Very little blogging has been going on because I have family members visiting from Texas. We have been busy preparing for and celebrating a big event for Second Son. He is eighteen and a senior in high school so one would think the big event is his high school graduation. While that is a huge event, we will not dive into the graduation festivities for another three weeks. This weekend’s milestone was his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
He had completed the requirements for this, the highest rank in Boy Scouts, several months ago. However, we waited until Oldest Son (also an Eagle Scout) was home from college to mark the occasion. Both of my older boys were older teens when they achieved the rank of Eagle. The Court of Honor to mark this accomplishment became a time to commemorate their passage from being boys to being men. I certainly felt this yesterday as I watched him stand so straight and tall on the stage. A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave clean and reverent. What more could we ask?
We are blessed to have a Boy Scout troop affiliated with our parish and a parochial vicar who has committed himself to being the Troop Chaplain. He is there to give the boys a blessing as they embark on a campout and celebrate Mass for them when they return. Catholicism is woven into the fiber of the troop. The instruction in the Faith my boys received when they earned their Ad Altar Dei award was the best formal catechesis they have ever received.
Troops like this do not just happen. It takes adults committed to their Faith and committed to the ideals of Scouting who are willing to generously give of their time and talents. Moms are welcome in scouting. They go camping, teach merit badge skills, serve as part of the troop administration, and generally cajole, prod and nudge their boys forward. I often think I have earned my nagging mommy merit badge a few times by now. But the real strength of scouting is the opportunity for boys to be led by men. In the case of our troop, they are led by strong Catholic men. Men who model their Faith whether they are in the pew or on the trail.
In three weeks we will celebrate another passage. Another set of relatives will be visiting and we will joyfully mark Second Son’s high school graduation. When my son walks across the stage to receive his diploma it will be a man walking across the stage. A young man to be sure. But a man nonetheless. A strong Catholic young man.