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Blackburn imparts vision for leadership to Boy Scouts

Carole Robinson

Rep. Jeremy Durham, Cong. Marsha Blackburn, Troop & Crew 1 Eagle Scout Hartley Phinney and Sen. Jack Johnson at the Boy Scout 4th Annual Williamson County Patron Breakfast.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to foster the development of boys into responsible, contributing members of society with values based on those found in the scout oath and law.

Scouting also instills skills that help its members grow into strong leaders. Leadership was the theme at the Natchez Trace District of the Middle Tennessee Council’s fourth annual Patron’s Breakfast Monday at Lexus of Nashville in Cool Springs. The council used the breakfast as an opportunity to thank some of its supporters, to introduce them to a scout who benefited from their support and hear some words about leadership from keynote speaker, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Blackburn imparted her vision of leadership, which, she said, comes from self respect and self awareness.

“It’s important to recognize the elements of your awareness and use that for good – to change the world,” she said. “Leaders have the ability to spell out a vision and pull people together to achieve goals and vision … Leaders know why they do what they do … Leaders work for people; they don’t have people work for them … Leadership is not as it appears, but as it performs.”

Also speaking to the group was 15-year old Eagle Scout, Hartley Phinney, among the youngest scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. A strong achiever by nature, Phinney said scouting helped him to learn to set goals.

After attaining Eagle Scout status, Phinney set his sights on another division of scouting – Venture Scouts; a safe, high-adventure program that provides experiences to help young people mature and prepare for adulthood.

“In Boy Scouts I learned the basic orienteering skills, in venturing, I get to use those skills,” Phinney said. “Venturing is youth led. I learned the best way to get a good job done.”

Venturing teaches leadership and leading by serving and it taught Phinney in teamwork the best outcome is achieved when the best skilled and the least skilled are teamed up to tackle a task.

“They both learn,” he said.

Leaders rise up other leaders by improving the skills of both the best and the least through mentoring and training.

The Natchez Trace District is doing just that with almost 4,000 area youth with the assistance of 1,200 adult volunteers serving more than 10,000 service hours with the youth.

Posted on: 5/2/2013


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