“Be Prepared” is the Scout Motto. If you care enough about something, you’ll prepare. If you don’t care, you won’t bother.
In the first part of this series I told a story about Scout Sunday. I had good intentions, but it really didn’t matter because I didn’t prepare.
For instance; think how it reflects on yourself and your Patrol if you go to a Board of Review without any preparation at all.
A Board of Review isn’t supposed to be a test, but there will be questions right?
Think about the ‘why’ behind the rank requirements and why each one is important. Imagine the questions the board may ask you and prepare answers. It will only take a few minutes to write your answers down, you may even try rehearsing them in a mirror. Think them through from every possible angle. Be Prepared!
It’s your choice; only you can make it. Chose to Prepare.
As an observer at many Scout events, I can assure you that what you may consider insignificant about your appearance does make a big difference!
For the ‘Scout Sunday’, I didn’t prepare what I was going to say, I stayed up late, got up late, and rushed out of the house without thinking about how I looked.
What should I have done to prepare? I should have had plenty of sleep the night before and got up early enough to eat breakfast. Those things would have helped me stay focused and relaxed. Instead, I was fuzzy and stressed out.
It would have required just a few minutes to make sure my uniform is complete, clean, and ironed – a simple thing that sends a very clear message.
I should have made sure I was clean, my hair was neat, and nails were trimmed. A Scout is Clean!
Get in the habit of double checking and looking as sharp as possible. A short checklist can help you remember.
You can choose whether you’ll feel confident or stressed-out.
If you’ve prepared beforehand, you can go into any situation with confidence. Maybe it’s a Board of review, or presenting an Eagle project proposal, or leading a Court of Honor – you’ll be more stressed and nervous if you don’t prepare. It’s your choice. If you’re prepared, you can speak with confidence and respect.
When you speak, speak clearly; don’t mumble! When you speak clearly and directly, people listen, you may feel nervous but they won’t be able to tell. Don’t worry if you need to think about a question. It’s better to have a short pause while you go over it in your mind than to give a mixed-up answer. Remember to use good etiquette; say “Yes Sir” and “Yes Ma’am” where applicable.
Finally, don’t stress if you make a mistake. Those will happen. Just smile and move on.
Don’t forget to smile!
You can choose to prepare, you can choose the messages you send to others, you can choose to be confident or to feel stressed.
It comes down to these three things:
- Review; rehearse, and prepare what you need to know or what you have to say.
- Get well-rested, don’t skip a meal, and be clean and sharply-dressed.
- Smile, be confident, be respectful, and speak as directly and as clearly as possible.
When I joined Scouting, I started out not really caring too much about how others saw me. After all, just about everywhere people would say, “Just be yourself! It doesn’t matter what others think.”
I took that to mean I should look and act like I don’t care about anything. But that wasn’t the real me. I do care about others! I wanted to be a Scout that the younger Scouts would look up to. I wanted to make a difference in my Troop and community by setting a good example and a high standard.
To send the message “I don’t care” with my appearance and attitude was just me trying to conform to what some thought was ‘cool’. That wasn’t the real me; I’m the independent type.
It’s kinda funny, I ended up being the least conventional and most nonconformist by being the guy who cared enough about Scouting and the world around me to set a high standard for myself by the way I talked, acted, and dressed.
You, too, can choose the messages you send to others. You can choose to prepare so that when people look at you, they see a Scout!
Tell me about Courts of Honor, Boards of Review, or other formal events you’ve been through! How prepared were you? What could you have done better?