By Frank Longo, Marketing Intern, Cradle of Liberty Council
I am a recent college graduate and since graduation I’ve been looking back on my childhood. I looked at all my trophies from sports and competitions that I had in the past but one really stood out to me: the Pinewood Derby placement medal I received. It wasn’t that I got placement or was so proud of it. It was more on the times I spent with my dad helping me and the laughs my father and I had when I was child. I showed my dad the medal and we literally talked for hours about all the times we had in Scouts. Then I thought about how different my life would have been without the Boy Scouts and the people I would have never met if it wasn’t for the Scouts.
Here are just 10 of the ways Scouting made a positive impact on me:
#1 The Respect of Himself, Community and Country
In the Boy Scouts really work hard on team effort and that everyone should be working as hard as the person next to you. You do a lot community service by doing food drives cleaning parks, and a lot more services around the community. When you first get into the Scouts you learn how to properly fold, raise, and lower the American flag. I got chance to talk to veterans during community events and parades that I was in. Just by talking to them just really woke me up on how fragile freedom really is even though I was at such a young age.
#2 Learning New Hobbies
I always hear “well I don’t want my kids to do Boy Scouts because I want them to play sports” but the parents don’t know which sport their child would like. The parents put them in tons different sporting programs and spend all that money on equipment when their child might not even like the sport. Boy Scouts introduces them to all types of sports and hobbies. You never know your son can get really into hockey when he hasn’t even touch a hockey stick in his life till the Boy Scouts. There are so many other hobbies that the scouts can get into like fishing, canoeing, camping, archery, football, baseball, and everything else you can think of. Even while there in the Scouts and they figure out what sports they like they can join that sport and still be with Boy Scouts.
#3 Good Role Models
Just with the exposure with older boys who are in high school or younger do develop and run some of their own meetings and activities. When I was in the scouts we had this older Scout who had to be fifteen or sixteen years old and would take us aside if we were acting up. I personally feel like that had to be a bigger impact on me than having an adult taking me aside. Having older boys in the Boy Scouts for younger boys to look up to is easier on the minds of parents because they know the older Scouts usually have their head on straight for their kids to look up to.
#4 Being Independent
What I noticed with the Boy Scouts that everyone earns their badges. They are not just handed to you just because your troop mates earned that one. Your child also learns how to set up a tent, safely build a fire, using a pocket knife properly, and learning how to tie all different kind of knots. All these things you have to be able do yourself. Not many scouts have the “I’ll have someone else do it “kind of attitude in the Scouts. This really helps build their character and really helps the parents even at home.
#5 Getting out of the house
Especially today now with all the high tech video games, TV, and smartphones kids really don’t go outside like they used to. Boy Scouts get away from the technology and introduces you to more outside adventures for example biking, playing sports, fishing, camping by the camp fire, and much more. I always hear parents talking about how none of their kids want to go outside and play. If this sounds like you than maybe the Boy Scouts would be a good thing for your child.
#6 Your Child’s Own Path
Your child will not feel the pressure to get badges like in school with grades. It more like relax culture you get your badges when you want to get the badge. Some kids are going to get the sports badges quicker than other kids but that’s okay because they have stronger skills on maybe fishing, building a fire, where all of them are as important badges as sports. All these kids have strengths and weakness’s and they work together by helping each other out
Some children don’t always get along with their classmates at school. Boy Scouts has your child meet other scouts from all different part of the community. Not all of Scouts are going to be from the same school. These kids might not have a lot in common but they do have one thing. They are all Boy Scouts and that can develop into a lot more than just being a Scout. There is a diverse groups in the Boy Scouts so you learn how to coop with different ideas and cultures. There are all different ages so your son has network of friend that are going to be all over the community and different parts of life. I still have friends that I keep in touch with that I met from the Scouts.
#8 Family Bonding
You’re going to be spending more time together by camping, working on Pinewood derby car and more things. I remember one time my father and I went camping with the Scouts and there is a badge called the polar bear badge. Every morning you have to wake up at 5 am and jump into cold swimming pool. All the dads and kids went. I remember just my dad and I waking up and trying wrestle my dad away from the hot water jets that were in the pool and of course my father won every time.
Boy Scouts build on to your self-esteem by all different ways. Like for example issuing badges for things that you worked hard for. When I was younger I was petrified of heights and how I got rid of that fear was to all thanks to my den leader. All the guys were jumping off a cliff in to a deep lake and I just sat there and watched. My Den leader that knew I was scared of heights talked to some of my good buddies to talk me into walking up to it at least. Finally they got me close to it and just talked me get closer and closer than everyone from the troop was cheering on. Now that you don’t want let your friends down so I just took that leap of faith. Now I am roller-coaster addict.
#10 Creative Minds
When the Pinewood derby comes along the Scouts come up with all different kind of cars designs. There also when your younger scout you do tons of funny skits for camp fires and usually in front of the whole troop too. They come up with some of their own fundraisers for example car wash is what my troop did for couple years.