Recently, I had the opportunity to travel back to Texas and visit with my parents. My visit was tied to speaking engagements in the area, one being at my alma mater, the University of North Texas (UNT). It’s hard to believe how fast time passes; but after graduating from UNT in 1999, I moved to Los Angeles and then to Memphis and had not stepped back on campus in 17 years. The campus has changed quite a bit and indeed, it was an honor to share lessons learned with hundreds of business students who reminded me of my younger self.
My parents joined me for the presentation. Afterwards, a student walked up to my parents and struck up a conversation. When they started talking about Boy Scouts (BSA), the young man mentioned he enjoyed going to the merit badge college in Weatherford, not knowing that my father, a longtime BSA volunteer, was the very person who had been directing that event for 23 years.
To say I’m proud of my parents is an understatement. Both of my parents have served the BSA organization for over 30 years. Out of the 117 Eagle Scouts from Troop 75, 78 have been earned during my father’s leadership; and many of these were long after my brother and I had gone off to college and started families of our own. My parents helped launch The Brazos Valley District Merit Badge College in 1994. Each year, 250 adult volunteers serve 1,250 youth from 98 different troops who come to learn and take steps closer to achieving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
Years ago, when my father first became Scoutmaster of Troop 75, he put in place a motto, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” He told the youth and parents that Scouting would provide young men with opportunities to grow and become an Eagle Scout, but in order to achieve that worthy goal, each boy must learn to take initiative and assume responsibility. When I look back at my parent’s legacy and that of my own, it comes down to taking action and realizing that if something needs to be done, I need to do it. It may take countless hours of work and sacrifice, but in the end, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”
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