My name is Kevin McNeff. I am an incoming senior at Fort Bend Christian as well as a Life Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 1424. I would like to inform your readers why I believe scouting is a great program for youth in our community. While in elementary school one may be a Cub Scout, the real fun begins when they can join Boy Scouts in middle school.
Boy Scouts is fun! You can make new friends and play in the outdoors while camping, and setting out on all kinds of new adventures such as canoeing, fishing, hiking, and enjoying fun outdoor games. However the real merit in Boy Scouts is in the life skills you can learn. I have learned a lot about cooking through Boy Scouts. While we usually cook simple meals such as eggs and bacon, grilled cheese sandwiches, and hamburgers, we often will also cook more extravagant meals such as fettuccine alfredo, jambalaya, fajitas and cobbler.
One scout I know has decided his career path through his experience in scouts. He is planning to head off to the Culinary Institute of America to become a chef. In Boy Scouts you may also learn about automobile repair.
From the beginning of the scouting experience, scouts are taught first aid extensively, including proper CPR, making splints for broken bones, how to treat burns and any first aid that needs to be known for everyday living and for camping. Most scouts will also go on to learn to fish and how to tie proper fishing knots.
The most important life skill you can learn through Boy Scouts is leadership. Boy Scouts is designed to be boy lead rather than adult lead. The boys plan and run their own meetings, schedule their own campouts, and design their own inner patrol activities. As the current Senior Patrol Leader, I have the opportunity to run the meetings and most aspects of the Boy Scout program. Throughout my scouting career I have found that these leadership positions take a great deal of effort, but are incredibly fun and teach you lifelong skills in regard to guiding others and being a responsible yet fun leader.
Boy Scouts teaches a lot more than good life skills. Boy Scouts teaches good morals. When scouts first enter scouting they are charged with the Scout Law and Scout Oath which they are expected to uphold within and outside of scouting. These oaths help scouts to build character throughout their scouting career.
Older scouts also have the opportunity to go above and beyond the norm with high adventure programs. Through high adventure programs I have had several wonderful experiences. I have been able to kayak, go single track mountain biking on intermediate trails, earn my PADI scuba diving license to experience a week long scuba trip in the Florida Keys and go on an eleven day long backpacking trek twice in New Mexico. All of these are memories I remember vividly and will forever cherish.
If you or your child are interested in joining Boy Scouts, visit http://beascout.org. This site will list all of the Boy Scout troops in your area. You can learn more about scouting online; however, the best way is to experience it yourself.