What is Scouting?

What is Scouting?

You may have heard that Scouting is about hiking and camping.  Well, it is, but…

You may have heard that Scouting is about earning ranks and wearing a uniform.  Well, it is, but…

You may have heard that Scouts tie knots and help the elderly across the street.  Of course they do, but…

When you learn about Scouting, you being to realize that it’s also a way of life, for boys and girls, men and women.

Scouting nurtures a child.  It adapts to the child’s needs and abilities.  It promotes calmness, cooperation, and age-appropriate learning.  It teaches leadership, problem solving, and respect for others.  Scouting builds self-esteem, not through mere words, but from the real esteem derived from setting goals and accomplishing them, while building life-long friendships through these shared experiences.  It helps children and young adults achieve their full potential.  All while having a huge amount of fun!

Scouting addresses the needs of children beyond the school/homeschool and family, while diminishing neither.   Some parents may complain that children spend too much time in front of screens these days.  A Scout who is out at a campsite, canoeing on a river, or exploring a museum in a new city doesn’t have this problem.  Where parents may not have been exposed to a skill as a younger person, Scouting will help the whole family learn skills together.

A Scout Pack or Troop brings together many families who work together to accomplish more than any of them could accomplish on their own.  Whether it’s taking a sailboat out on the ocean, touring a factory or airport, going on a whitewater rafting trip, or just watering a school lawn with a firetruck hose, Scouting can provide experiences to families working together that they may miss individually.  Sometimes just having a scheduled hike on the calendar is enough to get families outdoors and having fun together that might otherwise have been a missed opportunity  Beyond just working together, a Scout has nearly limitless opportunities to engage the resources of an every-growing organization that has been built by volunteers for over a century – from summer camps, to spectacular Scout reservations, from state-wide gatherings of thousands of Scouts to the properties and resources of a national and international organization across more than two hundred countries, a Scout has unique opportunities that are unfortunately missed by children who do not participate.

The Scouting program helps a Scout develop personal management skills.  Beginning as a Lion Cub, the entire program is run by the parents.  As a Scout progresses through Cub Scouts, the decision-making becomes more and more shared.  Scouts will help plan meetings, vote on T-shirt designs, and help set up camp as they become more experienced.  By the time a Scout is a member of a Troop’s Senior Patrol, the Scoutmaster ought to be able to sit back in his rocking chair while the Scouts run the program (but of course the Scoutmaster is there for guidance), with the Scouts responsible for planning, budgeting, and time management.  As a Scout works on the Eagle rank, every aspect of the self-directed Eagle project is the responsibility of that Scout, as he/she works with experts and helpers to realize the vision.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the new trend called “gamification” to help people accomplish more?  Scouting has proven the success of this system since 1907.  The ranks in Scouting aren’t an end unto themselves – they’re goals, milestones, and measurement points; recognition and reward.  A successful Scout will learn to swim, how to cook, and how to keep his/her self and surroundings clean.  A Scout will learn to stay safe in all kinds of situations, to ensure his/her physical fitness, and to eat healthily.   A Scout learns first aid, lifesaving, and to help other people at all times.  If you want your child to grow up to be the type of person who stops at the scene of an accident to render assistance instead of driving on by, then your child ought to be a Scout.  The progression of ranks in Scouting represents a cohesive program to help train excellent youth to become excellent adults.

Scouting helps prepare a Scout for the future.  Through Scouting, your Scout will be exposed to dozens of career opportunities, from learning basic carpentry by building a birdhouse to unique opportunities to engage the STEM fields.  A Scout may learn to program a computer, to fly a plane, or to weld metal (or hundreds of other skills).  Your Scout will learn self-reliance.  Sure, a Scout may learn to not get lost in the woods, but that Scout will also be prepared to survive the next storm, natural disaster, or economic interruption.  Learning to tie knots on a wooden bridge definitely comes in handy when securing a load from the home improvement store to a car roof during young adulthood.  Even right down to knowing how to fix a toilet – these are the everyday skills that will be mastered on the Scout’s journey.

Besides the merely practical, Scouting teaches ethics-based decision making.  Through the points of the Scout Law and Oath, a Scout is taught to think through important decisions and to make choices based on a strong dedication to moral character.  A Scout is taught tolerance, bravery, and cultural awareness.  Including a special emphasis on Native American culture, Scouting also teaches appreciation of all cultures though the study of the arts and history.  Scouting emphasizes service to the community, so it’s no coincidence that a very large percentage of societal and community leaders have Scouting experience.  Scouting teaches reverence for all spiritual beliefs and philosophies.  Scouting welcomes all who respect others’ beliefs, and whose system of belief includes the concept that there are more significant things in this world than just yourself (don’t worry about some of the “traditional” language still currently in use).

If this sounds like the kind of life and principles that are right for you and your child, please join us today.

 

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