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By:    On: 2013-06-19

This has been a great sports week here in Louisville. It started with the Louisville Cardinals winning the NCAA basketball championship and ended with the premier of “42,” a biopic about Jackie Robinson in which a Louisvillian, Pee Wee Reese, plays an important supporting role.

So what does that all have to do with Scouting? Those stories—like stories that appear on the sports page nearly every day—are great sources for Scoutmaster minutes. They offer larger-than-life examples of values in action, and they immediately attract the attention of boys who are often more into sports than they are into school.

Take the story of Pee Wee Reese, who played with Jackie Robinson on the Brooklyn Dodgers. When hostile crowds were hurling epithets at Robinson before one game in 1947, Reese walked out to where Robinson was standing at first base and put his arm around his friend, pretty much silencing the crowd. “I remember Jackie talking about Pee Wee’s gesture the day it happened,” Robinson’s widow, Rachel, told the New York Times in 2005. “It came as such a relief to him, that a teammate and the captain of the team would go out of his way in such a public fashion to express friendship.”

What a great story to illustrate that a Scout is friendly (or brave, depending on the emphasis you want your Scoutmaster minute to have).

Even if you’re not a sports fan, take a moment this week to dip into the sports section. Your Scouts will thank you.

Republished with permission of Mark Ray at

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