“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran
In this third installment, we’re continuing to profile some of the many ways our team members serve the community through the gift of their time.
Corbin Rowley, Director of Operations, Midwest
Volunteer Work: Boy Scouts of America
Scouting is one of the cornerstones of Corbin Rowley’s life. He graduated from its ranks as an Eagle Scout; and then became a volunteer; serving as an assistant Scout Master; Scout Master; coach to a varsity Scout team; and, currently, as the representative between the Huntington, Indiana troops and their charter organization, the Church of Latter-day Saints.
“Once you attain the rank of Eagle Scout,” he related, “it is considered that you’ve signed up for a lifelong commitment to scouting.”
A Tradition of Service
Corbin learned the value of service from his father.
“When I was a child, he used to take me out to a local pig farm,” he recalled, “and we would volunteer on Saturday, mucking out stalls and cleaning out. I would also volunteer at a mental hospital, feeding [patients] and taking general care of the grounds.”
He continued his service when he joined the Boy Scouts, pledging “to help people at all times.” His troop had a very active service program, and the highlight of his participation was his Eagle Scout service project, through which he organized, managed and oversaw a blood drive.
“It was a challenge,” he said. “They make those Eagle projects tough for a reason. They really help the boys grow, and it helped me grow in a wonderful manner.”
As an adult leader, he is passing on the virtues of volunteerism to boys who dedicate part of each year to public service. Some of their projects have included cutting, splitting and delivering firewood to the elderly, and working as a “raking brigade” that walks through neighborhoods and surprises the residents by gathering up the annual leaf drop.
“This kind of service to others is a really good experience for the boys,” observed Corbin. “It teaches them hard work; it teaches them the value of service; and it gets them out there into the community, meeting people and talking with adults who are very gracious in their thankfulness. It really is a good character-building experience.”
Invaluable Life Skills
The abilities that Corbin acquired in the Scouts — especially the ones he developed through managing large projects — gave him a head start in the business world.
“The skills that I learned and continue to practice and instill in the young people I work with are absolutely translatable to the workforce,” he said. “My ability to organize a team around a goal or project started with my interaction with the Boy Scouts, and some of my ability to speak publicly was also part of the training I received. The program really helps a young man develop courage to do some of those things that people find difficult.”
The Rewards of Giving
Sharing these lessons with boys and guiding them into adulthood provides some of the scouting program’s greatest rewards.
“When you participate in the development of a young man,” he reflects, “you’re really helping develop a leader; someone who’s going to make an impact in the future. You’re very integral to that youth’s development, helping [him] avoid the pitfalls you see some of the other boys falling into.
“Serving in this capacity,” he continued, “you really are a role model and you’re taking on great responsibility. In many cases you’re filling the gap in the family that is left when a boy doesn’t have a father or a grandfather around, and you develop very close relationships with these young men as they’re trying to emulate your behavior and learn the things you’ve been teaching them.
“You can only improve from those types of experiences,” Corbin concluded. “I wouldn’t be the person that I am now if I hadn’t been involved in the scouting program.”
To learn more about the Boy Scouts and their opportunities for volunteering, visit their website at www.scouting.org. According to Corbin, you don’t need a background in the Scouts to become involved; just a willingness to volunteer.