I had the privilege of attending Troop 523 of Smithfield’s court of honor the other night where five young men were awarded rank advancements, merit badges and the coveted mile swim award. The ceremony was a typical court of honor with a nervous youth conducting the meeting, a flag ceremony, and moms embarrassing their son(s) while taking hundreds of pictures as they proudly cheer for them.
As I sat there, each youth grinned from ear to ear with a distinct glow of joy and pride for their enduring accomplishments from their hard work. The troop had accomplished most of their awards over the summer at Camp New Fork near the Wind Rivers Mountain Range in Wyoming. As the meeting camp to a close, the Scoutmaster, concluded by talking about their experience at camp. He told the parents that in just one week of camp, each of the youth became more of a young man and a member of a team while working together to overcome obstacles and disagreements, all while fulfilling responsibilities together.
To hear stories they’ve experienced and see the awards these boys received reiterates the importance of the Scouting program in our world today. Scouting provides our youth experiences that
they will not have anywhere else. I am grateful for the Scouting program and I congratulate Troop 523 for their accomplishments!