A Hundred Years From Now…

difference in worldAt my very first Cub Scout day camp, all of the volunteers were given little gifts every day.  One day, we received a card the size of a business card.  On it was printed this:

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

That card is still taped to my desk.  When I get frustrated with the lack of volunteers or I’m overwhelmed with my to-do list for our pack, I stop and read it again to remind myself of why I do the things I do for my boys. 

Today, Liz wrote a comment on a post saying that she has volunteered to be the advancement person for her son’s pack and her husband has volunteered to be the Cubmaster.  When I read that, I was impressed with their dedication, and it reminded me of this quote.

I wanted to find out the source of the quote.  Several websites attributed it to “anonymous,” but then I started seeing the name Forest E. Witcraft.

According to the sources I read, Dr. Witcraft was a college professor and Scout Executive.  He was born in 1894 and died in 1967.  His quote ended a longer essay that was published in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine.

As you read this, keep in mind that it was written just 5 short years after the end of World War II.  You’ll see the names of some long-dead boys.  We can all think of boys living today whose names can be substituted.

Within My Power
by Forest E. Witcraft

I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated. I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.

Yet I may someday mould destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.

These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.

All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

I challenge all of you to think about Dr. Witcraft’s essay the next time you’re asked to volunteer.

Yours in Scouting,
Sherry

P.S. If this post was inspiring to you, sign up below for more Cub Scout information! And by doing so, you’ll be entered into my monthly drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner will be randomly selected from all of my subscribers.

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