This blog is sponsored by Boy Scouts of America and was created by guest blogger, Sara Phipps. This blog is not a reflection of fun4firstcoastkids.com opinions.
My daughter, who is two years older than my son, is in Girl Scouts. When she was a Daisy, they met twice a month, camped once a year. So when my son was in 1st grade and came home with a sheet from S.U.N (Sign Up Night), I figured it would be easy enough. Well...Cub Scouts was dramatically different from Girl Scouts! I attended the Den & Pack meetings with him and we participated in "Go See its" on the weekends to meet requirements. He was having fun and we had more family time together and went places we probably would have never gone to see. We've slept on a Battle ship, by the Caverns, in a science museum, at Kennedy Space Center, at Sea World with the Dolphins and more!
After about 2 years of Cub Scouting and camping, I started to attend Leader Meetings so I could hear where we would be camping and hopefully have a say in it. After attending a few Leader Meetings, realized thow much volunteers were needed. I accepted the role of Cubmaster and Bears Den Leader. I've always volunteered since then and I truly enjoy volunteering in Scouting and my Church. I liked thinking of fun things for the kids to do to meet their requirements and during the Pack Meetings. I love that the family participates and camps "together" in Cub Scouts. I love that Electronics are not allowed at camp outs. That the purpose of camping is to learn to be together, relax and especially to be social with each other. What a great family bonding time!
I love the fact that in BSA, a Scout is Reverent, when all other Organizations are removing God. I love the Scout Oath & Law - as every citizen should live by these attributes. I love that Fundraising gets these kids out and speaking to people (something that can't really be taught, but learned from experience) and gives them a sense of pride, when they earn their prizes and earn money in their Scout account. So, all in all - I truly love the Scouting Program!
With that said, when BSA announced Scouts BSA for Feb 2019, I mentioned it to my husband around the kids. My daughter, who is 13 and currently still a member of Girl Scouts has always participated in Cub Scout events and camp outs said, "I'm joining Boy Scouts - I want to earn my Eagle Scout honor," I was shocked. What?? Oh man! I was going to have to be a Scoutmaster. "Are you sure you really want to do this," I asked? "Look at all the requirements before you and "I" commit!" Without hesitation, she looked up the requirements and said yes, she was in. So, we've been working on this new Troop and I look forward to meeting the newest members of the Scouts BSA Troop in February 2019, this time with my daughter!
When we speak to family and friends about Marina joining Boy Scouts, some look perplexed. I say right away that I think it's an AWESOME program and I think girls should have the right to earn their Eagle. Girls can do everything a boy can do, after all. Don't get me wrong. It is a lot of work. Parents are setting up the tents, cooking and preparing the events. It's tough to say, "Yeah, let's go camping instead of sitting at home watching TV." But that's what is great about it. If it wasn't for the camping, hiking and events to participate in - I would probably be sitting on the couch at home with the kids. It's also tough when you're walking in the 90 degree heat down a trail and wishing you were in A/C. However, when you've completed an amazing hike and you're sitting in your camp chair after you've enjoyed a great meal cooked outside, sitting under the stars - there's a sense of accomplishment - for the kids and for me. The kids, boys and girls, will look back and remember these great times. And they will always have their Eagle they've earned - the experience, on their resume, and for life. As my son is getting older, we look back at all the camp outs/events we participated in and it reminds us of all the fun we had and that the hard work was worth it! We can't wait to accomplish more, with our daughter, too!
I can't imagine where my kids would be if not for Scouting. "Prepared for Life" is not just for BSA. All parents want to raise their children to be Independent and good citizens in society. The scouting program helps with that. Scouting for us is a way of life.
Boy Scouts of America offers many programs for children throughout Northeast Florida. They have Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, STEM Program, Venturing, Aquatics Camp Summer Camp, and more. They have many events throughout fall for registered scouts! You can find more information about Boy Scout programs by visiting their website, here. There are eighty six sign up nights in Duval County this back to school season! Sign up nights start August 22 and run through September 28 at various local schools. To find a sign up night closest to you, visit this page!