I’ll never forget the day my son came to me with great
excitement, pamphlet in hand. “Join the Scouts!” it said in big blue writing.
“Please Mom, please! Can I join the scouts!?”
Then came our first meeting. I am ashamed to say I might
have done a double take when one of the adult leaders came in the room wearing
his uniform. I had only seen this Dad in a business suit – a big change from
the kaki shorts and green socks. Scouting was a whole new world to me and I had
a lot to learn.
Boys can usually begin Cub Scouts in first grade. The
entire unit is a Den that contains several “packs.” Each year the cub scout
works for a particular rank. These are, in order, Tigers, Bobcat, Wolves,
Bears, Webelos I and Webelos II. A boy can start cub scouts any time and enters
the rank that coincides with his age. After completing all the requirements,
the Webelo is awarded the honor of the Arrow of Light. It is then that they can
move to Boy Scouts.
Each pack has a leader that guides the boys with their
tasks. The scouts have requirements they work toward each year. As they
complete requirements they are given awards during the monthly meetings before
the whole pack. Boys are gently coaxed to begin speaking in public. They
participate in short skits and games in the meetings. Cub scouts are also given
jobs opening and closing the meetings.
Boy scouts begin at about 12 years old, but earlier with
the Arrow of Light. You can join the boy scouts even if you were never a cub
scout. Boy scouts are given much more responsibility. Their mothers certainly
don’t plan the get togethers anymore! Boy scouts plan the camping, the meals
and do the shopping. They make the budgets and do their own cooking and
Both cub scouts and boy scouts do volunteer work for the
community. Boy scouts are required to do service hours as they move up. They
hold elections for the different offices and participate in running the meetings
and Court of Honors. As with cub scouts, boy scouts work toward badges and are
awarded them in front of the group.
was found in the archives!
What have my boys learned in the scouts? In all honesty –
there are almost too many things to name. They have learned responsibility,
generosity, preparedness, planning, implementation, volunteerism, showmanship,
public speaking, navigation, wilderness survival, swimming, life saving, first
aid, humility and pride. Bottom line – my boys have been taught how to be
independent and good men in the scouts.
And you know what? They have so much fun doing it!
Camping is the highlight, of course. In scouts they have learned to shoot 22’s,
they’ve learned archery, boating… they have learned how to be safe if lost in
the woods. They also know how to cook!
Now, when I see an adult leader in uniform, I feel great
respect for them and smile with pride. Scouting is about teaching boys to be
men. The adults that carry them through this process are generous, adventurous,
honest and good.
So if your boy runs to you tomorrow with a flyer for the
scouts, stop and read it. Then read it again. I have nothing bad and
everything good to say about the Boys Scouts of America. My boys have a great
time and have learned how to speak in public, how to act in an interview, how to
take care of themselves and how to be good and strong men.