The Bridge Builder

Welcome to 2021! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season.

Over the years, people who are unfamiliar with, or new to the Scouting program, have asked me “Why are you a Scout Leader?” To me, there are many reasons why I do what I do. So today, as a way of explaining myself, I wanted to share with you an old poem by Will Allen Dromgoole. The poem was written around 1900 and was used as the wrap up to the New Leader Essentials module of the old Adult Leader Training course. I have always enjoyed reading it and thought I would share it with you.


The Bridge Builder
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen streams had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side 
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you the bridge at eventide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

Why am I a Scout Leader (and now Commissioner?)  The simple answer is to be of service to today’s youth.  I know many of you would give the same answer. As we emerge from this pandemic, let’s use our collective wisdom and experience to be of service to our Scouts and help them along the trail as they resume their normal lives.   

Yours in Scouting,

Roy LaPean
Council Commissioner

Any questions? Send them along to BAYLAKESCOMMISSIONERHELP@GMAIL.COM.