Home Again, Home Again …

Thorne - Scoutmaster Sykuta waves featuredTodd asked if I would be writing one more Jambo update tonight. I hadn’t planned on it, but it seems fitting–or a habit by now–to sit down at the keyboard at the end of the day and share some thoughts. The big difference: tonight’s shower was not “ambient” and I’m sitting at the computer in the comfort of my home rather than on my cot!

It IS good to be home. Sure, the hot water in the shower is nice, as is the comfort of my own bed (in which I briefly lied down before deciding to write this). It’s good to be back in familiar surroundings with familiar smells–other than several-day-old wet teenage boys. And it’s good to know that, if it were to rain tonight, I don’t have to worry about stepping out of my room and getting wet and muddy on the way to the bathroom. But most of all, it is good to be home with family whom we haven’t seen for 12 days. And I could see just how happy the guys’ families were tonight to have the boys home.

But at the same time, I’m missing my family of the past two weeks. During that time, the guys of Troop C140 were a family of sorts. We grew together as we traveled cross-country; as we shared in meals and shared in conversations–especially our thorns and roses; as we worked together to accomplish our tasks, whether they be setting up camp, cooking, cleaning up, or our day of service; and as we endured the challenges of weather, long walks, and schedule changes. Many new friendships were forged and many memories made. And like any family, we had some issues along the way, but we got over them–at least enough to get through the trip without too much fret.

I feel very blessed for having had the opportunity to spend the past 12 days with this group of guys. I learned a lot about the guys and about myself. I got to see some wonderful examples of what Scouting is all about. I learned how to be a better Scoutmaster–at least I hope so–not just with C140 but with my home troop as well. I got to know some really exceptional young men and some outstanding adult leaders, and these guys helped me to grow as a leader, as a Scouter, and as a person.

I cannot express just how thankful I am for my ASM team. When you bring together four different adults with different Scouting backgrounds and their own perspectives, personalities and leadership attitudes, it often makes for some difficult adjustments as expectations and perspectives don’t always fit together easily. In all our planning over the past year and in the time we spent together the past two weeks, I cannot recall a time that we really had any “storming” in our adult leadership team. Todd, Hank and Brendan each brought tremendous skills, knowledge and experience with them and we complemented each other very well. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to work with or for better friends to be made.

So while I’m glad to be home–very glad, indeed–it’s not without some sense of missing my C140 family. The good thing is that we all have the opportunity to maintain our new friendships as we continue in our Scouting adventures. There are more camp outs to be experienced, more high adventure to be undertaken, and there’s no reason why this has to be the last time that any of our group shares in the journey on the Scouting trail.

I look forward to seeing these young men continue on their paths toward Eagle. I hope this Jamboree experience has rekindled or intensified their passion for Scouting and all it offers. And as I told several boys tonight as we parted, I look forward to receiving announcements for Eagle Courts of Honor in the coming months and years.

Thanks to David Thorne and Mike Dimond, our Council and Staff Jamboree Coordinators, for giving me this opportunity and for all their assistance in making this trip possible. Thanks to the office staff at the Great Rivers Council office for all their work in processing registrations, ordering supplies, handling inquiries, and taking care of all those administrative details. Thanks to Don, our driver, for being so gracious, diligent and friendly in his responsibilities. And most importantly, thanks to the families of my C140 family who made it possible for their sons–and husbands–to share in this experience.

God bless you all. See you on the Scouting trail!

Yours in Scouting,

Mike Sykuta