Whether it be Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or even Girl Scouts, Scouting is a place where children learn valuable character building and life lessons. It is not all knot tying, cookie/popcorn selling, and patches. While there are all three of those things, there is so much more.
My world of Scouting started long before I had kids. I married into a family where all the boys are Eagle Scouts. Don’t know what that is? That’s okay, I really didn’t know either, but an Eagle Scout is the highest rank of a Boy Scout you can get. My husband and his three brothers all took the journey to be Eagle Scouts for life. Who knew years later, I would be watching my son excel and grow in Cub Scouts. As a veteran Scout Mom, I have decided to share a few of the things I have learned as a mom of a Scout.
It is more than knot tying – Yes, in Cub Scouts you may learn to tie a few knots, but there is so much more to Scouts than that. My son has learned how to shoot a BB gun, start a fire, shoot a bow and arrow, pocket knife safety, bake cookies, and so much more. Scouts also emphasizes important traits such as honesty, responsibility, respect and loyalty–traits any boy would really benefit from learning.
Teamwork is required – There are some things that our children can’t do by themselves in Scouts. This requires parental participation. Things like selling popcorn door to door, completing belt loops and pins, and building a pinewood derby car need a helping hand from an adult. The pinewood derby alone needs dad or mom to help with power tools, but can be a great time to work together. (Beware when your child has big ideas on the car of his dreams and you are thrust into pushing your abilities as a woodworker. You want to do what?)
Roughin’ it – Who says moms can’t camp in the wilderness? I had the wonderful pleasure of accompanying my son on his Webelo campout this summer. Honestly he was initially disappointed mom was going and not dad, but I won him over with the awesome speed in which I pitched our tent. (Like a pro!) Now it might not be your cup of tea to sleep out under the stars, but I had a great time hiking with the boys, listening to the boys perform skits around the campfire, and spending time with my son. I also believe when you sleep on the bumpy ground and do your business in a pit toilet you get serious supermom points!
Patches & Pins – Put down those thimbles. Save your thumbs. I have put on so many patches and I wish I would have heard this tip 4 years ago. They have products for attaching patches without sewing. Badge Magic works like magic, especially when you wait until the night before a bridging ceremony to attach 7 patches. (But I’ve never done that.)
Giving Back – One of my favorite things about Scouting is the community aspect. My son’s troop has done many things to keep their promise “to help other people”, from cleaning the school grounds, planting trees, volunteering at events, and collecting toys for Toys for Tots. My favorite part of the year is when the pack sings christmas carols at a local nursing home. The whole family goes along and participates in caroling. The kids love giving back.
Scouting has been a wonderful experience for both my son and our family. I am a proud Scout mom.