Anyone who answers the call to service in Scouting is extraordinary.
“Extra – Ordinary” – get it? Scouters do extra things.
Ordinary folks bring their children to a Scout meeting.
Extraordinary folks are already there to make the Scout meeting possible.
Ordinary folks pack their sons up and send them out camping.
Extraordinary folks pack themselves up and go camping along with them.
Ordinary folks enjoy a quiet evening at home or a round of golf or maybe even a night at the movies.
Extraordinary folks attend meetings.
They go to Crew meetings, Troop meetings, Pack meetings, Den meetings, Patrol meetings, Summer Camp meetings, Cub Day Camp meetings, High Adventure meetings, District meetings, Commissioner meetings, Executive committee meetings, Troop committee meetings, Pack committee meetings, and, for Pete’s sake, sub committee meetings.
And the paperwork! Good gracious the paperwork! They fill out membership applications and tour permits and advancement reports and health forms and fundraising forms, and form request forms, and permission slips, and blue cards, and certificates. They maintain websites and email lists and calendars and newsletters and agendas and meeting minutes.
They go to Roundtables, Pinewood Derbies, O.A. Weekends, Camporees, Jamborees, Webelos Weekends, Day Camps, Wood Badge sessions, Courts of Honor, Blue and Gold Banquets, Klondike Derbies, and First Aid Meets. They counsel Merit Badges, train their fellow Scouters, join a volunteer staff, serve on a Council Committee, serve on a District Committee: they go to Council Dinners, District Dinners and O.A. Banquets. They pick up Scouts, they drop off Scouts, they set up chairs, they take down chairs, they pick up the popcorn they huddle behind a table full of popcorn at cold storefront, they deliver the popcorn.
Extraordinary people show up early, they stay late and for some strange reason they love it.
Ordinary folks make sure their children are, happy, well educated and prepared for adulthood.
Extraordinary folks make sure that other people’s children are happy, well educated and prepared for adulthood.
Ordinary folks spend their money on a new suit of clothes, or a big plasma TV, or maybe even a slick two-seater sports car.
Extraordinary folks spend their money on a Scout uniform or a new sleeping bag or a tent or a backpack or Popsicle sticks and glitter and glue and pipe cleaners and magic markers. They pass up that slick two-seater and coax a beat up old minivan or pickup truck through another year because it will hold more gear or more Scouts or both.
Ordinary husbands and wives get to go out to dinner at places were there are no speakers presenting awards or asking for money or gangs of sugar-crazed Cub Scouts running around. They go away on romantic weekends and even have family vacations.
Extraordinary husbands and wives consider a Blue and Gold Banquet, a District Dinner, a Council Dinner. or an O.A. Banquet to be a ‘date’. Their weekend trips are anything but romantic and a family vacation usually involves a really, really big family that cooks over an open fire.
Extraordinary people aren’t motivated by a quest for glory or recognition but because they have a sense of community, of service and a great love for humanity.
Now there’s no shame in being ordinary. The world needs lots of good, steady, ordinary people to keep things moving along.
But the world would be a much less interesting place without extraordinary people who freely give themselves to a noble cause like Scouting.