Scoutingwire wrote an article a while back about how Scouting and sports can coexist. I read the article but had a different opinion.

Scouting and Sports must coexist, I thought to myself.

Both programs offer so much to youth but in different ways. With increasing technology use causing more and more problems, parents should be happy if their kids are actively busy instead of sitting in front of a screen. However, its not just technology, its drugs, violence and so much more. I’m grateful my parents kept me busy; I know it kept me out of trouble. It’s worth every sacrifice from the parents and children. The busier, the better.

My Experience

I look back at my own experience as an athlete. I grew up playing three major sports for traveling teams: baseball, basketball and soccer. I experienced everything– from being the bench player to the team captain.

I learned how to compete and how to lead. I learned how to be humble and how to handle losing. Most importantly, I learned responsibility and accountability. I know being in sports has helped me succeed in all aspects of my life.

On the other hand, I look back at how involved I was with Scouting. I attended here and there, but I never achieved any rank or rewards. I appreciated the program but didn’t include it as frequently I ought to.

I know I missed out on many opportunities in Scouting that would have helped me become a better man. Most certainly, I missed the opportunity to increase my faith with youth my age. I also missed out on many chances to reach out and help my community.

The problem was I didn’t make the time. Whenever I was asked why I didn’t attend Scouting or why I didn’t get my Eagle, I would always say it was because I was too busy with sports.

Play the Season, Scouting is Here for the Year.

I was on three traveling sports teams, but they were all seasonal. I thought I was busy because I was gone most weekends for tournaments. Looking back, I see that I had the time. I just didn’t make the time.

As mentioned before, I am grateful for sports. Nonetheless, I wish I would have participated in Scouting more. Now that I have been working for the Boy Scouts and seeing the impact it can have in boys lives, I believe they must co-exist. I know there is nothing more vital for the future of our nation than the success of our youth. Scouting’s mission is a long-term proposition, an investment in the future.

I assume all of the people that don’t continue on with Scouting are simply uninterested or think they don’t have the time. My first suggestion is make the time and create interest.

Some of the simpler lessons learned in Scouting are invaluable. Learning how to present a flag and put it away properly, basic outdoors skills are always helpful and serving the community always builds character.

If you are struggling with this dilemma I would encourage you to put forth the best effort you can to allow yourself or your sons to take advantage of this wonderful program. Being busy is the best thing for youth. What better way to help keep yourself or your sons busy, than by involving them in the brotherhood and community of Scouting.

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Jarom Shaver
Writer for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council.

3 comments

  1. Michelle Carpenter
    Michelle Carpenter ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    I feel like sports are really beneficial. Sports helped me stay healthy and learn determination and drive while in HS. I also participated in weekly activities with a group of girls at church–I know it’s not the same as Scouting. But, from someone who didn’t drop one or the other, both were needed.

    The only thing I want to add to the article is that arts should be included as well. It really helps a kid to pick up on drawing, a musical instrument, theater, writing, or some other such thing. But, It’s hard to do too many things. So, how do you think kids can juggle the load of dual participation?

  2. Darryl alder
    Darryl alder ( User Karma: 9 ) says:

    I had the opposite experience with sports. I grew so fast I was always tripping over my own feet, but I sincerely longed to play. I wanted a coach and team to need me, but with so many good kids my age I just got overlooked. So I turned to Scouts were I was wanted and I flourished. But now I am left to wonder how much better off I’d be if I had done both; the Tufts Study certainly points to the value of both.

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