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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