Sunday, July 24, 2005

It Takes a Village...

Last night I just witnessed my first Eagle Scout Court of Honor. My, I was greatly impressed with the whole affair. It was about an hour long and very well planned and executed. I was there at the request of my former student, Mackenzie Carmichael and his parents. He was one of my best students in my last year of teaching in Claremont. His mother, Chris was probably by far, my best ever "room mother". She made my retirement year a true "swan song". Her son, a fifth grader, I believe, was a top student and one of the "leads" in our class musical "Really Rosie". Mack, as we called him, I think, was "Pierre- the boy who didn't care".

Wow! Has he gone on to show he really does "CARE"! He has earned the highest honor in scouting the "Silver Eagle". I think I heard that, at the least, it involves 21 merit badges. His eagle projects were with the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens; one of my most favorite places in Claremont. It holds special memories even more so now. You see, Betty and I raised our boys just behind it. We went there often. I walked and lost weight there. I meditated there. One of my classes won the KCET Environmental Award there. We heard summer concerts there. We took field trips there. I was going to be a docent there when I retired...And my final "retirement farewell party" was held there at the Woody Woodpecker Outdoor Shelter. Mack's project had to do with an 80 foot path to a special sculpture exhibit. I must go and see it soon.

Mack's caring also includes a "black belt" in Karate, membership in the "Chamber Singers" at CHS ( an elite group) and BMX- ing. You can see he has had a well-rounded education and I am so proud to be just a small part of that ie. giving him the "first tastes" of music and drama.

However, as the title indicates, it takes a village... I think this was the title of Hilary Clinton's book on what it takes to "raise our children" our future. The "village" was there last night too. The mayor pro tem from Claremont spoke. A representative of the County of San Bernardino's 4th District's Supervisor spoke. The leading "brother" or deacon of their church spoke. And many scout leaders spoke along with Mack's father, his troop leader. They all had wonderful things to say about Mack and his potential as a leader in our community. The only one who didn't speak was his mom. However, you could see evidence of her tremendous efforts behind the scene(s). She, I'm sure, drove him to all his responsibilities and "motivated" him to do so many things just by her example. I learned, from one of the speeches, that George Washington's mother was also instrumental in his successful life choices...keeping him from going to sea. What a mom! There were testimonies from his fellow scouts and former eagles. Bob Trout of the Botanic Gardens also weighed in on the importance of his project. Mentors were named. Many former "eagle scouts" were mentioned, including several astronauts and political leaders of our Country.

The 12 laws of being a boy scout were emphasized, starting with "Be Prepared"...A thirteenth was added by Mack's dad: "Be Respectful" to God, Country, Family, and Self. He is well on his way now to becoming a "Golden Eagle" the next rank or step in scouting as he leads and helps others to attain "The Eagle". I spoke with him afterwards and he confirmed that he wants to be a teacher and a pilot. These are very appropriate and lofty goals. I can only wish him all the best in these endeavors. To quote a previous blog here: "Continue to Pay it Forward" Bob


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