Scouting Makes Me a Better Mom

Another year of Scouting has begun for my family.  As I was planning meetings and events for the new Lion Cubs I'll be leading this year, I got a little choked up. Thinking about all the memories we've made in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, I realized how much this program means to me.

Dawson joined as a Tiger Cub in first grade and starts his fourth year of Boys Scouts next week. Owen has earned the rank of Webelo I and I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. It seems like only yesterday he was dressed in his Tiger uniform. Gannon will join in Kindergarten next year now that we have the Lion Cub program.  We have enjoyed eight years of fun so far and have at least twelve more years of Scouting in our future!

I truly believe Scouting  makes me a better mom.  Here are the reasons why I love this program:

Trying New Things
I love that Scouting allows me to explore opportunities and experience new activities with my kids that I may not otherwise have tried.  For example, I didn't camp as a child.  My parents weren't really into that sort of thing.  We traveled in my dad's RV but I had never slept in a tent until my kids joined scouts and we went to Cub Scout camp.  Who knew camping could be so much fun?  I look forward to Akela's World every summer and our family now camps at other venues throughout the year.

Scouting Builds Character
The scouting program is more than just an extracurricular activity.  It promotes family involvement instead of just dropping your child off to participate in activities.  Parent participation is crucial to the success of our pack (and troop) and sets a good example for the kids.  Seeing your parent or adult partner volunteering and assisting in activities demonstrates to the scouts that they have support throughout their scouting journey for as long as they need.

Scouting Brings Families Together
Participating in scout events is a way for us to spend quality time together.  Whether it's camping, fishing, sledding, mini-golf, rollerskating/rollerblading, or overnights at museums, we love sharing these experiences with our boys.  When I think about all that Scouting has done for my family I get misty-eyed.  We've made wonderful friendships, bonded with other families and learned valuable skills.

Scouting Teaches Diversity
One of my favorite things about Scouting is that it teaches diversity.  Every child who joins scouting has different interests.  Some play baseball, some are interested in science and technology, others love to cook and grow vegetables.  There are kids who live in the city and others who live in the country.  Regardless of background, scouting brings the boys together.  They accept and celebrate differences and learn from each other.

Scouting Creates Good Citizens
Everything about the Scouting program teaches important life skills and builds a foundation of character.  Scouts learn about citizenship, ethics, honesty and humility.  They devote time to completing service hours in the community. The kids learn to work together, and older scouts often mentor younger scouts. They set examples on how to conduct oneself in various settings.  I beam with pride when I see our scouts modeling positive, responsible and safe behavior wherever they go.

Scouting Develops New Skills
Honing new abilities is one of the many benefits of Scouting.  This program prepares kids for life and teaches them about nature, cooking, personal fitness, swimming, kayaking and other adventures.  My boys have learned how to use a bow and arrow, shoot BB guns, tie knots, and fire safety.  These skills will serve them well into adulthood. When my boys participate in these activities they are not only learning teamwork, leadership and volunteer skills, they are building their own legacy that they will one day share with their own children.

Selling Popcorn
Our annual popcorn sales are not only a fundraiser to support our Pack and Troop.  Selling popcorn is a wonderful way for boys to build self-confidence, learn manners and reinforce ethical standards.  My kids have learned how to interact with adults in a professional manner.  Our neighbors and friends have commented on how polite and courteous they are in their sales transactions, too.

Earning Advancements and Recognition
Earning advancements, loops, pins and patches is another aspect of the program that I love.  The boys work hard to achieve recognition, but they never feel pressured to compete and win.  They work at their own pace based on their own unique abilities and needs.

To say that I love scouting is an understatement.  This program is the best investment of time (and yes, money) that we've made in our boys and in our family.  We are blessed with an active Pack and Troop that supports every scout and truly cares about their success.

If you are interested in joining scouting, contact your school or church (as they may hold a charter at their organization) or visit BeAScout.org for more information.




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