This year, Scouting is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Boy Scouts was founded in 1910 in England by a former military man who thought boys should have a fun, but goal oriented program to fill their time during the summer months. The program grew into a world wide, year round program for boys. Some countries now do both girl scouts and boy scouts together; even here in the United States girls can join Boy Scouts at 14 in the Venturing Program. Each country has a little bit different program to fit their countries needs and traditions.
In the United States, the Boy Scout program has changed from a school oriented program to a church or business oriented program. This was caused by a riff between the Boy Scouts and the PTA, but has led the program to becoming more conservative in its views. One of the biggest areas of concern is the Boy Scouts continuing refusal to admit acknowledged homosexual leaders. This continues through today. However, it is not a requirement of the World Wide Leadership, it is a local restriction continued by the United States Council. It is really up to the parents to change this if they want, and some are working toward this. We will see what happens in the future.
I have two sons, and they are both in Scouting. They have both learned allot about leadership, talking in front of a group, working with others, setting goals, surviving in the outdoors, surviving road trips, camping, summer camp, backpacking and raising money to pay for their outings. This has helped them in school and in other areas of their lives. Scouting also gives them a way to use up some of their free time, so they don’t get into trouble. It has given us parents something to do with our sons, and has drawn us closer in that way. It also helped me as a parent to allow my sons more freedom in other areas, since I know we have this program that we do together. I don’t have as great a need to be everywhere with my kids. I am proud to say I have one Eagle Scout son, and hopefully another will come along as well. The Eagle Scout shows to others that my son is able to complete things he starts despite the difficulties that come along.
Scouting has also allowed my husband and me to grow as people and learn how to take part in leadership as well. We have learned alot about working with other parents, and how to be a parent in general. It has helped out family grow.
If you have not tried Scouting, I would like to suggest this is a good year to start. It does require time spent with you and your son, but this is time well spent in my opinion. Scouting is also relatively cheap, and a good value during this hard times. Scouting also contributes a fair amount of volunteer service to the areas in which their units are located. Scouting offers help to those who cannot afford to join the troop or attend activities such as summer camp. A child who may not be succeeding in other things can easily advance in Scouting. Everyone helps him.
All areas of the United Stated have a local Scouting Council. Call them, and they can put you in touch with the troops, crews and packs in your area. You won’t be sorry.