Sing for the joy that's found in setting up the pins and knocking them down

Friday, December 27, 2013

Scout Eulogy - Written and Read by Sam Fredrickson

Our Scoutmaster Died Last Week… But He Was Prepared

Eric Rynders, our scoutmaster, died on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Eric defined the scout motto, “Be Prepared” or, as he liked to say it, “Semper Paratus.” Eric taught us all that being prepared was not about the gear, the gadgets or the stuff.  Instead, being prepared is a state of mind. It’s being able to take whatever is around, including your own intellect and the camaraderie of others, to solve the problem at hand.

Eric had a congenital heart defect that he learned about when he was 15. Because of this he had a pacemaker and an internal defibrillator. This changed the way he lived. He had to limit his physical activity, his stress level and how he ate. Eric didn’t treat these as setbacks. In fact, I would argue it augmented his contribution to the troop. When it came time to comfort homesick scouts at camp, Eric was our guy. 

When it came to teaching critical thinking, Eric was our guy. When adult patience was at a minimum, Eric kept us all focused on the reason we were adult leaders – to create fine young men who would inherit our country. Armed with his Dutch oven, charcoal, lengths of rope or his insatiable curiosity of how things worked, he taught many boys, myself included, lessons that will last a lifetime.

Although many of us benefited from Eric being prepared for life, we need to pay even closer attention to how he was prepared for death. Because of his heart condition he lived each day knowing that he might not live to a ripe old age, but also lived each day in preparation for a long life. Eric knew his time on this earth may be limited and this attitude caused him to live fully and love his family dearly, knowing they may grow up without him. Henry, Beatrice and Simon deeply understand that they are among the most cherished kids that ever walked on this earth. Eric had prepared his children.

Likewise, Eric and his wife Dawn knew that life could be fleeting. They had a storybook romance. They knew how to enjoy each other’s company, laugh heartily (the man did have a loud laugh!) and resolve their differences before the sun went down. Theirs was a marriage of grace, love, humor and forgiveness. Eric was prepared with his wife.

Also know that Eric was a devout follower of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Eric knew that his own physical heart would fail him some day, but that his life was redeemed in Christ. He's awaiting hisnew body right now, but meanwhile, his pain is gone and he's in Paradise. Eric was prepared for eternity.

What more of a role model could young men ask for than a man who was prepared for life, prepared for death and prepared for eternity. May we all be as prepared as Mr. Rynders.

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