It’s funny how a seemingly small event can alter the course of your life in a significant way. When our eldest son was in the 5th grade, his best friend invited him to a Boy Scout meeting. Within a month, our family was completely submersed in all things Scouting, and with in a few years both of our boys had completed the path to Eagle.
As parents, it is our responsibility to support our children on paths that will give them skills to become successful adults; to provide fun environments where they can experience the carefree days and innocence of childhood; to help them learn how to deal with the diverse personalities they will encounter in life; and to expose them to the fact that sometimes one needs to be a leader, and sometimes one needs to support the leader. Boy Scouts does all of this and more.
Through the years both of my boys benefited tremendously from their involvement in Boys Scouts, although in different ways. One thrived on the camaraderie of the troop, and was able to practice organization and responsibility. (Losing a partially completed blue card is a hard lesson!) The other gained experience in teamwork and loved the knowledge he acquired working on merit badges and learning new skills. His retention of the things he learned astonishes me, and if I’m ever lost in the woods, I sincerely hope he is with me.
The solid foundation that Boy Scouts provides, not only in practical matters, but in developing moral character is so valuable. Boys are given the opportunity to explore areas of interest and natural strengths and develop in areas that don’t come as easily. They are encouraged to “learn by doing” which is a great confidence booster. Regardless if a boy makes it all the way to the end of the Scouting trail, just walks the trail for a short time or something in between, he will have benefited.
I asked my sons recently to describe what they gained from Boy Scouts in one word. One said “friendship” and one said “perseverance.” Both answers made me happy.
My tenure as a stay-at-home mom has come to an end, and my two little boys are now men off forging a life of their own. I am so grateful they understand the importance of doing their best and being prepared, of friendship and perseverance. I have Boy Scouts to thank for that.