NORWAY – Hans Melhus would just as soon lead as follow, a goal the soon to be 15-year-old realized several years ago.

Melhus, a freshman at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, is one of two Boy Scouts selected by one of the two state councils to attend a national leadership course in Philmont, N.M., at the end of June.

He said not everybody can decide they want to go to the national training and then just pack up and do it. Scouts have to pay their dues to get there.

Melhus said scouts had to complete the local leadership training program and and then work as staff at Camp KV in Readfield.

He was a camper two years ago at Camp KV and then on staff last year. There, he said he learned leadership skills when the course was offered in August.

Melhus said the people who run the camp are asked to recommend boys to send to Philmont.

“I was a troop guide,” Melhus said. “I taught two sections of the leadership skills that are not taught in group sessions.”

Melhus’s expenses for the trip will be paid through the Tom Day Scholarship fund, which is managed by Boy Scout leadership and named after a Mainer who was active in scouting.

Melhus is anxious to go to the national training and knows he can bring back valuable information on leadership to his troop, Troop 130 of South Paris.

“You can incorporate leadership skills learned into everyday life,” Melhus said. “I have a lot of fun leading people and teaching others. I just enjoy it, and when something needs to get done, I like to see it get done.”

Melhus said he had to promise to give two more years of leadership training to scouts in Maine as a payback for going to the national training.

He thinks it’s a fair trade.

“It takes some work to be a leader, but in the end it’s worth it,” he said “You can look back at the finished product and say, ‘Wow I did that.'”

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