyone around us. Yes, we learned to survive in the outdoors-but, we also learned to live as better people.
When I remised the moments I spent at Camp Mattatuck while doing the training I needed, I was not sure where to begin thinking. During my week spent there, I remembered one specific thing: that I learned so much as a boy scout at Camp Mattatuck, and as a scout in the Boy Scouts of America program; and, there is simply no way to thank Mr. Chris Moon and the instructors I had at Camp for all they taught me. There is also no way I could pay back my two scoutmasters, Mr. Dressel and Mr. Cyr, for how much they have inspired me to be who I am in this point in my life, and where I am heading (to big and better things!). However, if I can create a place in college, the lives of all my old, present and future friends, my future, and the world where MY friends and people I know can experience what I experienced, even though they were not a cub scout or boy scout, then perhaps that is a way I can thank them all.
That is what I learned. I hoped to do just that; and, I have, and will continue to do just that. You see, it is, has always been, and will always be about the scouts! Nothing else matters more than the Boy Scouts of America. I was proud to be a part this organization and that camp I love.
As an Eagle Scout, to the members of Camp Mattatuck and my scoutmasters that have been the world to me, I am now able to give back, because of you. That is what I learned, and what I hoped for.
I know I have accomplished this as a proud camper at Camp Mattatuck, and as a proud boy scout, now Eagle Scout.

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