Scouting is an essential experience in my life. Scouting taught me what it means to be a leader as well as a public servant. When I was in Scouting my scoutmaster, Harold Thompson did me a great favor he pushed me to become a senior patrol leader (SPL). As a senior patrol leader, I was tasked with managing the Troop and serving as a liaison between the Scouts and the adult members. I served as SPL three times throughout my career in Scouting and was serving in my position as a Star, Life, and then Eagle Scout.
Scouting taught me the importance of perseverance and servant leadership. A leader’s job is to lead while serving his followers. As a leader in my Troop, I had to work just as hard often harder than the Scouts under me. I was the first awake during summer camp, escorted first-year Scouts to their classes, attend SPL meetings as well as complete all of my personal rank requirements.
Leading is hard work, but I learned what it meant to be a good leader. I still use these lessons to this day in my professional career.
From Troop to Community
I took principles I learned as a Scout and applied them to my initiative the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project. My organization’s goal is to recruit over 5,000 student poll workers in the state of Georgia. Polls workers are essential public servants as they serve as the gatekeepers for our democracy. I started the initiative because when I served as a poll worker, I saw the need for young people to become involved.
I started as a servant working on the front lines and moved to lead others. Serving first allowed me to build a successful organization in a short period of time. It also allowed me to be adequately informed when I talk to potential partners or questions from students.
Scouting inspired me to become a public servant. It taught me that my community needs people who are willing to work to make it better. Through my Merit Badges, leadership positions, and outdoor experiences I was able to build space for myself in community service. Scouting taught me that I should not fear challenges but rather, attack them head-on. I will always remember my time as a Scout and will use the tools I received to help my community.
I urge every Scout to take charge in their local community as well as become poll workers this coming election. Young people are the key to a free and fair election and it is up to us to lead.
To become involved with the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Movement please click here for more information.
Thank you to Evan Malbrough for submitting your story.