By Utah National Parks Council
Jul 31, 2013

“Mom, I’m a Changed Man”

Bruce “Rocky” Rhiddlehoover walked in the front door, after attending staff week at Tifie Scout Camp, and said, “Mom, I’m a changed man.”

Rocky CIT at Tifie

CIT Rocky Rhiddlehoover

It has been mentioned in many articles about Rocky and his love for Scouting. But that love was just an extension for his passion for service.

Rocky loved Tifie. He had spent time there camping with his Troop in 2012. He came home from the campout and told his mom that next year he was going to return as a Counselor in Training (CIT).

Rocky was excited when his letter arrived this year in the mail about the CIT opportunity at Tifie. And he did not take it for granted that he would receive the job. He worked hard to prepare for the interview – his first interview at 14 years old. He worried over his uniform to make sure it was perfect. The day of the interview, at the Council Scout Office, Rocky had an extra practice for a band concert at his middle school in Cedar Hills. The practice was from 3:00 – 4:00, his interview from 4:00 – 5:00 and then back to the school to continue with band at 6:00 p.m. So his mom rushed to the school to pick him up and headed to the Scout Office. Rocky had to change into his uniform in the back seat of the car.

When he got to the Scout Office there were many boys there also being interviewed. His mom waited nervously for Rocky to come out of his interview. Meanwhile, his mom overheard another Scout talking to his parents and telling them that he got the job as a CIT. So when Rocky came out his mom asked him if he had gotten the job. Rocky responded, “I don’t know. They said they wanted to offer me the job.  I did not understand what that meant. Did they mean they wanted to give me the job but couldn’t?” His mom told him that no, it meant he had the job.

Rocky was so excited that he was bouncing off the wall. He got back into the car and began changing back into his band uniform. “He was so happy,” his mom recalled. “I have never seen anyone so happy coming out of an interview.”

Rocky showed courage from the beginning at Tifie. Although he did not know anyone and it was his first time really being away from home, he was not afraid. He went for a week for staff training and he made friends.

After that experience, when Rocky would see a young boy struggling with being away from home, he would immediately reach out and act goofy to get the youth to laugh. He was always on the lookout for those needing support and encouragement.

He worked hard and told his mom that he had never worked harder in his life. Before the accident, he came home exhausted having spent extra time at camp to help out but was always willing to get up and give it 100% the next day. He was either early or on time. Rocky knew people depended on him and he never let them down.

He loved Tifie, loved people and loved being a Troop friend.

Scouting changes young boys into men of character, men of service and men who seek to do a good turn daily. Men who will one day have their own families and raise their children to be kind and serving.

William J. Bennett exemplified this in his poem, “The Boy We Want”:

A boy that is truthful and honest

And faithful and willing to work;

But we have not a place that we care to disgrace

With a boy that is ready to shirk.

Wanted – a boy you can tie to,

A boy that is trusty and true,

A boy that is good to old people,

And kind to the little ones too.

A boy that is nice to the home folks,

And pleasant to sister and brother,

A boy who will try when things go awry

To be helpful to father and mother.

These are the boys we depend on-

Our hope for the future, and then

Grave problems of state and the world’s work await

Such boys when they grow to be men. [1]

Rocky got it. He never gave his parents any trouble. He blossomed in Utah, he blossomed in scouting – he was always serving and looking out for others.

The family enjoyed participating in the Passover at Brigham Young University. And the afikomen was always a popular part of the dinner. Rocky won it each year and his uncle had to ransom it from Rocky. So his uncle asked Rocky what it would take to ransom the afikomen. Rocky responded that it would cost $1000 with the money going to the Brigham City Temple. It was quite a large sum and his uncle asked if he had to pay it all at one. Rocky responded no as long as the money was eventually paid. Rocky loved the Brigham City Temple.

Rocky was an example in scouting of how young boys are changed into men.

Author: Heidi Sanders | Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Scouts Council

[1] Bennett, W. J. (1993). The book of virtues. p. 196

 

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