Letter: Speaking out for the Boy Scouts
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Boy Scouts of America, and not much of it has been good. As an Eagle Scout, a parent of two Boy Scouts and assistant scoutmaster of Troop 225, I’d like to change that.
At the end of last year, there were 2.6 million Scouts. Unfortunately, two leaders who are not good role models are getting a lot of attention right now when more than a million leaders across the U.S. are creating positive experiences. They are helping these boys and young men learn to make good choices by instilling in them the values of the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
I try to live my life by this law and believe that I wouldn’t be who I am, or where am I today, without Scouting. I’m proud to be able to pass these values on to my sons.
Boy Scouts learn important skills during camping trips, like survival, cooking, personal fitness and first aid, but camping is only a small part of it. They learn how to be good citizens, write letters to elected officials and speak at city council meetings. They participate in community service projects to the tune of 13.4 million hours nationwide during 2012. And they get to experience things that they might not otherwise get the chance to, such as travel to places like Yellowstone, the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and Washington D.C., visit the Smithsonian and participate in the Klondike Derby to learn snow survival skills.
For adults, the Boy Scouts organization provides and requires a series of training courses in order to become leaders. Courses must be retaken every two years to maintain registration. There are also additional training opportunities, such as the weeklong Wood Badge advanced leadership camp that I attended. Along with 35 other men and women, and an equal number of students, I learned how to be a better leader by improving my listening, communicating, coaching, mentoring, project-planning, problem-solving and team-building skills.
If you’re interested in learning more or discussing the merits of Scouting, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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