Scouting the Scouts
I get to do some really neat things with my kids because of this blog of mine; and getting to scout out a local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America with Monkey was a BLAST! Thank you,Boy Scouts of America for this fun opportunity with my little man.
I received an invitation this summer to bring Monkey to an event held by a local Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout pack. We attended their Back to School Rally, which had a Regatta theme, and Monkey had SO MUCH FUN! There were games, crafts, snacks, and of course… learning.
The arts and crafts provided more than just a fun craft for the boys, it was a time for bonding, laughter, reconnecting, and friendship.
The snack table allowed each boy to express his personality by filling his snack bag with whichever treats he wanted – and there were definitely some salty lovers over the sweet! that’s my kind of snack bag, y’all!
One of Monkey’s favorite stations was when they were able to decorate a sail, build a boat, and go outside to race them; just like at a real regatta! He raced a friend and football teammate of his. I laughed so hard watching them blowing on the sails to move their boats through the water. It was a neck and neck race; and while there were definite winners in some of the races; all the boys congratulated each other, cheered each other on, and the older Boy Scouts who were monitoring the younger ones encouraged good sportsmanship. I was seriously impressed.
I remember my middle brother being in the boy scouts, but I was never involved, and all I really remember is them building a car for the pinewood derby; and my mom helping him bake and decorate a bright orange Tiger cake.
As I walked around the school gym watching the boys, listening to the Boy Scout leaders tell the prospective parents about the scouting, and this specific pack; I saw laughter, silliness, friendship, mentoring, and memories being created by the boys, but also by the moms and dads who were there as leaders, helpers, and as observers.
I saw boys playing and talking, I saw parents laughing, talking, planning, and watching with smiles on their faces. I approached one group of moms and asked them: “Why Boy Scouts? What do y’all love about it?”
One mom said she loved Boy Scouts because it was something she could do with her boys, where it’s only boys, a chance for them to just be boys.
Another said that she loved the experiences that her boys received from scouting. When I prodded her for more information she said that it’s the big things and the little things equally: The morals, life lessons, and responsibility that scouting teaches her sons; but it’s also the experiences, like getting to go way behind the scenes at the fire station, the camping trips where her boys learned fire safety, how to pitch a tent, how to recognize certain plants, and how to be safe and self sufficient in the woods.
One dad told me that he had such wonderful memories of scouting when he was a boy: the lessons he learned, the friendships he made, and he wanted his son to have the same memories and experiences, and it was just a bonus for him that he got to be his son’s pack leader.
Something I heard from many moms was how scouting is a way for the boys to bond with other boys; boys they might not necessarily have in class, or play with on the playground, but through scouting they are bonding, creating life long friendships, and there are no electronics in sight!!
I left the parents and moved on to the boys. I asked the boys what they loved about the scouting:
“I love the camping! We get to sleep outside, and cook outside, and it’s just us, our friends, and our parents.”
“The coolest part about scouting is that we get to go behind the scenes at awesome places like the bowling alley, and the fire station and see stuff that nobody else gets to!”
“I like that I get to learn things that they don’t teach us in school, and we get to really get our hands into things and do it.. not just sit and read about it”
“My friends, that’s the best part. When they see me on the playground or at lunch they say, Hi and ask me to play. That’s my favorite”
That last one struck me the most, and truly spoke to what I saw on the framed Scout Law
I saw each and every one of those boys and scout leaders exemplifying those traits; and in the weeks since, when I’ve come across those same boys at school, at games, at the store – they’ve been kind, they’ve been respectful, they’ve been polite, and they’ve been friendly.
Well done, y’all.
Monkey really wanted to join the Boy Scouts after that evening. I mean really, but unfortunately due to our previous commitments and the nights that this group meets, we couldn’t make it work, but he kept the information packet, and we’re definitely keeping it in mind for next year!
I want to send out a huge thank you to the awesome Pack 542 for hosting Monkey and Me; it was a wonderful evening, and y’all are a great group of parents and boys.
Thank you to the Boy Scouts of America for giving us a glimpse into the world of scouting, and supporting A Southern Fairytale. I have received compensation for our time, and as a part of this partnership, but the opinions expressed are genuine, and real. Thank you for supporting those who support A Southern Fairytale.
I understand that night might not work for but please please please go to beascout.org and check out other units around your area that might meet on a different night. What a great Christmas present for your son would be to join the Scouts.
Eagle Scout Class 1999
That is what I was thinking Ben. Depending on your other commitment, maybe your son could get a ride to the meeting where you could pick him up, or have him taken back home. Our den leader has picked up my son on several occasions when I was working. I just met them at the church. Depending on your other commitment, you might try and skip 1 every month or so to get a better feel of Scouting. I guarantee it will be worth it.