by Joni Astrup
Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott talked about Scouting and its positive impact on society during the Friends of Scouting Leadership Breakfast in Elk River.
Brott was 8 years old when he became a Cub Scout.
“I remember how proud I was to wear the uniform for the first time,” he told the crowd at the April 27 event at the Elk River American Legion.
He also shared memories of one of the Scouting events he attended as a boy. It was a breakfast fundraiser in St. Cloud, and Brott’s job was to make sure the sugar bowls were all filled. He was excited to carry out his assigned duty, and wanted to do his best.
It wasn’t until the next day that he learned he did a great job filling the bowls with salt, Brott recalled, as the crowd laughed.
Since his days as a Scout, Brott said he has taken many oaths of office as a law enforcement officer – an oath to protect and serve.
“I realize it’s much the same as living up to the Cub Scout promise, to do my best, to do my duty, to help other people,” he said.
He noted that Scouting has had a positive influence on many people.
Hundreds of thousands of current and former Scouts have been successful in their daily lives, thanks to the leadership skills taught and moral principles stressed in Scouting, he said.
Citing the Scout Law, Brott said a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
“What kind of a world would we be living in today, if all of us would live daily according to the 12 points of the Scout Law?” Brott asked.
He said there are many activities available for youth today, including Scouting, the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA programs.
“All of these activities are greatly needed in a society where our youth are tempted to go down many wrong paths,” he said.
Scouting and other organizations can help provide the guidance needed to help youth be successful citizens of the community, he said.
One-time Scouts have included presidents, senators, Congressmen, Congresswomen, governors, business leaders, astronauts, military leaders and others, as well as some present and past employees of the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Brott said.
Ninety-six people attended the breakfast, which raised $9,014, according to Jim Acers, who is active in Scouting and has been a board member with the Central Minnesota Council of the Boy Scouts of America since 1982.
Wade Bastian said the Central Minnesota Council is made up of 12 counties including Sherburne. It serves about 4,000 Scouts. Bastian is the Central Minnesota Council’s field director.
In Elk River, there are five Cub Scout packs, three Boy Scout troops and one Venture crew.