Daniel Drees shared this reflection as part of a Sunday morning service by our high school youth on “From Day-Dreams to Life Dreams”, inspired by the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
A number of the Fellowship’s children and youth participate in Scouting, and we are pleased to support them in obtaining, for example, their “UU badge”. The UUFP is also proud to host Chapter 58 of Navigators USA.
I am a boy scout. Every six months my Boy Scout troop has an election, and my fellow boy scouts and I elect the leaders of our troop. A few months ago we had such an election and no one wanted to be Troop Chaplain. I decided to stand up and tell everyone I would take the position. Right after we had finished electing everyone, I walked up to my Dad and he asked me, “Did you just say you’ll be chaplain?” I saw this as an opportunity that this would help me get to see how different religions are treated in Boy Scouts, and I also hoped to use this opportunity to look at Christianity more closely. It was something I could’ve day-dreamed about for the rest of my life, but I decided I would take the chance and see where it would take me.
Now if you know anything about Boy Scouts they tend to be run by very capable caring men that also usually subscribe to the Christian religion. My troop scoutmaster is a man named Mr. Horton who definitely fits this stereotype. He did not know a single thing about my religion and just assumed everyone in my troop was Christian. He is a man I respect very much, but when it comes to religion he seems to forget that there are people that don’t subscribe to his religion. When he first talked to me about why I stood up for the job, I told him I wanted to get more experience in a spiritual way and I wanted to bring more experiences with other religions to the troop. He didn’t quite understand, but he accepted it and I went forward to do my duties.
As I wrote all the speeches I had to write and wrote all the prayers, I added in different influences from other religions like a Native American prayer or a prayer for an Eagle Court of Honor for a Jewish boy that wanted me to talk about his religion. It was an eye-opening experience and I will be sad when it ends, but I had a good run.
A little while ago Mr. Horton got out of the hospital from a blood problem, and he was told by some other scout leaders that I had put him in a prayer asking for his safe recovery. He told me all about how he was grateful for how I had introduced other religions to the troop and how I was one of the best Chaplains we had ever had. He also told me he is noticing that not everyone in the troop is Christian, and he wants me to be an example on how the job of troop Chaplain should be run from now on.
I’m very happy in how everything has turned out, and if it wasn’t for standing up and taking a chance I wouldn’t have had all these great experience these past few months. So take a chance, and it may turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.