Boy Scouts Troop 312 builds character through community service
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018
LAPLACE — It doesn’t take long to pick out the Boy Scouts in a high school classroom, according to St. Joan of Arc Troop 312 leader Tom Boesen.
He said Boy Scouts stand out in the confidence they project, their calmness in stressful situations and the relationships they build with peers.
Focused on service, Troop 312 St. Joan of Arc scouts Luke Ringe, Devon Rucker, Dominic Boesen, Peyton Madere, Antonio Williams and Mason Pusey volunteered this month to help Allied Express staff move equipment to the store’s new location in LaPlace.
Service is an integral part of Scouting, according to Boesen, and Boy Scouts law and oath puts a strong emphasis on community responsibility. Aside from volunteering with Allied Express, Troop 312 scouts, who range in ages 11 to 18, have taken the initiative to leave areas utilized for campouts better than they found them.
Clearing overgrown trails at Tickfaw State Park and shoveling seaweed to preserve Big Munson Island in the Florida Keys are two ways Scouts have given back.
Locally, Boy Scouts have helped with information distribution by passing out fliers detailing evacuation routes in case of emergency.
Boesen said Troop 312 has supported St. Charles Catholic High School renovations and Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center in LaPlace. Each year, scouts participate in the St. Joan of Arc Easter vigil by lighting the ceremonial fire.
Luke, Devon and Dominic, sophomores at St. Charles Catholic High School, have been part of Boy Scouts since elementary school and have become accustomed to service.
“You just get used to helping out after a while, and it becomes second nature,” Devon said. “It’s something you want to do more often the more you do it.”
Devon said volunteering helps spread the word and mission of Boy Scouts through positive acts, and Dominic said it is important for Scouts to stay on their best behavior when out in the community.
“The more you help people, the more the organization you belong to gains respect,” Dominic said. “Our behavior reflects onto our troop and all the activities we do.”
With dreams of joining the Air Force after high school, Luke said Scouting helps him build vital leadership values.
Attending specialized camps such as National Youth Leadership Training, held at Camp Salmon in Mississippi, has provided him an array of skills.
“I have definitely learned how to lead a bigger group of people,” Luke said. “During campouts, I keep everything on track and make sure younger scouts are on track with meeting the requirements for their rank advancements.”
Much like Luke, Dominic looks after younger troops, giving them direction to achieve advancement and success in the program.
Peer leadership is the underlying foundation of scouting organizations, according to Boesen. Though he influences Scouts as troop leader, Boesen believes young men learn best when interacting with trusted friends.
“Scouting is a unique laboratory for character development,” Boesen said. “It’s one of the few opportunities for teenagers to receive instruction from older peers instead of adults, which ends up being so much more effective.”
Through bonding exercises and weekly Tuesday meetings, troop members grow into a family, according to Dominic.
He believes working with scouts has made him a better communicator.
Devon described Boy Scouts as part serious and part fun and games, adding the organization gives him more opportunities to have fun with friends than he would have otherwise.
Troop activities instill a sense of responsibility and teach lessons applicable to high school life and beyond, he said.
Respect of the flag is another important value shared by Boy Scouts, according to Devon, who said he’s disappointed by the lack of reverence from others in his generation.
For more information about Boy Scouts Troop 312, call 985-359-4824.