On this last Motzei Shabbos, when most of us were tidying up the house and preparing for bed, Cleveland’s Orthodox Boy Scout Troop, led by Mr. Rob Hartstone, was packing up for an overnight campout. It looked as if might rain. No matter! Troop 95 was heading out to brave the elements. The Scouts were all very excited to be on this adventure.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” And, this Boy Scout Troop was. The boys had been meticulously getting ready for this overnight for weeks. Under Hartstone’s tireless direction, they had thought through what they would need – right down to the Cholov Yisroel milk and Tefillin – and methodically packed everything.
This may not sound like such a big deal, but it is. If you have teenage boys, imagine their level of enthusiasm for preparing to sleep outside in rainy, 45-degree weather. Here, we have a group of boys that would not have missed this opportunity for anything.
The Boy Scouts teaches both self-reliance and teamwork. It builds men out of boys, empowering them to feel confident to take on challenges that might normally intimidate them. Boys learn to thrive beyond anyone’s expectations in the Scouting program. When combined with a Torah way of life, the values of Scouting are all the more inspiring for boys to grow into mature, responsible Jewish men.
Rob Hartstone deserves enormous Hakaras HaTov from the entire Cleveland Orthodox community for serving in the role of Boy Scout leader. He’s providing an extremely valuable service to boys and their families. Yashar koach, Mr. Hartstone!