By Guest Blogger Sandy S.

Did you know not all Boy Scouts start out as Cub Scouts? Some, like my son, discover the excitement of Scouting by joining Boy Scouts after 5th grade.

Before joining Scouts, my son was a 10 year-old whose only activity was playing video games. We couldn’t seem to get him excited anything else. By chance, a friend invited him to come to a Boy Scout Troop meeting.  It was an invitation that led to amazing adventures and provided him with the skills to become the mature, confident young man he is today.

When I started writing this blog, I had planned to tell you all about the positive experiences my son had as a Scout. But then I realized, the story would mean much more coming directly from him. My son is now 18 years old and a sophomore at NC State University. He is a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and is pursuing a degree in criminology. The following is our interview:

Ian at PhilmontHow did you feel at the first [troop] meeting?

I was anxious. I was excited to be part of something and to meet all the other boys that were in that troop, all of which shared similar interests. 

Did you make a lot of friends?

I did, mostly with the other boys in my patrol and the ones in my grade at the time. All of the adventures I’ve been on in Scouting have been with some of my closest friends, which made all of those adventures all the more memorable. 

What did you like most about Scouting? 

The part of Scouting that I liked the most was all of the opportunities for adventure. The two troops I’ve been a part of and now the Venture crew I’m in have provided me with outdoor experiences that I don’t think I could have gotten in any other youth program. 

What were your best memories? 

Some of my best memories were at Philmont [Scout Reservation in Cimmaron, NM]. The last trail day in Philmont, day 12 in the backcountry, we reached the final monument of our trek, the Tooth of Time. I still remember the view from the Tooth. I could look around and see the mountains flow into the desert and saw basecamp as a small spot at the base of the Tooth. My entire crew just silently looked around at each other and smiled, silently saying “we did it”, which was relieving at the end of our 122 mile trek. I’ll never forget all of the trips that were “firsts” for me when I was a young Scout.

Ian AF Cadet freshmanWhat did you get out of Scouting? 

Scouting gave me a basic concept of goal-oriented leadership that I now appreciate and apply daily with my being [a cadet] in the military. It also gave me a great appreciation for the outdoors and more in outdoor adventure than I can count. 


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 or call the Old Hickory Council at 336-760-2900.


*Sponsored by Boy Scouts – Old Hickory Council