The Boy Scouts Got This Right!


I was a boy scout. I will always remember the motto—Be prepared. Those words have echoed in my mind for years. Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.”

The most successful businesses are always in preparation mode. The top five tech companies—Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft—account for 12% of the pretax profits of non-financial firms in America. That’s up 4%, but they are preparing for more. Those five top tech companies are responsible for a full 30% of the S&P 500’s spending on research and development. Preparation pays off!!

In August of 2019, 70-year-old Bob Long won the Mongol Derby—the world’s longest horse race. It is a punishing 621-mile race on semi-wild horses across Mongolia’s mountains, rivers, and tough terrain. He rode 28 different horses and beat 43 younger competitors. 

When asked the secret of his success, he indicated that he prepared more than any other contestant. His statement was, “Preparation trumps youth.” Think about that—the age factor can be greatly minimized by proper preparation!!

Dozens of horseback riders racing during the Mongol Derby on the Mongolian plains with a hill in the background

Being prepared can help deter mass shootings. Sheepdog Defense Group specializes in church security training. This group has trained 100 people at 18 churches to become licensed guards. They train sheep to become sheepdogs!! Fruitport High School in Michigan has spent $48 million dollars redesigning the high school to make it more difficult for an active shooter to be effective. Preparation can lead to safety!!

Clement Berardo, a professional golfer, was participating in 2019 in a challenge tour event. He was disqualified from the tournament because he ran out of golf balls. I wonder how much money lack of preparation cost him?  

I remember in high school we used to have unannounced “pop quizzes.” They were fun when I was prepared.  They were embarrassing when I wasn’t prepared. Preparation in life produces confidence and enjoyment!!

I have a cute story about a woman who lost her pocketbook while she was Christmas shopping. An honest little boy found it and returned it to her. The lady was looking in her purse and commented, “Hummm…that’s funny, when I lost my bag there was a $20 bill in it. Now there are 20 $1 bills.” The little boy looked at the lady and said, “That’s right, ma’am, the last time I found a lady’s purse she didn’t have any change for a reward.” That’s preparation!!

“So prepare your minds for action…” (I Peter 1:13) “Get up and prepare for action…” (Jeremiah 1:17) “God uses (Scripture) to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (II Timothy 3:17)

Be prepared!! If you need a parachute and don’t have one, you won’t need one again!!

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