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By: Jack Sloan
My name is Jack Sloan and I am a member of Christ Church Cranbrook but am also the Senior Patrol Leader or SPL of Troop 1005, which is based out of our church. On behalf of Troop 1005, I want to thank all the members of the parish for your continued support of our Troop. It truly means the world to us that we get to have a space to come into every week to have meetings, and that you support us through our wreath sales. I get asked a lot by people I know, especially other kids my age at my school, why do you do Scouts? And when I go to answer, I’m sort of at a loss for words. Obviously I like it, I love exploring the outdoors and using skills I’ve learned to make living outside comfortable. But there’s always this deeper reason that I’ve never been able to quite articulate.
Around 10 years ago, when I was a lot younger, a lot shorter, and a lot cuter (according to mom), I started on my Scouting journey by getting into Cub Scouts. And to be honest for the first few years it was just something I did. I liked it, but I never really cared deeply about it. That changed when I joined Troop 1005. It was right after the pandemic lifted and I was able to go to summer camp for the first time.
Now, for anyone in the Troop who went to that summer camp will tell you that it was the most awful, wet, horrible week ever. The first two nights it rained constantly. When I woke up one morning, my back was soaked with water that had seeped into the tent. Coming home from that summer camp was probably the best thing that happened there. And yet, looking back, I remember it fondly. It was not fun at all in the moment, but now, it’s a memory I treasure. The fact that we all went through something that was really hard made me feel like I belonged and brought me a lot closer to a lot of the guys.
After that experience, Scouts became a much bigger part of me. It was now something that I felt that it was impacting my life for the better, by teaching me skills and giving me friendships. Scouts was not something I did, I identified as a Scout. And when I did, Scouting gave me so much back.
After the pandemic, my family stopped going to church as often. We were busy with sports or Scouting or frankly, we liked sleeping in. And I lost my identification as a Christian. It felt like I went to church sometimes, or I believe in God. But I didn’t have that same connection. At the last summer camp I went on we had a non-denominational service for the entire camp. And it was there that I changed. Just like that rainy, wet summer camp made me hunger for more campouts and experiences, this service made me want to really dig into my relationship with Christ. So I did. I couldn’t necessarily make it to more services, but I could take time out of my day to pray, or read a couple of interesting chapters of the Gospel. And while I can’t say that I have fully come to a place I’m happy with, I can say with confidence that I am a Christian and that I want God in my life.
Scouting embodies a lot of things, including duty to God. Scouting is what truly helped me to actively try to do my duty to God and connect with Him, and for that I am very grateful. So when people ask me “why do you do Scouts?” the answer is because it helps me on my journey of helping others and connecting God. Thank you.
Do you know a young person who might be interested in scouting? If you want to get involved with Troop 1005, they’d love to have you! Contact Graham Sloan at email@example.com or Albie Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org