When you think of an Oak tree, what comes to mind? Something, tall, strong, majestic? Oak trees, with all of their strength and enduring nature, have always been prized in construction. Going back to the 1800’s, before there was iron and steel, these trees were used to build ships. In the days of Napoleon, countries needed ships to explore and to defend their countries, so they always needed wood to build them. The problem with oak trees is that they take a long time to mature, grow, and become strong wood for shipbuilding. Countries would plant massive plots of trees for the purpose. And they all started with, an acorn.
So people would plant these acorns, and care for the trees, generation after generation. They would water the trees, prune them, cut back other brush that would take away important nutrients in the soil. But all of this was a long and slow process that took a lot of care. There are entire forests in countries like France and Sweden dedicated to these huge stands of oaks. By the time they were mature, there were no more wooden ships to build, but in 2019 when the cathedral of Notre Dame burned down, they harvested some of this wood to help rebuild.Your scouting journey can be a similar growth process. In Cub Scouts, we have planted the seed for a mighty oak. That tree is what you will contribute to the world as an adult. Maybe it will be in your profession, or where you volunteer your time, or in the family that you will raise. I hope that your contribution is as large as a mighty oak. But to get there, you will need to care for that tree. So be sure to ‘Do your best’ and to ‘Be prepared’. Do your duty to your country, to god, and to self. When the time comes to make your contribution to the world, you will be ready.