May 20, 2010

Thursday Scouting

It's been a day of highs and lows. It's been... I guess normal then.

To end on a high, both my older boys just got a promotion in Scouts. They are now the rank of Star and will probably make Life in January and start working on thinking of an Eagle project.

Mr. T has been asked to be the Assistant Patrol Leader, the second in command of the entire Troop. Ringo has requested to be Quartermaster, but I'm not sure what will happen there.

Both boys were elected by the Troop for Order of the Arrow, a National Honor Society for Boy Scouts. It's a big deal and they'll be doing their ordeal this Fall. Both boys were very honored.

They have away camp this summer where they are going white water rafting. It should be a good time and they're both excited...

They both realize the opportunities making Eagle Scout will afford them. As I said to them, "It doesn't entitle you to anything, but if you're applying to college and it's between you and someone else, and EVERYTHING looks the same, except you have Eagle Scout, it's not a bad thing to separate you."

Not to mention the great leadership skills they've been learning.

What I've really noticed though is... parental participation is so important. Although I'm the one who usually attends the Thursday meetings, my husband has been very involved as well. Scouting really isn't his gig, but he's supportive and camps and helps out when it's needed. I've really stepped up to the plate, however, to help behind the scenes. The very active Dads direct, and I do more things that are paperwork related.

Those of us who are active, our boys are active. Even though it is up to the boys to make their rank, the parents who look over their son's book and questions the plan, helps organize time and helps them to see what course needs to be charted for the next badge or rank advancement, really keep their sons motivated to stay in and attain rank. Very very rarely do we have a boy that makes Eagle Scout who didn't have a parent that was active in SOME WAY within the Troop.

Very rarely.

We currently have five boys that will be making Eagle Scout from our Troop this coming school year. Five boys. That is a big deal. We have a very high success rate and when you meet these boys, you see boys who walk tall, speak to adults on an adult level, make good grades, and have serious plans for themselves.

My boys look to these older boys. My boys see this is something completely attainable. My boys look at it as 'if they did it, I can too...'

But what is interesting is to see the new little guys who have just crossed over and they're now looking at MY boys as the big boys, the boys... THEY want to be like.

And it feels good.

Posted by Boudicca at May 20, 2010 09:28 PM

It seems you have a very good Troop there. Your discription of the parent role is dead on, in some Troops they let the parents take over and the scouts do not learn a thing. Congrats on the OA nomenation, I lead the OA around my area for a while - it is a great tool to keep the older boys interested and involves them with others like them from troops other than their own. One quick point tho - Mr T was asked to be the Assistant Seinor Patrol Leader, an important distinction indeed.

Posted by: Web at May 21, 2010 09:18 AM

It takes 2 things - an interested parent and an interested boy.

I asked my son if he wanted to be in boy scouts (thinking it would be a cool thing for him to do) and he nixed the idea immediately. He had no interest at all. I would have liked to have him involved in it, I would have been the one doing most of the parental involvement part... but he did not want to do it. So I let it go. *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at May 21, 2010 11:23 AM

Eagle scout also means something in the real working world too.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at May 21, 2010 03:26 PM

I digress. I seem to do that.

Did the Boy Scout thing through Fort Riley, Newport and Redstone. Learned/enjoyed. Went on to Sea Explorers in Huntsville. Spent a lot time at Guntersville.

I'm way old now. Went to IEEE meeting in Valley Forge a few years ago and sat at a table of other guys my ancient age. Every single one of them was in Scouts. They were troop leaders or in the Regional office as volunteers. They were 100% involved.

All 8 of my nephews are scouts.

I just want to figure out how to get my 6 year old daughter involved in anything near that. Order of the Arrow. Been there. Is there anything along that line for our girls?

Posted by: Curtis at May 21, 2010 04:02 PM

We have an excellent Troop. It is what we call, 'boy run'. As parents we step in to guide or when there is a safety issue. Other than that, the boys do it.

It's funny, but I was speaking to a woman at the Scout shop and she was telling me how they tell the boys what to wear and who will be what position. I was aghast. If my boys were TOLD what positions they would hold, they'd have left scouting a long time ago.

Our new SPL asked my son to be the APL. I actually think he may very well be elected SPL in the Spring... 8th grade. Leading a full Troop of over 50 boys.

And the boy most definitely must WANT to do it. If they don't want to do it, it's nothing but aggravation at home as well as a drain on the troop. We can tell what boys don't want to be there. They make sure to let us know...

QW- You are right on that account too from what I have seen.

Curtis- I emailed you, but look into Venture Scouting. I believe it is very much like Boy Scouts, but with boys and girls combined. As a younger girl, she will do brownies like we do Cub Scouts. But as she gets older, I think Venture Scouts is it and I don't know where you live, but I believe those troops are all over and if not... you can always look into forming one!

Posted by: bou at May 22, 2010 03:09 PM