Heart of America Council
Troop 10 Eagle Court of Honor
November 11, 2001
Eagles Being Honored:
John Paul Bertrand
Guest Speaker: Duff Greenwood:
This is a very important day for these Scouts, and I’m honored to speak here today. I want to thank the new Eagle Scouts and their parents for this honor. I feel very fortunate. But, I guess I’m one of the luckiest people on earth. I have a loving and caring wife, three wonderful sons who are all Eagle Scouts, and I have a successful business practice. I am especially honored as a veteran to speak on Veterans’ Day. I served my country in the United States Marine Corps during a very trying time. Today we also honor those who have served in our armed forces, in war and in peacetime. My service in Vietnam taught me a lot of lessons. While it was regretful that conflict took place, the lessons I learned helped me make decisions the rest of my life. Following my service in the Marines, I squeezed four years of college into 14 years at night. Then I found an opportunity to participate in one of the best Scout Troops in the USA.
See, my sons introduced me to Scouting. The adventure, the experiences, the skills and the rewards of Scouting were offered to me through my children.
Troop 10 was different when we joined it years ago. There were a lot of issues that just didn’t seem right to me. I didn’t know what the correct answers were, but I had a pretty good idea what the correct answers were not.
I knew that every boy knows what is right, that is, they know what is appropriate and how they are expected to behave. They want and need guidance and direction to attain their highest aptitude.
One thing I’ve learned is that the harder I work, the luckier I get. I’ve learned that people treat you the same way they are treated, and since I play a role in each of these exchanges, I try to treat people as my equal. Using this as a guide, I worked with the Scouts of Troop 10 for about 12 years. These were years well spent.
It was Henry Ford who said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Those twelve years working with the Scouts of Troop 10 taught me a great deal about life - - and kept me young.
One of the most important charters of the Boy Scouts of America is the development of leadership in our young men. It isn’t a monopoly held by the Boys Scouts of America, but they hold a critical, national franchise. Leadership is found in many different places. Examples are seen from our military and our local and national leaders. It can be found in our schools and universities. And it can be found in our homes. It can be found in this Boy Scout Troop, and specifically, right here on this stage.
Leadership has many different definitions. When asked to define leadership, General Norman Schwartzkauff, United States Army Retired said, “Leadership is a potent mix of strategy and character, and if you must be without one of these, be without strategy.” When I read that I understood why he was made a general and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Gulf War. General Schwartzkauff was saying that the way you act is more important than your plans or ideas. The kind of person you are is more important than your approach. In other words, your character will take you further than any tactics you may learn.
Roy Williams, Chief Boy Scout Executive said in an open letter in September, “Scouting can't solve the ills of the world, but character and leadership can.” I wonder if he knows Norm?
Leadership has also been defined as the ability to bring out the best in people. When I am looking for a good leader I often look to the past, as the past is the best predictor of the future. In business I look for someone who has served as a leader in their church, school or in Scouting. I look for someone who has the capacity to create or grasp a vision. When a person’s eyes light up as they talk about the future I see them as a leader.
A person who feels the thrill of challenge is often the best leader. A person who has a constructive spirit of discontent makes a good leader. Not someone who complains about the way things are, but someone who wants to do something constructive about it. This person believes there is always a better way to do something, and brings practical ideas to improve the situation.
There is also a completion factor involved. Leaders bring the situation to a satisfactory conclusion. Dale Carnegie used to say, "I know men in the ranks who will not stay in the ranks. Because they have the ability to get things done."
Another thing I look for is peer respect. The respect of ones peers doesn’t necessarily reveal ability, but it can show character and personality. Trammell Crow, one of the world's most successful real estate brokers, said that he looks for people whose associates want them to succeed. He said, "It's tough enough to succeed when everybody wants you to succeed. People who don't want you to succeed are like weights in your running shoes."
Are leaders born or do they learn leadership skills? I think it’s a combination, for an untrained leader cannot be very effective.
We’re here today to celebrate the achievements of these young men, these trained leaders. Together they have accomplished a great deal.
These young Eagle Scouts have demonstrated that they know basic leadership skills. Each of them worked hard traveling up the trail from Tenderfoot Scout to where they are today. Each of them received direction from their parents and Adult Leaders. I was fortunate to have participated in some of this direction. As I recall, some of these Eagles may have received a little more direction then others. And some may think they received too darn much direction.
We all need our loved ones to provide us with encouragement every now and again. That is a great element of life. These young Eagle Scouts all received encouragement from their parents. Some parental direction may have come in the form of a boot. But I’m sure most of it was delivered in a more gentle fashion.
These Eagles worked along side their fellow Scouts as they strived, sometimes failing, but persistently keeping their eye on the goals. Each of them started out in Troop 10 with a group of Webelos whom they knew well. Over the years their groups grew smaller. Some Scouts moved away, but many found other interests they believed more important than Scouting.
Each of these young men has outside interests. Sports, we have football players, baseball players, cross country and track participants here. Scholastics, these are honor roll students, members of debate teams, musicians, scholars indeed. Hobbies, we have represented here a large assortment of extra curricular activities. All of these activities require time, commitment and devotion. These young men found time to excel not only in Scouting but these other interests as well.
They have accomplished much in their short Scouting careers. When I totaled their scouting accomplishments I found that they collectively earned 265 Merit Badges, attended 226 troop camp outs, performed community services some 34 times, attended 184 courts of honor, and 33 summer camps – all in a total of just 42 Scouting years.
They have achieved recognition from their peers and from Scouting Honor Organizations such as Order of the Arrow and the tribe of Mic-O-Say. Each has excelled in school earning the respect of their fellow classmates and teachers. They earned their appearance on this stage.
But their tasks are not yet complete. Outside of Scouting, they will learn that their leadership skills will be honed to a fine edge without their parents to provide encouragement. Their leadership skills will be tested without their teachers standing beside them. Every aspect of leadership they have developed will be tried without these Adult Leaders present to point the right direction.
Life is a series of choices. Some choices are easy, and may have minor impact on your life. Some choices are difficult and have a major impact on your life. Knowing which choices are the major choices is a knack that comes only with experience.
Scouts, you have made many choices already with input from the adults in your life. Life would be so much easier if these influential people were always present to help you make important decisions. Unfortunately, many of your future decisions must be made without a lot of input from those who love you. This is where your leadership skills will be put to the test. You must decide if you will use character in making these decisions. Based upon the decisions you’ve made so far, the past being the best predictor of the future, I think your character will take a strong role in future decisions.
The Scout Motto is “Be Prepared.” Many of you have the obvious question when you hear this. Prepared for what? An Eagle Scout knows that he should be prepared for whatever life throws his way. Because many of the things that come our way will require us to make a decision. Plan always for the best, but be prepared for something less. Make the best of what life brings you and you will succeed.
I believe it was John Wesley, a famous religious leader who said, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” Wow, what a challenge! I guess the Scouts have boiled that down to our slogan, “Do a good turn daily.” Do something good that is unexpected, for someone in your life each day, and expect no reward. These small acts will return to you one thousand fold as you go through life.
To the adult leaders and committee members of Troop 10 I say You are the leaders of our youth who are the leaders of our tomorrow. Continue the job that sometimes seems thankless. Look for your reward in the faces of young Scouts as they accomplish new things for the first time. Take your compensation from the joy of seeing Scouts demonstrate leadership skills. These are your coups and no one can take them from you.
Today your work is more important than ever before. Challenge these Boy Scouts to strive to be the best. Be patient and allow them to make mistakes for it is in making mistakes that they will learn. Place them on their honor and trust them to do the right thing - - - they will do their best.
The Scout Oath and the Scout Law have endured the test of time. They cover all that needs to be covered. They provide a direction for our young men. I ask that you look to the Scout Oath and Scout Law each time before writing a rule or regulation. I think you’ll find that every issue that arises is already covered by the Oath & Law.
As an adult leader it is your objective to instill character, citizenship, leadership, self-reliance, self-esteem, patriotism, and respect for others into each Scout in the Troop. It is obvious to all that you are succeeding. Keep up the good work.
To all the Boy Scouts present today I remind you that service to God and country are the dictates of Scouting. Right now our country is going through very trying times. Many of the standards we’ve lived by are changing. You are witnessing these changes and must do whatever you can to make sure we come out of this a better nation.
The only constant in our universe is that of change. The world has never been a secure place. Things have a way of changing, sometimes with no rhyme or reason.
Prior to September 11th, the last time the United States was attacked was December 7, 1941. People can be surprisingly mean and destructive, unfair events can destroy all we've accumulated. What matters is how you prepare for, and respond to, these changes and events. Uncertain times demand certain actions.
Prior to this year, 1962 was the last time public school children were allowed to pray in our schools, June 25, 1962.
1899 was the last time major league baseball reduced the number of professional teams allowed to play in the league.
In the last two months we’ve seen an attack on the United States that has united this great nation like never before. We’ve seen major league baseball reduce the size of the league. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve witnessed relaxation of policies that have prevented prayer in our schools. We have entered an era in which change has become a powerful catalyst for improvements in our society. Embrace this change and do your part to make certain that ours is a better society when we emerge from these challenging times.
Eagle Scouts I encourage you to continue to stay young through constant learning.
Always apply character to every decision you make.
Use what you’ve learned in Scouting to determine what the best course is and stick to that course.
Be prepared for whatever comes your way. In the future, change will continue at a greater velocity than ever before. Make sure the changes you embrace agree with what you know to be just and moral.
Serve your God and your Country to the best of your ability and continue to make us proud of you.
Remember always the Scout Oath and Scout Law and let them be your guide.
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today.
Duff Greenwood is a family man, a Scouter and a successful businessman. He served in the United States Marine Corps, First Marine Air Wing, Da Nang, Vietnam. He is a successful businessman, working as a manufacturers’ representative in the electrical and telecommunications industries since 1970. Duff is a graduate of Avila College and attended certification courses at Indiana University, attaining his Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative. Duff served Troop 10 as a Committee Member, An Assistant Scoutmaster, Summer Camp Scoutmaster, Troop Scoutmaster and mentor. Duff has been a resident of Overland Park, KS since 1978, is a member of Ascension Catholic Church, and is currently serving Scouting as a member of the Heart of America Council Executive Board as Council Training Chair. Duff serves on the Board of Directors of the Electrical League of Missouri and Kansas.
Janey Greenwood has been Duff’s life partner and best friend since 1970. Together they have raised three sons, all of whom achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 10.
Duff is an Arrowman in the Order of the Arrow and was recently elevated to the position of Sachem and is on the Tribal Council for the Tribe of Mic O Say.