When I attended my first Scout leader training, I remember looking at these "scout nerds" with a bazillion knots on their uniforms and an overt reverence for the program, and I thought, "These guys are nuts." I had no intention of ever becoming like that (or putting more than the minimum required into the calling, sorry to say).
Fast forward to only a few weeks ago. We had a day full of Scouting events, going from one to the next. I left the last one to attend a baby shower - it happened to be our committee chair/ward Primary presidency representative. I was so tired at that point, I didn't bother changing out of my uniform for the shower. Her comment was, "I wouldn't recognize you without it."
Ha ha. She sees me every Sunday in Primary, but I knew what she meant. I know I project that same "scout nerd" image to everyone I work with. I do it on purpose, because I want to set the bar as high as possible. That way when people only reach halfway, they are still reaching higher than they would otherwise.
I have found that in many cases, this works well. Often enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, and a few choice people end up reaching even higher than hoped. Some people, however, seem to dig their heels in and refuse to budge no matter what.
I have even seen/heard derogatory remarks referring to LDS Scouters that are "too into Scouting." Phrases like, "Irving Scouter," and, "church of Scouting," have been tossed around, in a not-so-admiring way. "I like Scouting, but not like that..."
It makes me wonder whether some people might be afraid that if they become too into Scouting, that will somehow degrade the rest of who they are. It almost seems as if becoming too involved in Scouting will make you less of a Church member or taking the training will have a negative effect on your testimony.
I am sure this is related to the idea that the Church is "out-sourcing" its activity program for young men and that Scouting is not really a Church program.
What do you think? Have you ever noticed this attitude? Is there any way to lovingly convince people that you can love Scouting and the gospel both (aside from pointing to President Monson), that the two go hand-in-hand, and that Scouting is all about building testimonies?
(I understand this may be a sore subject for some readers. I hope we can have an open and thoughtful discussion.)