I mentioned last week that, while I was in India, I met with the Boy Scout and Girl Guide State Chief there. During our discussion, he asked how I was involved in Scouts, and I told him about how I was a Scoutmaster and a Girl Scout leader. Then, he asked me what I do for a living, and I told him that I was an IT Architect and Team Leader for IBM. He paused for a minute, which made me wonder what he was thinking, and then he said simply, “So, you are a leader both in Scouting and outside of Scouting, that’s excellent.” That statement stuck in my mind for some reason, as an important point, not just for me, but for all Scouts and Scouters. If you are a leader in Scouts, then that is great. But, if it stops there, then you’re missing the point. Remember to take what you learn in Scouts and apply to everything else you do. Be a leader in your school, provide leadership to your family and friends, be a leader in sports you play, and look for leadership opportunities when you start to work. Do you best to be a leader both in Scouting and outside of Scouting, and you will find it most excellent.
Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages and trying to figure out how to apply that to the turbulent teenage years of your child or other teenagers that you know? The first half of this books reviews the Five Love Languages and touches on how special considerations for teenagers. Then, the second half of the book really explains how to apply all of that to relate to teenagers.
While visiting Bangalore, India on business, I saw a Cricket game, Hindu temples, Bangalore Palace, Botanical Gardens, and a Catholic basilica. I experienced different driving, different shopping, and definitely different food. However, the highlight of my trip was visiting the local Indian Boy Scout and Girl Guide headquarters.
I learned that there are some differences with Scouting in India:
- Boy Scouts and Girl Guides are all part of the same organization and earn the same awards. They also have something like Venture Crew, but they call them Rovers.
- They are well connected with the government. Their second highest award (like our Life rank) is called the governor award and is presented by the state governor. Their highest award (like our Eagle rank) is called the president award because it is actually presented by the president of India.
I confirmed that there are also some similarities:
- Wood Badge is still the highest level of adult training.
- They share the same ideals that we live out daily in our Scout Oath and Law.
When I arrived, the State Chief gave me a warm welcome, as we shared coffee and cookies and talked about Scouting here and there. He proved that the brotherhood of Scouting extends well beyond the boundaries of the United States and across the world. In a desire to share a little bit of that brotherhood with you, I brought you each a patch and strip worn by all of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in India.