This article is meant to assist Scout Dads so that they can be more supportive of their son in Scouting—and more involved with him in the program. This article comes from my own personal experience, where my own father was not as involved as I wanted him to be. Scout dads, I hope that you will read this carefully and see what you can do to be better. And if you do, you and your Scout son will truly have some great experiences as you climb his Scouting trail together!
You and I don’t seem to communicate as well these days as we once did. I’ve wanted to share a few thoughts with you but it’s hard for some reason, so I guess I’ll try to put it in a letter.
Do you remember when I first became a Cub Scout? You let me mow the lawn and do some other projects to earn money to get my new Cub Scout uniform. Boy, was I proud when I went to that first pack meeting wearing that new uniform!
That was also the night I got my Bobcat award. It seems that you even helped me earn that badge—learning the Cub Promise, Law, Motto and all. Then as I received the badge, you were there beaming proudly. Remember how you turned me upside down while Mom pinned my badge on me? I think you held me upside down longer than you needed to but it was sure fun.
You came to many of my pack meetings—whenever you couldn’t find some way to get out of them. I remember how embarrassed you were when the Cubmaster roped you into helping with a song or skit. When he asked all the Wolves (young and old) to stand, you did so rather timidly, wondering, “What is this guy going to make me do now?”
Do you remember that father and son cake bake and auction? You and I really worked on that cake! I still laugh at you trying to figure out how to bake a cake. Mom was trying hard not to laugh, too. Finally we consented to her offer of a little expertise. We got it decorated though, and I still think our cake was the best one there.
I sure appreciated the way you let me bid on our cake at that auction. I was glad that you bought that funny-looking cake even though it cost you twenty dollars. I didn’t want anyone else to have our cake, Dad. I was sure proud of it.
Then another time we had the Pinewood Derby. You and I sure built a classy looking car. Well, actually, I guess you did most of the work on the car—but then, you did let me do some of the sanding. I wanted to do the painting too but you thought I’d make too much of a mess of it. That graphite you put on the wheels really made the car go fast and it was really exciting when we took second place.
Those were great times doing things with you, Dad. I enjoyed every minute of those special times. Now I’m a Scout and it’s really great too. The hikes, the activities and the merit badges are really super. We always do such fun things! I’d sure like you to do more with me now that I’m in Scouting. We could have some great fun together.
Some of the dads help us a lot. Jeff’s dad, for instance, is the Scoutmaster. And David’s dad always helps us with the transportation for hikes. I guess that’s why I’m writing this letter to you. It would sure be great if you’d do some things with us too.
Scouting could be a way for us to be together and to do some things together. I am really into this Scouting business. It’s great stuff. There are so many fun things to do in Scouting.
I think you’d enjoy our hikes. You could help with equipment or something. It seems like Mr. Johnson is always needing more help. You could even stay over night with us, Dad! I could show you how to make stew or cobblers in a Dutch oven, build a fire and other fun stuff like that. Every hike could be a fun activity with you and me both there.
I don’t know if you even like camping but I’m sure you’d like it if you once got out there with us. We have some neat campfire programs and there’s just something about sleeping under the stars that is really great. I do need to be with my patrol a lot of the time but there could still be times that you and I could be together. I’ll bet that you could cook and eat with the Scoutmaster and the other dads. They always seem to eat well.
And then there are the merit badges, Dad. Some of them are really hard for me but I’m sure that you know more about them than I do. You could probably teach me about some of your hobbies and interests and help me get some of the badges at the same time. There’s a merit badge for nearly everything, I think. Mom does help me a lot but there are many areas where she can’t help me much. They are kind of “man things,” if you know what I mean. You could probably help me more with those kind of things.
Another way you could help out would be on our troop committee. It seems as if we never have enough money for our troops and activities. Mr. Johnson has so much to do planning our hikes and troop meetings that he doesn’t have time to do that too.
Courts of Honor and boards of review are other areas where we could use some help. It seems like we’re always late getting our reviews when we need them to get our next advancement. If we had some help maybe we could get our badges faster.
Our troop would also like to have a booth at the annual Scout-O-Rama but we need some parents to help us with ticket sales and stuff like that. I guess there’s probably a lot of things you could do to help the committee or with the troop. I know you give your money to the Council’s “Friends of Scouting” finance drive every year and you’re really busy, but we could really have some good times together.
I guess what I’m really saying, is that I just want to do some fun Scouting things with you. I sure do love you, Dad, and I hope you’ll want to get involved … because I really do love Scouting, too.
Let me know what you think, Dad …
Love, YOUR SCOUTING SON
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
Excerpt taken from his “Scouting Trails” Book: “GNUBIE TO EAGLE SCOUT“ at Scouting Trails. Connect with Kevin and read his article: “A Hundred Years of Scouting and What it Has Made Me” in The Boy Scout
© Kevin V. Hunt 2016