|NFFE-IAM National Secretary-Treasurer Randy Erwin listens to northern Virginia boy scouts while he volunteers to help them earn their American Labor Badge.|
Randy Erwin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM), jumped at a recent opportunity to volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. Erwin, a former scout himself, took a day to help northern Virginia boy scouts earn their American Labor Badge.
The badge requires scouts to learn about the labor movement and what unions do for workers. Here’s Erwin’s account of the experience:
“When I first heard that boy scouts in northern Virginia were interested in earning their American Labor Badges and that they wanted to work with union members to earn their badges, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
“I was really blown away with how much work these young men did ahead of time to learn about the labor movement and the critical role unions play. They came in with a lot of knowledge and some great questions. It was clear they were serious about learning what unions are all about.
“I was glad to engage with these young men and put a real face on some of the things they had been learning about unions. I got to help prepare a team of boy scouts for a debate about increasing the minimum wage. It was an awesome experience.
“One great thing about talking to boy scouts about the labor movement is: they get it. They really understand the concept of fairness. The idea of working people standing together to demand fairness on the job just made perfect sense to them. It made me hopeful for our future to see these young men understand the critical role union’s play.
“I really enjoyed this experience. These boy scouts were learning so much. They were also very grateful for all the ideas and the stories that the union members had to share.
“In my opinion, this is the kind of thing we need to do a lot more of in the labor Movement. We need to be proactive about telling our story and educating young people about the labor Movement. What better way than through the boy scouts?
“It is not often you get this kind of opportunity. I’m glad I was a part of it.”