His friends come. But really, they’ve been coming for years, roasting hot dogs and learning values. His Scoutmaster is nearby. But, he’s really been standing by the boy through his crazy teens. He helped him struggle through the tough merit badges and the tough high school rituals.
Then, the boy places an eagle pin near his mama’s heart. She embedded the same valor for Scouting on his heart many years before.
Like this boy, others in Scouting are surrounded. They have a network of people who are “valentines” in the traditional sense. The word originally was defined a special friend or sweetheart.
I believe Valentine’s Day isn’t just a time of disappointment for single individuals or cheesy teen romance. Rather, it commemorates love–not just the romantic love between couples, but the love of family, friends, and humankind.
True love occurs when individuals serve on another, have empathy, and compassion. It is the love Christ had for all mankind.
Said Baden Powell, “The Spirit of Love is after all, the Spirit of God working within you.”
Scouting encompasses this real idea of love. This is the love that compels a boy to reach out and help an elder woman. This is the love that drives a Scout leader to let Scouts take charge of a situation. This is the love that pushes a Scout mom through all the planning and preparation for her boy’s Scouting and life.
I encourage you to remind your Scout about the value of Valentine’s Day. Remind your Scout that the spirit of Valentine’s is really the spirit of God. Help him make Valentine’s Day an occasion to reach out in loving service towards others. Teach him about all the people who love him and help him achieve his Scouting goals.
Then, “do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).
Today, show your Scout this love. Continue to show him this love everyday. Show patience in his weaknesses. Show mercy towards his errors. Then, hopefully, he will understand the true definition of ‘Valentine’.
Author: Michelle Carpenter | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council.