My husband and I were both raised very differently. Growing up I played sports, was active in church youth groups, went to summer camp, traveled with my family, and was a Girl Scout. My husband grew up doing none of those things, his parents just never felt the need for those activities. In fact he was twenty-seven when he went on his first "official" vacation where he saw the ocean for the very first time. As our children got older our opinions differed on how important participating in extra-curricular activities were for them. Yes they are expensive. Yes, we spend a lot of time running around taking them here or there but in the end it is worth it.
Little Man joined Boy Scouts of America this year and he is receiving his Bobcat Badge tomorrow night at his pack meeting. He is so excited. He has his uniform hanging on his door, ready to put on. I love the fact that he is so excited about Boy Scouts. Being a part of the troop has given him so much confidence in himself, and he loves getting to spend time with the friends he has made in his troop. In fact, joining Boy Scouts helped ease the normal back to school tension, as several of the boys in his Den are also in his class.
Skateboarder (who is turning 18 next month - WOW) was in Boy Scouts when he was younger, and loved every minute of it. He looked forward every year to the Pinewood Derby, it was his favorite part of scouts. He loves working with his hands, and creating his Pinewood Derby car was always a huge deal for him. We have every single one of his cars carefully wrapped, boxed, and put away. He worked so hard to create each and every one of them.
One of our favorite things about Boy Scouts has always been how they focus on the family. At all scouting events the entire family is always welcome. The leaders have always stressed how they do not want Boy Scouts to interfere with a boy's family life, and that they want the boys to participate with their families. In fact, in Tiger Cub Scouts a parent or other adult must attend every meeting with the boys. Since my husband would be attending the meetings anyhow, he decided to volunteer as a leader. This has given them the perfect opportunity to spend some one-on-one time as well.
Meetings are a lot of fun for the boys. Our Den meets at a local church on Tuesday nights. At the meeting the boys participate in a Flag Ceremony, play games, and work on projects to help them earn their Merit Badges. Since Little Man is a Cub Scout they have been focusing on the boy's relationship with others and the community. This past few weeks they have focused on how each person in a family plays an important role in the family. Last week the boys had to choose a chore that they could complete at home. My son decided to load the dishwasher, a job he had never tackled before, he insisted on doing it completely on his own, with no help from anyone.
Several of the Merit Badges focus on healthy eating, proper nutrition, and exercise. With childhood obesity being such a huge problem for kids it is great to see Boy Scouts promoting health living and providing them with opportunities to stay active.