This post brought to you by Boy Scouts of America. All opinions are 100% mine.
The Boys Scouts of America promote and teach the qualities needed to become men with integrity. A scout is defined as honest, loyal, kind, helpful, obedient, cheerful, brave, and reverent among other quality traits. My hubby came from a family of scouts. Not only were he and his brother scouts but his father a scout leader and cousin accomplished Eagle Scout stature! He attributes much of what he learned about “being a male” to his Boy Scout days.
After questioning hubby at length, I learned that not much has changed since he participated in scouting. Hubby proudly shared his troop memories. Each month an area of learning was chosen by the leader that related to earning merit badges, which is similar to the current meeting structure. Today, a scout can earn more than 100 merit badges.
His weekly meetings consisted of a learning time, a group activity – that was usually a sport – and a bit of free time as well. He smiled, recalling free time spent with the troop leaders telling jokes back and forth among the troop.
Earning merit badges was most rewarding regardless of how difficult the requirements were, according to my hubby. Many of the badges required confirmation from an expert in the given field. These are not easy to achieve by any means and require both education and physical participation. Much of what he learned and accomplished was helpful in later years.
His favorite thing about being a boy scout was the camping and survival methods he learned and experienced. Being a Florida boy, many of the camping excursions were located in the Everglades. My response, “Snakes and mosquitoes no thank you!” He thoroughly enjoyed the comradery and learning camping skills not to mention the fun the boys had together.
He told of a regional two-week summer camping event in Georgia in which a tropical storm developed. The boy scouts tents were scattered throughout the wooded area set upon wood palates. When the outer bands arrived, the rain was so intense the palates began to float, collapsing the tents. He laughed aloud as he remembered resetting the tents in the dark rainy night. After the storm passed, they built a monkey bridge (built via rope tied in knots) over a small waterway. Divided in two teams they held a mock battle to secure their territory. His team managed to safely cross the bridge and overcome the other team, winning the battle.
His reaction made it quite clear that being part of the Boy Scouts of America had a positive impact on his boyhood and his life. As my husband told his stories the confidence, education, and accomplishments scouting provided him continue to enrich even at midlife.
Scout Oath (or Promise)
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Visiting Boy Scouts of America, I was impressed by the advancements of the current program. For example, in addition to the camping, survival, knot-tying lessons of old, introduces young boys to the technologies that are shaping the future. According to the Boys Scouts of America, a new curriculum is being introduced with emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. The Robotics merit badge, the most recent of the 31 STEM-related merit badges, aims to develop critical competitive skills. This badge requires a Scout to understand how robots move (actuators), sense the environment (sensors), and understand what to do (programming); he should demonstrate robot design in building a robot.
In a world that is very busy, monetarily driven, and politically correct, young boys will without doubt benefit physically and mentally from participating in this honorable brotherhood.