By Kevin Arthur
If your life is like mine, there are not enough hours in a day or days in a week to fit in everything that needs to be done. With a family of three children and two full-time working parents, my wife and I run from event to event after school while trying to leave enough time to get homework done, prepare and eat dinner, and have a few minutes of family time before bed
There is one activity that allows your boys to get a taste of ‘everything’ while, at the same time, allowing some flexibility in your schedule. The Scouting program is designed to give boys from the ages of 11 through 17 the opportunity to try just about any activity.
In the Scout program, boys have the opportunity to earn more than 121 merit badges that range from Athletics, Fishing, and Environmental Science to Automotive Maintenance, Metal Work, Law, Medicine, and Nuclear Science. For each of these badges, the boy works with an adult volunteer who has expertise in one of these fields. This experience often helps the Scout find a lifelong hobby or vocation. If you would like to learn more about merit badges, please visit: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx.
One needs to look no further than the first chapter of The Boy Scout Handbook to learn the most important aspect of the Scouting program: Leadership. Scouting is a boy-run program with adult volunteers there to guide them along the way and to look out for their safety.
The Senior Patrol Leader, a boy usually anywhere from the age of 13 to 17, elected by fellow Scouts from his Troop, is in charge of running the program for his Troop. This leader, along with other elected boy leaders in the Troop, plans all of the Troop’s activities from camping trips to award ceremonies. It is also the older boys in the troop who teach the basic Scouting skills found in The Scout Handbook (this does not include merit badges) to the younger Scouts.
Scouting is a great program that serves ‘Tween and Teen boys well into their futures. So why not lighten up your hectic schedule, and instead of running your son from event to event with little time for anything else, let him try everything. Welcome to the Boy Scouts!
Kevin Arthur is an Eagle Scout, a 1990 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, and an U.S. Air Force pilot who recently retired after 20 years of service. He is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 516 in Stafford, VA.
Scouting by the Numbers
Out of every 100 Scouts:
?one will use his Scouting skills to save a life;
? one will use his Scouting skills to save his own life;
?one will enter the clergy;
?eight will enter a vocation initially learned through a merit badge;
?and 18 will develop hobbies that will last throughout adult life. -- National Capital Area Council (NCAC) Friends of Scouting flyer
What Makes An Eagle Scout?
To reach the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting, a boy needs to complete 21 merit badges: 12 which are required, and the rest from any topic of interest to the Scout --The Boy Scout Handbook
Eagle Scouts make up:
?65% of college graduates;
?63% of Air Force Academy graduates;
?68% of West Point graduates;
?70% of Annapolis graduates;
?72% of Rhodes Scholars;
?65% serving in the U.S. Congress;
?85% of FBI agents;
?85% of airline pilots;
?108 of 172 astronauts (26 of the first 29 astronauts were Scouts and 11 of the 12 who walked on the moon were Scouts) --Friends of Scouting