I had a dream once.
It was to make my Troop the perfect Scout Troop. I just joined Scouting and I was excited about the whole thing. I knew if I worked hard enough, I could become a leader and iron out all the wrinkles that I observed around me.
Six crazy years later, I still have that dream, and it is still just a dream.
I’ve learned a lot through Scouting so far, but this is one thing that strikes me as particularly important and applicable to all other areas of life: no one can simply decide to make a dream a reality. No one can wake up in the morning and decide to have a good Scout Troop or a bad one. We cannot choose our destination – we can only choose the next place we’re going to place our foot.
Think about a Troop you’ve seen that runs a very poor Scouting program. None of the youth leaders or Scoutmasters of that Troop got up in the morning and said to themselvs, “I’m going to ditch all the traditional principles of Scouting.” or “I’m going to drop expectations as low as I can.”. They didn’t choose their destination, but they did choose all those little steps which led up to it. Maybe it was just more convient at the time or maybe someone gave them bad advice.
Dreams are wonderful things! They give us hope; they inspire us; they guide our decisions… but unless all the little decisions are made right, then we won’t ever get closer to that dream.
When I was a Patrol Leader, I dreamed of having the perfect Patrol. Now, as an adult leader, I still dream of having the perfect Troop. I wouldn’t trade that dream for anything! Sometimes, though, I got so caught up in the dream that I forgot how important the little decisions were.
I can now add another item to the long list of life lessons Scouting has helped teach me: the little things matter; they are the real decisions! When a sledge hammer comes down and shatters a dream into thousands of little pieces, we can look closer and see that it was only made up of thousands of little decisions.
Little decisions – Are they strong? Are they right? I try to make mine better every day.