It seems that many people have an opinion on Scouting these days and what it should and shouldn’t look like. I remember counting down the years before my son could join and become a Tiger with the Cub Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. I was so excited for the adventures he would have, the skills he would learn, and the lifetime of memories he would make as I daydreamed of his path leading to becoming a Boy Scout. Because when I thought of someone confident in their abilities outdoors, I thought of a Scout. When I thought of someone who was helpful towards their fellow man, I thought of a Scout. When I thought of someone resourceful, I thought of a Scout. I didn’t know how it all worked, I just know that this program did, indeed, work to bring out the best in young boys as they grew up into men.
All of these daydreams eventually became a reality as he came of age to join. I volunteered as an adult leader right away in our pack, and have been doing so ever since in various roles. A flurry of pinewood derby cars, den meetings, archery, campouts, cuborees, songs, chants, games, bb guns, hikes, exploring, knots, pocket knives, and many service projects have graced the past four years of our lives. All of those things intermingled with the sports teams he joined, homeschool, and music lessons to form a beautiful, if not busy, tapestry of life.
What you may not know, however, is he is an older brother to his two-years-younger sister. In the midst of all that he was a part of in Scouting, she was right there with him. You see, Cub Scouting has always been family focused. Everyone is welcome to help these young boys navigate the world they are in, to mold and shape them, carve an experience rich in character development amidst lots of fun. His sister joined in all the fun of every game, song, campout, hike, and service project. She tagged right along on every go-see, and hung out at every camp card sales table. Of course, she had her own extracurricular activities, as well as being a Daisy Scout with the Girl Scouts, but she was certainly just as much a part of my son’s Cub Scouting journey as he was.
As a volunteer for those many years and counting, I get to see all of these young people change and grow as they travel the same path that many scouts have traveled before them. This iconic program leads children to think beyond themselves and grow in such a fashion that they become dependable, healthy, kind, courageous, creative, problem-solving adults. It creates leaders. It is a program that fulfills all of those needs that parents are looking for in a youth program, and one that my family and I are proud to support. Especially now that it can formally involve the entire family; because like I had mentioned earlier, when you think of all these positive things that Scouting delivers, why would we not want that for all youth? As a busy mother, I’m delighted to have a positive program that both of my children can be involved in at the same time.
From den meetings to summer camps, my children have benefited from scouting together this past year in the best of ways. All of the things that call to children about adventure, innovation, play, instincts, and risk taking, can all be found wrapped into something that pulls the best character traits of a person and puts it all front and center in the developmental years of a human. I think to the future, and I smile knowing that so many more youth will have the opportunity to join scouting and learn the skills that will help them for life. That my son and daughter, and potential grandsons and granddaughters, will have the chance to make Eagle and become legacy Scouters themselves. It’s a beautiful reality that we are looking to, with generations of young people leading the charge to become trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent leaders.
About the Author
Candice Y. lives in the Southside/Arlington area of Jax. She is a home-schooling mom of a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Married 13 years. Candice loves to run, camp, and hike all over Jacksonville and beyond. She enjoy good books, road trips, tea time, and is a fuzzy blanket enthusiast in her downtime.