By Dr. Giovanni T. Macahig, Registrar and Admissions Officer 

(Delivered during the Rovers Scout Investiture Ceremony.) 

When I was told to give this message to you, my mind quickly brought me back to my childhood years…my boy scouting years. I particularly remembered our first camping, when in our innocence we struggled to assemble the tent until it was accidentally ripped off and because of it we ended up sleeping in our classroom.

At that very young age, I already had to grapple with and face three realities:

  1. What will I say to my uncle…ghulman raba nako to nya?
  2. How are we going to sleep…now that our tent is useless?
  3. Will this camping be less fun/ exciting now that we in the classroom and not outdoors?

Well, eventually, I mustered some guts to tell my uncle what happened. I felt sorry for it and realized that I was responsible for the accident. We did find comfort in the classroom after we held the activities outside and we were able to draw positive dispositions about the whole incident and ended up sleeping late because we had so much fun. That was scouting and it was a memory to behold forever.        

Yet unknowingly the questions back then translated to a more permanent and concrete manifestation and predisposition to life situations. It eventually became life principles…a guide of sort that I attributed to my scouting experience.

 Allow me to share some of these principles:

  • Scouts are totally responsible for their success – self made individuals

Scouts are self made, independent, dependable and trustworthy individuals. They take responsibility in their actions and face the consequences. When the tent was ripped off I took the responsibility, I pulled myself to ask for pardon.

As rover scouts we must take full responsibility of our actions.

You can’t hire someone else to do the push-ups for you (jim rohn),

99% of all failure come from people who have the habit of making excuse. So stop the blame game and take responsibility!

A famous comic strip character named Pogo said “we have met the enemy and he is us”. Indeed, we are our own enemy when we don’t take responsibility, we end up trapped in our own fears.

Be totally responsible for your success!

  • Always have a bias for action – action-oriented

Scouts are action-oriented individuals. There is less talk and more action. When we realize that we have no tent for the night. We immediately evaluated the situation and looked for practical solutions. The best solution was the classroom. Action creates results, results translates to efficiency. 

You can’t cross a sea by merely staring into the water
Nothing happens unless something moves
If there is no wind, row!

An author/ preacher presented a slightly different perspective of the phrase “READY, AIM, FIRE!”

He proposed instead “READY, FIRE, AIM…AND FIRE AGAIN…AIM…AND FIRE AGAIN!) He wants to avoid the common strategy of many people, which is “READY, AIM, AIM, AIM, AIM!” They never get to pull the trigger, they just aim.

As a scout, perfectionism is never a good strategy. Do you wait for a man to drown because you’re waiting for the perfect tide, the right water temperature? No! You jump and hope that your training in water rescue will lead you to successfully arrest the victim from danger.

A scout after being properly trained takes risks with the thought that failure is just along the corner, but also with the confidence that this risk can also be a risk to success.  Always have a bias for action!

  • Strives to win in all areas of life – persistent

Scouts are persistent individuals and they strive to win in all areas in life.

A story is told about a priest in his parish who saw a couple with their 12-year-old boy. He approached the mother and said: “Pray that your son becomes a priest.”

The mother was shocked, held her son in a protective embrace, and said: “Father, not this one. He’s good-looking!”

The priest raised his eyebrow. “Do you mean to tell me that all priests are ugly?”

Many people have certain stereotypes. In the case of spiritual people, they all have to be ugly, poor, and pathetic or undesirables. This is absolutely nuts! A spiritual person can be handsome, rich and happy!

In other words, we can win in all areas of life; we just have to persist and persevere.

You are the only one who knows whether you have won or not. Don’t try to be better than someone else. Just be the best that you can be.

Scouting, indeed, is, in a way, an education for life! They refine and build character. It solidifies and instills noble principles…it forms our inner compass, directing life wherever we are and whatever state we are in.

I remember a scout who was remembered only as B.H. He wrote:

“July 20, 1950. Dear Miss Vivian Parlade, I saw this letter on the road. I picked it up and found that it must have been dropped and lost unknowingly by the owner. Since your address is on the envelope, I am respectfully returning it with the money, fifty dollars, untouched. I am a Boy Scout and I feel good that I am doing this. I am not after any reward nor compensation. That is why I am not giving you my name nor my address, only my initials. I hope you are happy.”

This is the kind of scout we need to emulate. A scout that lives his principles and oath, applies them in life, and passes them to the next generation.

By the way, in the milestone of Philippine Scouting, it may give you interest that 1921, The Scouting Movement at Silliman Institute started under the auspices of the Institute’s Church; they applied for registration in 1922 through the New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America. They received their documentations in 1923. In the same year, they held the first court of honor for its first Eagle Scout, Bill Raymond of Troop 8. (Extensive chronologies of Philippine Scouting history were published in the BSP’s Scouting for Filipino Boys and Boy Scout Book, both now out-of-print and extremely rare.)

Therefore we have a history of scouting here in Silliman University for over 90 years!

In this investiture ceremony and vigil may you individually make a personal promise to uphold and live the principle and oath of the Rover Scout…a Sillimanian Rover Scout!