03.27.18

Midland Daily News: Peters shares the value of Scouting: Local Boy Scouts offer 12,000 hours of community service

Calling Boy Scouts an “absolutely vital organization,” Sen. Gary Peters visited Midland Monday as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Great Lakes Bay Region Boy Scout breakfast.

“One of the most important roles Boy Scouts play in our communities is providing strong education and citizen leadership. Scouting teaches you that even a small action in your life can have a big impact on the community,” said the Democratic U.S. Senator before a roomful of people at the Great Hall.

Peters spoke from experience. At 11, he became a member of Troop 60 in Rochester, Mich. and earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1972.

“My experiences in Boy Scouts helped shape who I am today,” he said. “My time in Scouting taught me the value of service and the need to take responsibility. It’s a code of values I still use every day."

Peters' talk wasn’t all about memories, but concentrated on the values learned from Scouting and the impact Scouts have on their communities.

"I know how powerful Boy Scouts can be in a person’s life, because I’m honored to say, ‘I live it,’” Peters said. “My experiences are not unique. Boys Scouts of all ranks learn important practical skills.”

Boy Scouts of the Great Lakes Bay Region are an example of that impact. During 2017, the organization achieved nearly 12,000 hours of community service and aided 1,253 at-risk youth join Boy Scouts.

“Service to others is the cornerstone of our American way. It is absolutely essential to our democracy,” Peters said. “Boy Scouts help broaden (their own) perspective by connecting them with peers from all walks of life.”

During the last year, area scouts earned 3,100 merit badges. One of those badges, map reading, has become an essential part of the curriculum at the U.S. Naval Academy. As more and more people relying on GPS technology so prevalent, the Naval Academy has added celestial navigation.

“They are concerned that if an adversary found a way to block the ship’s communication and navigation systems, it may be impossible to operate at sea,” Peters said. “Now, graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy are trained with the same navigational skills that Boy Scouts have always learned to be absolutely essential.”


By:  John Kennett
Source: Midland Daily News