This is post is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America through The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that helped mold my boys and allowed our family to build an adventure. In my early years of motherhood, I had two boys. I wanted what every mother wants for her children, for them to grow into outstanding young men who were pillars in their communities. One day my youngest son came home with a flyer about Tiger Cubs, a part of Cub Scouts and insisted we do it.
I attended a Cub Scout open house where I learned about the program and we signed up. How could I not? They offered activities and programs that allowed my sons to try new things, serve their community, built self-confidence and reinforce ethical standards. It is a program about teamwork, individual success and developing the core values that I was trying to instill as a mother.
It was the best thing ever. I loved the program so much that I signed up to be a leader–we were involved for years and there a few where I served in various roles at the same time.
Boy Scouts offered my family fun adventures I wouldn’t have thought of doing, or didn’t have the skills to teach my boys. They went fishing, explored caves, camped out and made great friends all while getting a solid foundation of character, values and an education that has stayed with them.
When Zac was a Wolf Cub Scout, our neighbor’s child was killed by a school bus. Zac and the little girl were very good friends and he took it hard. Cub Scouts allowed him the opportunity to embrace friendship and he even stepped up to remember his friend, Bianca, and encouraged his fellow Cub Scouts to be kind to others in a campaign to remember his lost friend.
Another adventure we went on, to meet a Utah Grizzly (Utah’s minor league hockey team) was an incredible journey. The Grizzlies player, Gregor Baumgartner, actually came to our home for a meeting where he spoke the the boys about following dreams, working hard and shared his own story. He stayed and played video games with my boys. I invited him to have dinner with us and from there, he became part of my family. We enjoyed Grizzlies Hockey games, watched him as Microsoft used him to create a video game, went swimming and spent many nights enjoying one another’s company. Gregor helped Jake with his weight. A friendship that would not have been cultivated without the Boy Scout program.
My boys were part of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah through the Boy Scouts of America. They participated in beautification service projects, planting trees and more leading up to the event.
My favorite was the Cub Scout Cake auction. My boys were competitive and they took cake decorating seriously. Turns out everyone of the boys in the Pack loved this event. The parents had fun creating cakes with their sons and then on auction night, my dad, a licensed auctioneer, flew in from North Carolina to auction off the cakes. The cakes went for top dollar, some in the hundreds…the boys were proud and it was an amazing night for all the families to be together and share in the celebration of a theme, cake and auction. We raised $1400 for our Pack. It was an event we looked forward to every year.
My boys loved the Pinewood Derby. An afternoon of showcasing the pinewood car they hand-crafted, painted and were ready to race. They didn’t have to win to have fun and they celebrated with each other and their friends. It was such a great time.
Boy Scouts became an extension of my family. It allowed us quality time together. Now the Boy Scouts of America, is launching a new public service campaign called Build an Adventure. It’s a fresh look at the life-changing experiences Scouting offers regardless of where you live. There is an endless possibility for adventure. The best part, it fits in with families who have a lot of demands on their time.
I love Boy Scouts because their program got my boys into the world, away from the screen and video games and a chance to discover the world around them.
My boys left Cub Scouts and went into a Troop. Here Jake learned leadership skills that he uses to this day in his adulthood.
Boy Scouts taught Jake to be more independent. I remember when he was nominated for Junior Leadership Training (JLT). There was a quest where he went to the Boy Scout Camp and was instructed to spend 24 hours on his own. He was terrified. He doubted himself. As his mother I knew there were plenty of adult leaders should anything happen. I worried he would surrender, but Jake surprised me, and himself, and emerged a change young man. He was so proud he stayed out there for 24 hours on his own. He became acquainted with himself and discovered he truly liked who he was. It was such a great rite of passage.
It was through Boy Scouts, Jake also learned his friend’s dad couldn’t read. Jake was distraught that his friend hadn’t had his dad read him bedtime stories and Jake took it upon himself to tutor the dad. Slowly the man learned to read. It was simple, yet such an incredible gift. I will always be proud of Jake for stepping up and being such a compassionate young man who a grown man felt confident enough to share his secret and overcome it.
All of these moments in Scouts were about fostering our relationship and learning to love one another. So much of my boys’ important years were consumed by service projects. We planted trees. We helped at the dump. We organized food drives. We said “yes” to pretty much anything that would help our communities, our neighbors or our nation. Our family laughed out loud at events and I watched my little guys grow into amazing young men. I owe much of this to the Boy Scouts of America.
My Jake, who just turned 25 years old says this of Scouting:
“Scouting gave me direction. It taught me a set of values to always strive for. It taught me that preparation and a cool head can get you through just about any situation. It taught me how to work well with other and find common ground. the program promoted leadership and how to lead through love and respect.”
I look my young men, Jake and Zac, and who they are today and I am proud of them. I sincerely believe that encouraging my family to give to others passionately and unconditionally and spending time together involved in scouting is partially responsible for who they are today. I am looking forward to another round of the Boys Scouts of America and their Build an Adventure campaign with my youngest son.