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Growing up with just sisters, Boy Scouts were not really on my radar. We all had our turn at scouting, but rarely had interaction with anyone in Boy Scouts. Fast forward a ‘few’ years and as a mom to four boys I am becoming more active within Boy Scouts. At the moment, we have two in Boy Scouts, one in Cub Scouts, and a toddler who desperately wants to be a Boy Scout like his big brothers.
Boy Scouts of America has been around for over 100 years, providing boys with a wonderful outlet to not only engage in outdoor activities, but to grow as leaders while they transform into men. Participation in scouting does not translate directly into become a leader among men, but it certainly can help a boy grow into a man his parents will be pleased to see.
What is it about Boy Scouts that we like?
- focus on fitness across the board (physically, mentally and emotionally)
- learning new skills
- fun adventures within a group setting
- social interaction in a safe environment
- development of leadership skills
- striving to live your life by the Boy Scout code!
Now, for my brood, to Be A Scout does equate with being active in outdoor adventures. That part of Scouting is well received by them and my husband. So, dad will go on weekend camping adventures at times. I get in on the ‘action’ by helping as a committee member of the Troop and assisting where able for D’s den and/or pack. When we lived in Ohio, I was a joint den leader for a while. If R has his way, I’ll be signing up to be a merit badge counselor for the new Robotics merit badge. As both his parent and a home educator, I am quite supportive of avenues that help engage the mind and encompass learning in math and science.
As for what to expect at a Boy Scout meeting, each Troop or Pack has it’s own ‘flavor.’ Cub Scouting is more hands-on and parent led with the activities, which seems to pull more mothers into leadership roles. I’ve always cherished the dedicated fathers who volunteer to be a den leader as I know many who do not enjoy activities that border on crafty. Yet, the time boys spend as Webelos (4th and 5th grade) helps them transition into the world of Boy Scouting.
After years of having things laid out for them and led by the parent volunteers, the early experiences in a Boy Scout Troop can seem a bit intimidating for both the young Scout and parent. Since we’ve usually taken an active role when able, we’ve had occasion to observe different Troops in action for both of our older boys. Sometimes I think the hardest thing is watching a child be timid and not do what they should be doing at a given point in time. However, the boy led environment with responsibility for advancement on the shoulders of each Scout has been a wonderful way for them to learn how to speak up when needed and make sure that things get done when they need to get done.
All in all, we’ve had good experiences in Boy Scouts and will be quite proud when the boys reach the pinnacle of Boy Scouting… achieving the rank of Eagle. Along the way, they will have formed memories and friendships that will hopefully follow them into adulthood.