Story contributed by Christine Rasure, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater St. Louis Area Council
Boy Scouts may be boy-led, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing in it for parents.
“To me, [Boy Scouts] is when the fun really begins,” says Monica Aschenbrenner, Scoutmaster for Troop 661 chartered to Point School PTO in the Gravois Trail District.
Monica, who knew nothing about Scouting until her son joined as a Tiger Cub seven years ago, served as den leader and cubmaster before crossing over to Boy Scouts.
“I need to talk to somebody about that one hour a week thing,” joked Monica. “A couple friends in the neighborhood, we all have boys the same age. We all entered at the same time and started leading the den. It just kind of grew from there.”
Although she jokes about the time commitment, Monica believes Scouting truly is time well spent. Most parents can agree that kids grow up fast. The time they have to positively shape the lives of their children is short, but Scouting has the unique opportunity to make the most of right now. With hectic schedules filled with things like school, work and sports, Scouting allows for quality time between parents and their kids.
“You get a lot of one-on-one time with your kid,” said Monica. “S bar F is pretty far away from me. You’re in a car with your kid and there is a lot to talk about, and not just Scout stuff. We talk about school and music. It’s not just everyone parked in front of a TV or the kid with the iPad and all you see is the top of his head and you never see or talk to him because he always has his nose in a game. Even if we talk about video games, that’s fine too. It’s talking; it’s that one-on-one time. Scouting makes it pretty easy to get that time with him.”
It’s easy to recognize that during that time, Monica’s favorite thing about Scouting is the opportunity to watch her son grow into adulthood.
“You see so much growth when the boys take over the troop. Those first few meetings it was hard not to step in and go, ‘Boys, what are you doing? This isn’t the way you run a meeting.’ But they got it done, and that’s where the growth comes.
“After their first summer camp, they leave a little boy and they come back and they’re making their own eggs in the morning, they can cook chicken outdoors, and start their own fire. You’re really missing out if you don’t witness some of it.”
Now that her son is 13 years old, his sights are set on achieving Eagle Scout.
“That achievement is going to open doors for you,” Monica said. “If you go for a job interview and the employer is a former Scout, he’s already going to be able to make some real quick assumptions about you if you’re an Eagle Scout like you’re organized, able to set goals, you can lead. So if that’s the type of person he’s looking for, and what employer isn’t, you have a better shot at getting a good job.”
And for all the benefits Scouting provides her son, Monica admits part of the fun is experiencing new activities herself too.
“I have a passion; I really believe in the Scouting system and the ideals,” Monica said. “And it’s fun to be a Scout. I was not a Scout when I was younger. There is stuff that I’m doing now that I probably wouldn’t just go out and do if it wasn’t for Scouts, like zip lining and shooting guns. Scouting gives me a great excuse to go out and camp and just hang out in the woods and do fun stuff.”
Scouting Wire would like to thank Christine Rasure for submitting this story.