I have been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for nineteen years now. Which is interesting because as a child I was only a Cub Scout for a couple of years and was never a Boy Scout. So, you may ask, how did I get so involved in Scouting? Well our oldest son joined and so did most of his friends at the time. Within a year the Pack was in need of a Cubmaster and someone mentioned my name. I figured, what the heck. How hard could it be? And, as the saying goes, ‘it takes only an hour a week’ to be a volunteer. Naively I believed that. So I took the classes, went to monthly Roundtables to share ideas with others just as green as me. I read up on how to run a great Pack meeting, went on weekend training retreats and basically drove myself crazy to be the best darned Cubmaster for these 100+ Cub Scouts. Lucky for me I had a fantastic Pack Committee to work with, and with their help and my nervous energy we became known as the ‘fun Pack’ in town.
Did I agree with every policy in the BSA? Hell no! But as I wrestled with these things I came to the conclusion, that nothing is perfect, our Society was/is crumbling and if I could help in any little way I would. So Scouting was the way that I chose to put my little mark on Societies big picture.
What started as something that I was only going to do for a couple of years turned into an eight year job. I felt that what I did for my older son, I should do for my younger son. And through all of those years as Cubmaster, every day, every week, every month I would strive to ‘Do My Best’. When my oldest son bridged over into the Boy Scouts so did I. And then I had to take more advanced training because the program is different. Cubscouting is a family activity where the adults plan and run the events. Boy Scouting is a youth run activity where the boys plan the events, teach the new Scouts, and the adults are there to guide and teach in a more subtle manor.
Eventually I joined various Committees at our Local Scout Council to learn that level of the organization. But ultimately, I cut that back, and returned to the Boy Scout Troop. Now a days both of my sons are too old to be Scouts but I am still there, every week at the meetings, almost every month at the camp outs, and every summer for a week at summer camp. I was asked, and accepted to be on our Troop’s Committee. Scouting was once something that I did for my boys, now it is something that I do for other’s boys and ultimately for the future of our Society. I hope that as my children have children that they follow in my footsteps. Since the only way this works is to keep feeding it forward.
Do I now agree with all of their policies? Heck no. But I have seen change in the two decades that I have been involved. Change comes slowly. Sometimes too slowly for me but it does come.
If you know someone in Scouting speak with them about it. If you are in Scouting spread the word. If you have boys at the right age, give it a shot. There is nothing wrong with Sports, but you son has a better chance of going farther in life as an Eagle Scout than he does of getting onto a Pro Sports team.
Click on this link. It will only take 1 1/2 minutes of your life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxtFCmDZJbQ