Scouting’s Lasting Impact Through the Power of Showing Up

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Nathan Finnin, Eagle Scout and Episcopal priest, has stayed involved in the Scouting program in various ways, including Southern Region Chief of Order of the Arrow and chaplain for the Old North State Council. He currently serves on the Executive Board assisting with fundraising. He and his wife Kaitlin have a 3-year-old son, Beckett. Here is Nathan’s Scouting story in his own words:

 

 

“I started Scouting in the second grade. My father was active military and was gone a fair amount. We always had a fine relationship, but I didn’t have a whole lot of ‘just me and dad’ stuff to do. Scouting gave me an opportunity to have what I considered to be traditional father-son time.

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“I stayed in the Cub Scouting program through fifth grade and then quit. In the eighth grade, I got back in simply because a friend asked me. It’s one thing for a stranger to come to your school to do recruiting, but it’s another thing for that person who is already a part of your life to say, ‘Hey, I enjoy this. Would you like to come with me?’

“Shortly after I got back into Scouting, my mom died unexpectedly. I was 14. Scouts were the people who showed up. They brought food, made sure I was signed up for camping trips and summer camp, and made my sister feel welcome so we could do family things together. They were the people who supported my dad in ways I don’t even think I was aware of as a kid. They loved my family back to wholeness.

“After I got my Eagle, I stayed in Scouting for the Order of the Arrow program. There was an advisor named John who really became a surrogate dad. He really helped me learn a lot and become an adult man.

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“A couple of years ago, they had a training at the Scout office. I was there with my son (who was an infant), and in through the doors walk John. I had this emotional experience of sitting there as an adult, holding my son, and seeing this man who was such an important part of my life growing up and feeling, ‘He made this possible.’

“It was a really powerful feeling of appreciation. I went up to him afterwards to introduce my son. I’ve got a picture of the three of us framed on my desk in my office. For me, it was an embodied feeling of the power of Scouting.

“Part of the reason why I’m involved now even though I don’t have a child who is old enough to be in Scouting is that I get to be a part of what Scouting does, to provide a community that helps raise young men. It gave me so much more than I’ll ever be able to give back. The least I can do is find opportunities to be involved. I feel almost a sense of duty.

“What’s really amazing about Scouting is that it has the opportunity to impact lives in small ways that eventually become big. Maybe I can pass on this gift that I was given by people who didn’t even know what they were doing at the time. It’s not like somebody moved into my house and cooked dinner every night or came in saying, ‘I’m going to change his future.’ But it was a bunch of people doing really small acts that made a difference.

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“Sometimes it’s easy to look at the brokenness and need in our community and think, ‘I can’t fix this.’ The reality is that we don’t have to fix it by ourselves. Scouting provides a framework where we can take little chunks out of it at a time and accomplish something. I’ve gotten to experience it through every stage of Scouting as a Boy Scout and as an adult, and hopefully I’ll get to experience it as a Scouting parent.”

If you are interested in learning more about getting involved with the “Scouting Movement” in the Old North State Council, click here…

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