Congratulations on another excellent summer season. We had a great year at Camp Conestoga. Now as things wind down at camp, we look forward to NOAC and the August OA Weekend. These are huge events. Events that no one person could ever run on their own.
In the Order of the Arrow, we are all leaders of something. It may be a lodge committee, a troop patrol, younger brothers and sisters, or perhaps something in our community. Each of us were called into the OA for our leadership skills and we all passed the Ordeal without flinching, showing that we have what it takes to be a leader.
How many of you have been in charge of something important and then had an emergency that called you away? Or, perhaps suddenly found that your responsibilities to Scouting were in conflict with your responsibilities to your family, church, job, or school work? Did you have to sacrifice one for the other? Did you have to say “sorry, I just can’t do that”? Or, did you find a way to meet all of your responsibilities?
A good leader is a person that knows there is a difference between having to do a job and having to make sure a job gets done. He knows that it’s not his job to do every task. His job is to persuade people to help him get those tasks done. Leading by example is an excellent technique. But if nobody is following behind you, then you’re doing it wrong.
I apologize to everybody for not being able to attend the June OA Weekend. And, I’d like to thank Jim Crace as well as all of the other advisers for filling in for me in my unexpected absence. When an unexpected family emergency came up, I was able to focus on my obligations to my family without worrying in excess about the June weekend, because I knew I had an excellent team of advisers in place to back me up.
I’d like to ask the leaders in our lodge to think back to January and recall all the goals they set for this year. The year is more than half over now, and it is time to reflect on how are you doing with those goals. Are there things you’ve given up on? Did you lessen your expectations to make it easier to meet your goals? Did you come up with any great ideas since then and then decided to shelve them because you just didn’t have enough time? On the eve of the biggest weekend of the year, do you find yourself running out of steam? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I have one final question for you: In a lodge of over 900 members, how many people do you have helping you?
Your challenge is to meet your obligations to your family, your religion, your school, your unit, and your lodge. Priorities are very important. They help us understand that school work is more important than Scouting. Priorities help us figure out which obligations and responsibilities we should take on in the first place. Meeting a high priority obligation does not forgive us for failing to meet a lower priority obligation that we have accepted.
In whatever tasks come your way, lead. Use strength in numbers to achieve more than than what you had to accomplish instead of less. Once you have done that, you will have met the challenge.