During the my last year of tech college my classmates and I would discuss what we wanted to do with our lives once we were out on our own. What kind of job did we hope to get? What kind of community would we like to settle down in? What organizations would we get involved with, if any?
I was a Boy Scout for three years so I made the comment that it might be fun to find a troop and get involved again. When I think about that comment now I have to stop and ask myself, why did I say that? I really did not accomplish much as a Boy Scout. Yes, I went to the meetings, and the occasional weekend camping trip, and three week long summer camps, but I do not remember much about them. I only earned four merit badges. I only got as far as Second Class Rank. I do not remember a single court of honor. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, my time as a Boy Scout was pretty uneventful.
I must have had enough fun in Scouting though to make a comment like that in college. I may have realized that the Scout program was a great program to help young boys grow into men of strong character. I guess I wanted a chance to be a part of that process. But there was one more reason to reconnect with Scouting. A personal one. I always felt bad that I did not remember much about my time as a Scout, and that I did not accomplish much in the program. I thought that maybe I could help some other boys have a great time in Scouting and do the things I never had the chance to do.
As luck would have it, I found a job and settled back in my hometown. Within two months I discovered they had restarted the troop which had been disbanded about five years earlier. I walked up to the scoutmaster one night and asked him if he could use some help. That was nearly thirty years ago. I think I can honestly say that I have helped to make a positive impact on the Scout program in this community.
How long will I continue to be with the program? I do not know. I had never planned to be with it for three decades. Unfortunately, this community may make the decision for me. Membership in the troop has dropped to only seven Boy Scouts, down from nearly forty Scouts ten years ago. I discovered today that the Cub Pack currently has only three boys. One of the Pack’s problems is that parents do not want to take on any of the leadership roles. This has been going on for the last five years or longer. Thus, the Pack’s program has suffered, and the boys are not joining like they once did.
Let’s face it, parents need to get involved, at least at the Cub Scout level, for the program to succeed. Do today’s parents not understand the great benefits of the Scouting program, both to them and their sons?
Get involved with Scouting? Too tell the truth, I can think of few programs that are better worth your time and effort.