The tenth point of the Scout Law is “A Scout is Brave”, and truer words have not been spoken, especially lately.
In today’s culture, it’s controversial to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America. In the past five years we have made progress in our goals to be fair, and inclusive, but yet still holding true to the ideals and standards set by our founder Lord Baden-Powell, but it hasn’t been easy!
Scouts these days are challenged by peer pressure, public criticism, and in some instances, downright hate, but if you could set aside the need for political correctness, and just observe the scouts themselves, you would be amazed at what the program has to offer the youth of America!
As Scouts, youth are given so many opportunities that they may not otherwise have, such as climbing mountains, canoeing the wilderness of Canada, scuba diving in the Bahamas, and not to mention world travel with the International Scouting Program, where a few scouts from each council are chosen to represent the Boy Scouts of America, visiting other countries.
Scouting as been a great choice for youth with Autism, and Asbergers, because of the structure of the program. BSA has troops and packs throughout the country working with kids with special needs, and will make alternative requirements so that these children will even have the opportunity to make it to the rank of Eagle Scout.
As a scout they learn cheerful service to others, pride in their country, and how to be a productive part of society. They learn self reliance, first aid, wilderness survival, search and rescue, emergency response, citizenship, money management, and how to care for their physical and mental well being. They are given opportunities to work on a wide variety of merit badges that allows them a closer look at potential career choices, and vocations.
It’s not just a bunch of nerds helping the elderly cross the street!
I had a scout in the shop one day that told me the best story of a personal experience. He was in his class, and something was said about him being an Eagle Scout, so some of the kids were giving him a hard time about it. After a few minutes of this, the captain of the football team stood up, and asked these kids what they had against Eagle Scouts, that he was one also. Then two more boys stood up, and said they were scouts, working on their Eagle rank. The young man told me this made him feel so good, that these other scouts came to his aid! This story gave me goosebumps!
Recently Boy Scouts opened up membership to allow girls in the program, and they will be able to work on the same rank requirements as the boys, even the rank of Eagle Scout! I’m so excited about this change! You might be thinking ” don’t they already have girl scouts? “, yes they do, but they are separate organizations, and conduct a completely different program. I would hear the stories almost everyday from girls that joined Girl Scouts thinking they would be doing the same thing their brothers were doing, just to be disappointed, and dropout.
I’m not saying that Boy Scouts of America is perfect, I know there is still work to be done, but I know that if we had more scouts in our schools and communities, this world could be a better place.
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.