Tonight my son graduated from a Wolf Scout to a Bear Scout. He is so proud of his accomplishments with scouts. He loves earning belt loops, patches, pins and Pinewood Derby Trophies.
Cub Scouts bring families together through one exciting adventure after another.
Today I am honored to interview Scouter Mom, a Scouter with experience and invaluable knowledge for parents of Scouts of all ages.
Please visit Scouter Mom's blog for ideas, inspiration and all things scouts!
PGM: Can you please tell me a little about your self and family?
SM: My husband and I have been married almost 20 years now. We are both very involved in Scouting. I am the Crew Advisor for the Venture Crew, which serves as our church youth group. I am also a Webelos Den Leader for my youngest son's Cub Scout den and an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Boy Scout troop.
My husband is the Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout troop and an Associate Advisor for the Venture Crew. He is also the Camping Coordinator for the Cub Pack.
We have four sons. My oldest is will be a Senior in high school. He is an Eagle Scout and is currently the Senior Patrol Leader for the Boy Scout Troop and the Treasurer for the Venture Crew. He will be serving on staff for a resident Cub Scout camp this summer. My second son is starting his Sophomore year. He is a Life Scout and is a Patrol Leader in the troop and the Vice President - Program for the Venture Crew. My third son is entering 7th grade. He is a First Class Scout and is also a Patrol Leader in the troop. My youngest son is entering 5th grade and is a Webelos Cub Scout. He will be crossing over to the Boy Scout troop next February.
PGM: How long have you been involved in Scouts?
SM: I've been involved for about ten years now, since my oldest son got involved in Cub Scouts.
PGM: How has Scouting affected your family? Does it help bring your family together, especially with all the camps, outings, hikes and fundraisers?
SM: Yes, we spend a lot of time Scouting together. Although we always seem to be camping separately, since usually I go with the Pack and my husband goes with the Troop. One time last year, my husband and I both camped with the Crew and my two older sons. The younger two were with the Pack and the Troop. It was really fun camping with my husband and the teenagers. Although camping with a coed teenage Scouting unit is a whole new adventure!
PGM: If you can remember life before scouting, do you think your parenting style was different? If so, how has it changed?
SM: I think it is pretty similar to before. I tend to bring my parenting style to Scouting rather than the other way around. My goal is to raise confident, independent kids, and that really fits in well with Scouting.
PGM: What is the funniest or most exciting activity your den ever did? What was the worst/most disastrous activity they did?;
SM: I've had a lot of great experiences thanks to Scouting. I think camping is the most fun. I never camped before I got involved in Scouting and there is just something fun about taking a group of kids out and letting them explore the world. Many kids are so scheduled and busy that they have never just gone out in nature and really experienced it. It is a beautiful thing to see the excitement on their faces and let them enjoy the adventure of playing in the creek or going on a hike.
However, my first camping trip goes down as one of the toughest experiences of my life. I was the Webelos den leader for my second son's den, and we went to a camporee. It was late April and the weather was supposed to be beautiful. Well we got there and the weather quickly turned ugly. The wind was so strong that one of the poles on our dining fly bent. It was extremely cold and rainy. We had a freeze out the second night. The boys hung in there and managed to have fun though. Fast forward about a year to when they crossed over to Boy Scouts. They all got to tell about their favorite Cub Scout memory. Almost all of them talked about that miserable campout. They remembered sitting around the fire and playing games in the field. The whole time I was listening to them I was thinking "What campout were you on? What about the rain and the ice and the howling wind?" I think that is an important lesson, that what is sometimes a less than perfect experience from an adult point of view can be a great success from the point of view of a youth.
PGM: Can you tell us why boys need Cub Scouts? What keeps boys motivated to stay in Scouts?
SM: I think Cub Scouting is important because of the broad experience it provides to the youth. Like I mentioned above, many have not had much outdoor adventure. The Cub Scouting program lets them find what they are good at - be it sports or chess or learning about weather - and then be recognized for it. The younger ranks in Cub Scouts provide an opportunity for boys to get together and enlarge their social circle. Often kids who don't hang out together at school can be found in a group in the Cub Scout program.
As Cub Scouts work together as Webelos, they also become more independent and tackle more challenging projects. And that is good, because it really prepares them for the youth-led aspects of Boy Scouts and Venturing. In today's world where it is difficult for parents to let their children be independent, our youth really hunger for that opportunity to determine what they will do rather than having the adults plan everything for them. It is that youth-led aspect of the program for the older Scouts which really keeps them in for the long term.
PGM: Thank you Scouter Mom! Please visit her blog to learn even more about Scouting.