Sunday, October 12, 2014

Scoutmaster's minute from Fred Collins

Dear Editor,

Dear readers, it has been some years since I walked the Scout trails with the troops of Scouts, but yet, those inspiring times still linger in one’s mind. Those lessons are still prevalent today. The following lesson I just pulled out of my backpack. Perhaps it may be of some interest to you. I call it “stepping stones.” 

A troop of Boy Scouts were walking through a woods one day, when the boy in the lead tripped over a stone and fell. His shoes were heavy, so any injury to his toes healed with the ending of momentary pain. The ground was soft and matted with decaying leaves which cushioned his fall. He brushed himself off, as relieved comrades began to laugh, and the hike continued.

A little later the group came to a small brook that barred their way. It wasn’t deep. The boys could have waded through, but that would have meant trampling along in soaked shoes. They thought of taking off their shoes and socks and crossing in their bare feet, but the water was cold and there were no towels to dry themselves. 

At this point the lad who tripped over the stone a short distance back thought of something. Lying near at hand was a loose stone. Tossed into the brook it made one stepping stone. Running back along the trail with a companion, he found the stone he had stumbled over. The two of them brought it back. This gave them the second stepping stone, and the troop crossed the brook with dry feet. 

This incident might have taught all the boys a most important lesson in life. You can accomplish almost anything when you convert stumbling stones into stepping stones. The stumbling stones are concealed everywhere. Few can escape them. (Some of them are) unfriendly persons, illness, the lack of career opportunity, the inability to continue formal education, even such a thing as not being as quick mentally as someone else.

The individual who finds out why some people are unfriendly to him and corrects his own shortcomings first, who uses illness to guide him to healthier living; who builds the job he can get into the career he wants, who make the most of practical and informal education, who make up in sustained effort what he lacks in quickness of wit, he is certain to find life a challenge, an opportunity and a great adventure. (For he knows how to use stumbling stones, that lad, onward to success.)

Scoutmaster’s Minute
Fred Collins

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