Scout week begins with Scout Sunday and lasts through Saturday, Scout Sabbath. During this week Scouting will celebrate its 105th anniversary.
When I consider how many times I have raised my hand in the scout sign and pledged to do my duty to God and my country, I felt it was about time I put my body where my mouth is, and volunteered to give the children's message at our two worship services.
This takes a lot of courage on my part because every time I have to speak in front of a group, I want to run as fast as I can in the other direction. "Panic" would be the right word here. In this case, there is nothing like a security blanket. I know I have showed this quilt before but I put it up again because it is very meaningful to me. I felt my friends were there with me offering their support.
I told the kids that the symbol was chosen for several reasons. The three points stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath, duty too God and country, helping other people, and keeping oneself fit in body, mind, and spirit.
Since this is the symbol for North on the mariner's compass, I showed them my compass and how you can figure out all the directions if you know which way is North and how living by the Scout Law, a Scout is able to point the right way in life.
I compared this to the teachings in the Bible and the words of Jesus that show us the path to take and the way to live. All the while, those friends on my quilt were helping me along. When I looked at those children I was reminded of my own kids, two of whom had left me comments while I was sleeping and I had read with such a warm feeling before leaving home. Our children are treasures beyond measure and worth every effort spent in their behalf.
The quilt has signatures from Scouts and Scouters all over the world, I think at least 60 countries and all of the United States.
The emblem is embroidered with a single thread of embroidery cotton.
BSA and The Scout Association of Japan were the most complicated.
The center piece is the World Scout Emblem. Quilted around it is "Scouting is a World of Friends".
When I returned home and opened my computer, there was a message from a long-time friend and Scouter. He had written about a picture I had posted on facebook of the NASA Astronaut, Mike Fossum, an Eagle Scout, who had come to Tokyo only a few weeks ago and wanted to meet with Scouts in Tokyo. Many years ago, John Glenn and his crew had come to Tokyo and done the same thing and my friend remembered that ... about Scouts "giving back". My friend is now giving back too and I hope that today I have made a step in that direction as well.