August 25, 2015

Watch your Son Grow Through Participation in Scouting!

"Why is scouting important to me? As a Scouter mom I get to watch him grow into a wonderful, considerate young man... Why wouldn't anyone want this for their son?"

My son with his Papa at the
100th Year Anniversary Camporee.
Yes, that statement was posted as part of a Mom 2 Mom contest our local Boy Scout council promoted a few years ago. Guess what? It is still incredibly accurate several years later. My son went through the entire Cub Scout program and is now a Boy Scout. He is an amazingly involved and motivated young man who I admire greatly.

What Scouting Has Done for My Son

My son has always been a giver. Not necessarily in the monetary sense, but through participation in scouting he has learned to be an active part of the community. I often hear that he is the first to raise his hand to volunteer to help in some way, and I love that he is learning that giving does not always have to mean money, and that one person CAN make a difference. These are valuable life lessons.

Giving of ones self means that he will be able to relate to his greater community. Right now that is his class and school, but scouting has opened his eyes so that he can see the value of helping in the neighborhood, township and beyond. He has worked on conservation projects for the local watershed, and for the county, he has participated in food drives, at the animal shelter, and through soliciting funds for those in need. He has also volunteered at senior centers and food banks. These experiences have opened him up to people he may have never have met, and it has helped him understand that one person can make a difference.

This summer he went away to three camps. Since I ask my children to help pay for their fun expenses, like the canteen at camp, much of his summer slush fund was depleted. Regardless of that, when he heard that the local Humane Society was low on toys for cats, he and his sister counted coins to purchase $30 some to donate. They hunted down the best deals too, knowing fully well that more cats could have the toys if they could make their money go further.

My son helping serve at a
pancake breakfast.
One of the stories I like to share when doing Friends of Scouting presentations, is from the first year he sold Boy Scout popcorn. He was given a $20 to spend, but instead of using the money on himself, he asked me to put it in his popcorn money so that he could give it to the soldiers. Here he was, at just 7-years old, taking his money and giving it to others!

There are many other great stories of course but the point is that though scouting, my son has learned the value of hard work, teamwork and friendship. He has built up his self esteem and learned new skills.

Now that he has moved onto Boy Scouts he knows that hard work and perseverance can move mountains. Just this past year, while doing several class projects and the science fair, I have heard him say countless times, "Mom I don't want to be that kid who does the minimum." His hard work has paid off in many ways that makes a mom proud.

Could he have gained this without scouting? I'm pretty sure that he could have, but the experiences he has had, and what he is learning through participation in Cub Scouts and now Boy Scouts, is shaping him into a young man that I admire greatly. These experiences and skills are helping to shape him in amazing ways, ways that would make any parent proud.

September is a great time to look at scouting, as there are many open houses, scout nights and round-ups. Want to find a local Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop or Venturing Crew for your son to join?  Check out the Be A Scout website for more information on what is available to your child.

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