Last night I was asked to speak at a local Cub Scout Packs meeting/ recruiting event. It was fun to go hang out with the Cub Scouts a bit, but even more fun to see the young faces of Scouting’s future.
The Cubmaster asked me to talk in general terms about the Scouting program and why a young boy’s parents should sign him up.
I thought I would share a few of the ideas I talked about tonight with you.
First and foremost is the Values and Ideals that Scouting develops in young men. We need to start there and remember that this is a game with a purpose. The beauty of Scouting is that from age 7 all the way to 21… and beyond, the development of these ideals and values are important and relevant. Furthermore they are age appropriate in the approach to teaching and guiding the values as the Scouts moves from Tiger Cub to Boy Scout. The Scout Oath and Law become lasting guides that keep the young man on a path that once a he attains the rank of Eagle he should have a solid foundation from which his life can take off to new and exciting adventures.
Second, Personal growth. As parents we get to see our sons grow daily, but when you step back and remove yourself from “His element” and look in, you see a different boy.
I shared a story about my two sons and their Scouting careers (which are far from over). Watching these two young men grow and develop at home is a different view than what I see as their Scoutmaster. When we camp I am rarely with them, but have opportunities to see them in action. I have seen a shy kid become an avid outdoorsman and great teacher of skills. I have seen an impatient young man sit with struggling scouts helping them learn knots. I have seen both of them lead from the front and encourage from within. The personal growth that Scouting allows the boys to discover is priceless.
And finally, Adventure. When I was a young boy growing up in a Scouting family I was constantly on a quest for the next adventure. I would say that I was a cross between Tom Sawyer and the Hardy Boys. Forever looking for adventure and the thrill of seeing something new, discovering the unknown and of course staying as dirty as I could be.
Scouting offered me adventure in the context of a guided program, working at my pace and skill level, encouraging me to always do my best and then push a little harder.
I was in a troop that did most of its camping in wilderness areas with packs on our backs. This opened up trails of adventure that has led me more and more adventures that have kept me looking for more. From Tom Sawyer and the Hardy Boys as a youth to Indiana Jones as an adult, the adventures of my life I owe in great part to Scouting.
You know, when you talk about bang for your buck Scouting is priceless. I am glad that I had the opportunity to share some thoughts on Scouting with the Pack, it will be interesting to see those young men grow and develop and see them live their adventures in Scouting.
Have a Great Scouting Day!