Helping Others - Why Bother?

Hi, my name is John, and I am the Patrol Chief in our Explorer Troop. Last month I participated in our monthly Court of Honour meeting where our Troop leader issued to all of us a challenge... As youth leaders in our Troop, how will you help each other succeed to do a good job or for that matter how can your brother Explorers help each other?

To tell you the truth my first reaction was one of... why does this matter, I have my Patrol to look after and you have yours. I already have my hands full, I don't need more work to do!

Almost as soon as this thought crossed my mind our Troop Leader caught us by surprise by informing us that he would be away for the next six meetings due to time that he needed to recover from surgery. This meant that the two remaining but lessor experienced leaders would run the Troop, but like "Grey Wolf" said... that they really needed our help to make it work!

Well I must admit that I was really surprised as to how well all of (well almost all of) the members of our Troop rose to the challenge. Let me give you but a few examples...

  • Last weekend at camp one of our younger boys was struggling with the ability to carry his own gear and the food for the Patrol, the older boys took half the food to be split up amongst the others...
  • When I phoned around before last weeks meeting to make sure that all the members of our Patrol would be there, Tom told me that he could not come as he had no ride that night... So I asked my parents if they could drive both Tom and me to our meeting... they said yes!

  • The Patrol Chief of Wolverine did his best to tie a very difficult knot, to show the younger boys how to do it... he had a very difficult time, so another Explorer stepped in and offered to show the new Explorers how to do it. And he did it without making fun of the Patrol Chief who was struggling to do it.
  • One of our favorite games involved hand and eye co-ordination... one of our members Jason has a slight co-ordination problem whereas he misses many more balls than what he can catch. We needed a "score" keeper, so we asked Jason to not only keep score but to act as a "referee"... Jason did a great job, we all had fun, and we all enjoyed the game together.
  • My best friend is the Patrol Chief of the Grizzly Patrol. At our last meeting he was having a very tough time with Robert who appeared to be unwilling to co-operate and help the other members of his Patrol with a patrol quiz that supported work to earn part of the 2nd class award. As the guys in my Patrol didn't need my help at that moment, I went over and offered to help Robert. While doing so I found out that Robert's grandmother died a few days ago and that her funeral was yesterday, as Robert broke out into tears I and other members of the Troop quickly gathered around him to offer Robert our regrets and offers of support. By the end of the meeting Robert felt much better and appreciated the concern and help from his brother Explorers. Hey you know when some one is acting out - there might be a reason... if we take the time to find out!

At our closing prayer at last weeks meeting I was asked by the Troop leader to lead the prayer and this is what I said:

"Dear Lord, please help us find the strength inside us to see when others need help, and then to rise to the occasion to help - thank you Lord, we ask for this in the name of your son Jesus, amen."

You know what, when I am able to help others without being asked first to help, it makes me feel good inside. Why don't you do the same... as a good FNE Explorer!