It’s just a purple 90s-style bathrobe covered in flowers. Yet, it’s one of the best presents I’ve ever been given. I love it.

Why? Like every person, I was born from a woman. She went through pain while carrying me for nine months. She went through more pain while delivering me. For weeks after I was born, she was cut off from her freedom and independence while experiencing the challenges of a first child. Yet, she loved me with all the little pieces of her being. 

The bathrobe was hers, but, when I was born, she wrapped my tiny five-pound body in it. She brought me home from the hospital in the robe, and now it’s mine.

To me, the bathrobe is a symbol of her and all she has done for me.

With Mother’s Day coming up, three of us in our local council have written articles about our moms. Without fail, we’ve all cried while doing it. Why? Because nothing trumps what moms give. In my opinion, no role is more important than the mommy’s.

In the world today, we talk a lot about ambition—we say that women can do more than just be moms. They can be doctors, lawyers, astronauts, scientists, engineers, actors, etc. Of course, this is true.

They can do all those things and so, so much more. But, none of those of things are MORE than “just a mom”.

In Scouting, there are many important roles: Scoutmaster, CEO of a local council, district executive, volunteer committee member, Scout. The list goes one.

These people are key influences in a boy’s life. For instance, I know my dad’s Scoutmaster impacted him significantly. But, was his Scoutmaster’s role in Scouting as important as his mother’s? I don’t think so.

Moms are crucial to the success of Scouting.

Moms do the little, sometimes unnoticed things: praise a boy when he earns a merit badge, make sure he’s packed the right things, let him try to prepare for Scouting events himself, even when they know he’ll fail—so he can learn.

They encourage their boys to get Eagles, and listen to them gripe about how miserable hiking 20 miles was.

I think we’ve forgotten the importance of mothers in Scouting and in everything else. We’ve eagerly urged women to go out and get educated and make a difference in the world. As someone who devours education and refused to change her last name for a year after marriage because she’s such a feminist, I get it.

However, I disagree with the sentiment that motherhood is not an extremely important position on its own. People say, Don’t you know that you can do more than pop babies?  To this, I think, don’t you know how difficult it is to pop a baby and then raise that baby through the crazy into adulthood?

We need mothers. We need mothers in Scouting—we need them as volunteers, encouragers, cheerleaders, assistants, confidants, teachers, and friends.

And, we need them in life. While studying different great historical figures for a previous blog project, I noticed an interesting trend. Some of these men and women had troublesome dads, guys who left, went to jail, got into trouble. But, without fail, their moms were fantastic. These people often credited their moms for their triumphs.

The moms made it all possible. Of course, people can succeed and achieve without a very good mother. But, a lot of good moms have done a lot of good.

We may not see the name of a mom on an Eagle Scout award, and we may not see it written in a history book. Nevertheless, moms are the real Earth changers. People triumph over nations, build technology, and escalate ideas. But, moms create those people.

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Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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