As lodges filled into the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville for the NOAC Opening show, each of the lodge contingents presented their lodge flap on giant six-foot banners and the crowd roared to life. It was followed by a stunning presentation of the American flag throughout the stadium.
Then the National Chief, Timothy Reiss led us in the OA obligation, and later he and the National Vice Chief Steven Baur, introduced an initiative of great significance regarding physical and mental health.
The acronym B.R.A.V.E. Which stands for:
Being – be aware of how you and others are feeling. Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it is often overlooked or not discussed.
Responsive – if you or someone you know is struggling, reach out to them and offer to connect them with a helpful resource
Accepting – Be kind, patient, and understanding to others and especially to yourself.
Vulnerable – Ask others how they’re feeling, share times when you’ve been hurting and help them to not feel alone.
Empathy – We all have feelings, and just like our physical health, we all experience challenges. Everyone may have struggles which may not be visible to others. (Thanks to my new friend Bob Brown for providing the script of BRAVE)
Since the beginning of the pandemic and the worldwide Covid 19 challenge, all of us have to overcome the isolation, loneliness, and more to a higher degree than any others in modern civilization. We all need to be aware of each other and our surroundings.
How do we as Eagles, Scouters, and Arrowmen help? Be the H.E.R.O. Help Everyone Reach Out while reaching Up. Look for those that need a smile, look like they are holding back or suppressing emotions, or are putting on an empty smile. Do more than a good turn and help bolster them up in time and need or give them a well-intended compliment. In this way, you are doing more than your daily “Good Turn” and giving a little to those around you.
Even soaring eagles must land occasionally and recharge on the branch of life, and so too must we recharge our Eagle charge “to help others on the trail to Eagle.”