By Guest Blogger Kristi M.
Signing my young son up for Cub Scouts was a no-brainer. We were well aware of the benefits, since my husband grew up in a scouting family. Scouting has an enormous positive impact on the lives of boys, without a huge time commitment from parents.
The values my husband learned in scouting are ones we want our son to learn as well. Ideals of personal responsibility, independence, character growth, good citizenship, teamwork, service to others and self-confidence are lessons and traits that are beneficial to all boys. By learning personal responsibility with an emphasis on serving others, boys are better prepared to make good decisions, avoid peer pressure and become a leader among their peers.
In this digital era where many kids are addicted to their screen-time, video games, television and other sedentary activities, Scouting offers diverse outdoor and physical activities with friends and caring role models in a safe environment. From gem mining, archery and camping outdoors, to stargazing, campouts at the zoo, and a thrilling trip to the USS North Carolina Battleship, scouting brings much-needed balance, physical activity and fresh air to an often otherwise couch-potato childhood.
Developing Work Ethic & Confidence
Our son was a little skeptical at first, but as he worked towards milestones in Pack 910, based at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (in Winston-Salem), learning various skills and taking part in a broad array of fun activities, he grew in self-confidence and developed more of an interest in activities we would not have necessarily attempted were it not for Scouting. By learning skills such as archery, slingshotting (I doubt that’s a real word, but you get it.), and even chess, his self-confidence has grown.
One afternoon after checking off another achievement, he said to me, “I think I’m more interesting now.”
My son is motivated by the goal-setting format, working towards and earning badges. He also enjoys the recognition he receives at meetings for his accomplishments. This teaches him that hard work pays off while he is learning new things, making friends and developing new interests.
Fun in Safety
As a mother, I appreciate the safety instruction my son gains through Scouting. First aid, swimming safety and pocketknife safety are among many valuable lessons he has learned.
One of their first goals included a discussion about strangers. Though we had taught our children not to go anywhere with a stranger, the points outlined in the guidebook sparked topics that we had not touched on, certainly not with any depth, and it sparked further important conversations.
Positive Role Models
While parents are encouraged to lead and participate in their local troops, Scouting is also important for boys who may not have both parents involved in their lives regularly. Caring fathers and moms lead our Scouts, providing them with strong positive role models to lead them and teach them strong values and good citizenship, which some young boys desperately need more of in their lives.
Find a Pack or Troop Near You!
Many Cub Scout and Boy Scout units will host various Open House activities during the month of September. Cub Scouting is for boys in first through fifth grades and Boy Scouts is for boys ages 11-18. You can join at any age for either program and don’t need to have been a Cub Scout to join Boy Scouts.
To find a Cub Pack or Scout Troop in your neighborhood visit www.BeAScout.org or call the Old Hickory Council at 336-760-2900.
*Sponsored by Boy Scouts – Old Hickory Council