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average mom 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Scouting: Fighting for relevance

I am an active Den Leader gearing up for my third year. My opinion regarding the decline of scouting has little or nothing to do with who does or does not attend/appear at National Jamboree, the boys' sexual orientation, or anything of a political nature.

The enjoyment the boys in my den experience is directly related to whether or not Mom and/or Dad bother to get them to the meeting/activity. The actions we as parent exhibit to our children establish a norm for our kids. If they see that it is OK to be late to a meeting, then in their minds it is OK to be late for church, work, court.....If it is OK to attend a meeting and be ill-prepared.....not so easy.

I have spent countless hours preparing materials for my boys that is provided both to them and to their parent directly, only to have the parents ask the same question over and over. If they would bother to hold up their end of the deal, it would be so much better for the boys. Of my boys, the ones who have parents that make it a point to fulfill their end of the bargain have had great experiences at the meetings, day camps, and overnight camps.

Regarding being ill-prepared for a meeting. My boys were asked to present a collection they might have at home. Trust me - the two or three boys who had parents that didn't ensure they got to each of the meetings were embarassed that they had not met that requirement for advancement. You can bet that is a lesson they won't soon forget - not to mention, they made sure their parents knew they needed to take their collections to the next meeting or be left behind.

Is scouting relevant? I don't know. Is it relevant in our society to simply slow down and listen to a young boy as he tries oh so hard to meet all the expectations heaped on him by society to do well in school, sports, and everywhere else? I know that in our house (and in the houses of my siblings who were also scouts and are now scout leaders): Yes. It is extremely relelvant. Not to mention, when you see the elation on the face of the shy boy who makes the presentation or the clumsy boys who wins the race, or the boy who finally understands he is among friends and it is OK to make a mistake - it is the best sight in the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Posted by average mom on 07/31/2010 at 1:37 PM


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