I think our Scouts often do the best job of telling the story of how Scouting benefits today’s young people. However, sometimes it’s difficult to get them to sit still long enough to pull those thoughts together.
I enjoyed reading one Scout Mom’s account of how she quizzed her son about what Scouting has done for him. It was a somewhat drawn-out conversation, as he had just returned from a weekend campout and was a bit sleep-deprived, but here are some excerpts from her conversation with her son, a senior patrol leader in Abington, Mass.:
- “Scouting has given me confidence in myself. I’m not afraid to at least give something a try.”
- “I’m not nervous to get up and talk in front of people anymore.”
- “I know more about first aid and to look for red flags for a stroke or a heart attack.”
- “I like helping others. It keeps me busy and out of trouble.”
- “I have built lasting friendships. I don’t think I would have the close friends that I have now.”
- “Now that I’m working on my Eagle, if I suddenly gave this up, right now, to me it would be the biggest failure of my life.”
If asked, would most of your Scouts give you those kinds of answers?
If not, then take a look at your programs. Reflect on whether the Scouting experiences you provide can produce the kind of thinking among your members that this Scout shared with his mom.
Determine if you are giving your Scouts the skills necessary to be prepared for life’s challenges — and if they are having fun along the way. A first-person account like this one is a sound testimonial that this unit’s program is working, delivering a quality Scouting experience and providing memories that will last a lifetime.