The stars of a Broadway show get the credit. But the people
working in the wings deserve a chunk of the praise. So this week we’re pulling
back the curtain to reveal someone who does his work behind the scenes so that
the stars of Scouting—the Scouts, of course—can shine.
Let’s meet Father Jim
Lang, the Diocesan Vicar for the Parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Syracuse, N.Y. He’s vice president for strategic planning in Hiawatha Seaway
Council. He’s also a regional committee member and serves on the faculty of the
Adirondack Campus of National Camping School. And that’s just a few of the
bullet points on his résumé.
Read on to learn more from Father Lang.
Tenure in Scouting:
Fifty-two years—ever since Cub Scouts.
What is your favorite
There are many wonderful memories. Among my favorites are
the camping schools and the outdoor program seminars.
What does Scouting
mean to you?
Scouting is fun! It’s also the finest leadership-, character-,
and values-based program available for youth and their parents. We stand in a
long legacy of excellence.
Have any plans for
the BSA’s 100th Anniversary?
Usually, I’m involved in summer camp operations, so I’ve
never been to a jamboree. But for the 100th, I’ll participate in the jamboree
at Fort A.P. Hill.
What makes the BSA
stand out when compared with other organizations?
I look at the activities marketed to young people by the
mass media: mountain biking, spelunking, sailing, etc. It seems that there are
ways that we can better promote the excellent opportunities for adventure in
the outdoors than other organizations. With parents, we should actively find
ways to partner in sharing in the development of the character, citizenship,
and fitness of their young people, especially as lifetime values are reflected
in the Scout Oath and Law.
You’ve been doing this
for decades, so what would you say to someone who is just getting started in
Be yourself. Enjoy the Scouts and the program. There are
many excellent training opportunities and fellow Scouters who will offer solid,
excellent mentoring. And don’t forget to take advantage of the experience of
Thanks to Father Lang for lending us some of his expertise.
If you know a great Scouter who deserves a little recognition, e-mail us.