With the upcoming new school year just around the corner, many parents will be looking for sports teams, school programs and a variety of other activities for their boys to enjoy. This fall, consider what lessons your son will learn from their activities that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. The Boy Scouts of America provides young men with programs and activities that allow them to try a lot of new things indoors and outdoors in all the seasons; provide service to others and their community; build self-confidence through personal achievement and teamwork; and teach and reinforce positive ethical thinking and actions.
While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community, to respect and know nature, and to strengthen his family’s religious convictions. Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is instilled in them that those of us in the scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether they win or lose. Developing a good work ethic, doing your best, and being ready for life’s situations are at the core of the Boy Scouts of America.
Health and wellness are also key components of the outdoor experience. As scouts hike, paddle, climb, bike, or ride, their muscles become strong and their physical capacity and dexterity increases. Scouts learn about service to others and good citizenship through such outdoor activities as conservation projects, collecting food, building trails and shelters and conducting community service projects of many kinds. Through helping other people, scouts learn to appreciate how they can give of themselves and use their energies to help those in need. By giving service to benefit others, scouts gain a sense of personal satisfaction and really making a difference.
Scouting’s age-appropriate activities lead to personal responsibility, high self-esteem, and positive moral responsibility. Sounds pretty heavy, but the boys just think they’re having fun doing neat stuff! As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made. One just need to hear the scout oath and law just once to know it stands for all that is good. That is probably why in our over one hundred year existence, they have stood the test of time and haven’t changed one noun or preposition. Words like “On my honor” and “Duty to God, Country, and Others” and “Trustworthy and Courteous” are cornerstones of the BSA.
Learning by doing is a hallmark of the outdoor education in the Boy Scout of America. In the outdoors, youth have opportunities to acquire skills that make them more self-reliant. Attributes of good character become part of a young man as he learns to cooperate to meet outdoor challenges that may include extreme weather, difficult trails and portages and dealing with nature's unexpected circumstances. That whole “Be Prepared” thing is something we take very seriously. Young men who stay on and persevere in the Boy Scouts of America, and those who distinguish themselves by earning the Eagle Scout Award go on in life to be leaders in their place of work, their community, and their country. Guys like Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Robert Gates, Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford, James Brady, and the list goes on, are Eagle Scouts.
As schools open, you will see opportunities to join a Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop at elementary schools. Scout leaders will be visiting your school, sending home information and hosting sign-up nights for parents to begin the adventure of scouting. You can always go to alleghenyhighlands.org, or call 665-2697 during normal business hours and find where scouting is happening in your community.
This fall, start the new school year with the lifelong values of the Boy Scouts of America. It is a fun adventure that will benefit you and your son for years to come. Boy Scouts of America: Be Prepared. For Life.
Allegheny Highlands Council, BSA