Not long ago, I shared information from a recent bullying study by the U.S. Department of Education indicating a drop in bullying in schools across the country. I was encouraged by its findings and am hopeful that this downward trend will continue.
Unfortunately, this issue hits home for many youth across the country and it’s our hope that Scouting can play a role in helping young people counter bullying. I know all of us work hard every day to instill the Scouting values in youth and help prepare them for any situation, including bullying. But we don’t always know the effect this can have on Scouts.
Speaking about this topic, especially when it happens to your own child, is hard. And that’s why I want to call out a Scouting mom who courageously shared her and her son’s experience with bullying and how Scouting help this young man deal with a difficult situation.
Adrian, a proud Scouting mom, and the blogger of Adrian’s Crazy Life, knew her son was getting bullied at school.
It was almost a daily challenge, with as many as eight classmates taunting him and making his life miserable.
Blake comes from a Scouting family, and Adrian shares in her blog how she knew Scouting would help ease his bullying woes:
“One thing the books all say is that confidence makes a big difference in making a kid feel less vulnerable and makes him less of a magnet for bullies. And I think Scouting really helps to build confidence in these young boys.”
Blake is now in the middle of his Eagle Scout project, raising funds for a “Buddy Bench” at a local low-income elementary school. It’s designed to be a safe place for kids who feel left out or are troubled by bullies to go to where other kids have to either leave them alone or can help comfort them.
Blake’s story is a powerful testimonial as to how our movement is having an impact on the behaviors of today’s young people, their parents, and their communities to learn the values of Scouting and how to respect others. I think we can all be inspired by how Blake managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one by motivating himself to find a solution to bullying to help other young people who may find them in a similar situation – all based on the values he learned through Scouting.
I applaud Blake for his courage and determination and encourage him to keep up the good fight. A simple idea like his Buddy Bench can really make a big difference in young people’s lives. Blake, you’re an inspiration to all of us!