Last Sunday as I was finishing my run through Tree Tops Park with my running buddy, I saw a neighbor standing in her garage doorway about to get her newspaper. Unfortunately the years had not been kind to her. She was walking with a walker and one eye was closed. Over the years I had seen her taking care of her house and she had always appeared quite friendly, but in her present condition she could no longer see me from where I ran along the road. Without thinking, I picked up the Sunday paper and quickly brought it to her. God bless you, she said, as I handed her the paper. I was>astonished by the sincerity of those words as I realized that it would have taken her quite some time to walk to the paper and pick it up in her condition. As I caught up with Steve, my running buddy, I commented that I had fulfilled my scouting good turn for the day and it wasn t even 8 a.m. He jokingly replied, Now you can be a jerk the rest of the day.
At first I laughed but the more I thought about what had transpired, the more I thought about what the meaning of what scout spirit really is. Scout spirit doesn t mean how many little old ladies you help across the street or pick up the Sunday paper for. It does not mean how many meetings or campouts you attend or how many merit badges you obtain. Scout spirit means that we live by the Scout Oath and Law twenty-four hours a day and uphold the pledge we make as scouts to hold ourselves up to a higher standard, or as the Hebrew National people say, We hold ourselves up to a higher authority. So don t just wait for the obvious situation such as the little old lady and the newspaper to exercise your scout spirit, but create your own situations to live the scouting life and practice scout spirit twenty-four hours a day,seven days a>week. By doing so we all answer to a higher authority.
-- Thanks to Marc Grey, SM Troop 317, Davie, Florida