Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life's Lessons

I'm past the age of thinking about what "if I die young*", not that I've ever been prone to "what ifs" relating to death. No matter your age, life is short and there are many valuable lessons to learn at all ages and stages of life.

In recent years as I've been involved in different youth programs both in church and community, I've come to value scouting. The program teaches useful life and leadership skills, primarily to boys and young men, but also to anyone who is associated with the programs, whether it be family, friends or community.

I woke up early to the pink glow of clouds in the sky outside my window. I jumped out of bed, having committed to meeting a group of friends and acquaintances who were helping a young man named Noah complete his Eagle Scout project.

After meeting briefly at the church, we headed off to North Fork park where the group split into two, one half to replace an old bridge on a hiking trail while the other group weed whacked another portion of the trail.

The old bridge was rickety and clearly in need of repair.

 Of course, I couldn't pass up photographing a flower or two.  

Noah and others made multiple trips down the trail lugging tools and materials.

Help came from fathers, grandfathers, neighbors, mothers, and friends, young and old.

There's something about serving that makes people happy.

I'm grateful for scouts and others who help to preserve places like this and make them accessible to others.

New lumber was brought in and old lumber had to be carried out.

The rickety bridge was quickly dismantled. Many hands make light work rings true, although those who carried the lumber might disagree. 

There were jobs for all who wanted to help...with opportunities to learn and practice valuable skills.

Drinks and refreshments for the hard work.


 Leading is not just telling people what to do; it's being willing to jump in and do, yourself, as well.

The "experts" consult on the best approach.

 And the younger workers have a conference of their own on how best to get the job done.

More willing workers arrive.

 The adults could have just done the job and been done with it, but it was great to see the teaching that was going on. 

 The women pitched in too.

Who says that only boys benefit from scouting? Clearly that was not the case here!

The weed whacking crew finished their task and came to check on the bridge repair progress.

 The satisfied work crew tests the bridge for strength. A job well done!

How great that a group of people could come together for a few hours to create something that had both immediate and lasting value in more ways than one. Congratulations, Noah.

*This week's nod to Saturday Centus.

To view the entire unedited set of photos from the project, click here.

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