If you think Scouting is all about tying knots, walking little old ladies across the street and camping you’ll be surprised. With over 28 million members worldwide, Scouting’s evolved from a camp for 20 boys in 1907 to a global adventure. The likes of Richard Branson, Barack Obama and David Beckham started out as Scouts and your son can follow in their footsteps.
Costing between £50 (approx. $84.07 U.S.) and £100 (approx. $116.81 U.S.) a year, Scouting membership is considerably cheaper than many sporting activities. The fee covers the cost of renting and upkeep of the Scout meeting place, with trips and camps usually costing a little more.
Scouts Is Great Exercise
Particularly important against the backdrop of childhood obesity, Scouting encourages kids to step away from the games consoles and TV screens and enjoy the great outdoors. Scouts are constantly on the move and participate in camping, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking, staged performance, paragliding and archery.
A full list of the activities can be found over on the official website. Scouting is a year-round program, so activities are enjoyed in the height of summer as well as the winter months. There’s something for everyone, whatever their physical ability.
Scouts Ingrains Moral Teaching
Scouts work closely with the local community and teaching is focused on serving those in need. In learning compassion and goodwill, Scouts sets children up with a good moral compass.
Scouts even provides positive role models. Bear Grylls is the UK’s Chief Scout, responsible for providing inspirational leadership to the Scouting movement. The former Special Forces soldier is known around the world for his survival television programs and is an acclaimed speaker and author. He is also a brand ambassador and aims to bring survival skills to the masses.
Scouts Teaches Life Skills
If you can tie a square knot and know CPR, chances are you were in the Scouts. With essential practical skills a mere memory to some, Scouts brings back the golden age of building and fixing. As well as hiking, learning about healthy eating and camping safely, Scouts can even develop skills in Information Technology, electronics and mechanics.
And Scouting isn’t just for kids. There are many volunteer positions for adults, including area commissioners and even interpreters. Ninety-one% of the volunteers say Scouting helped them develop key skills.
Scouts Instills A Sense Of Achievement
Scouts earn badges through achieving goals – whether these are learning specific skills or helping the community. Scout activities are designed to help young people set and achieve goals while building their confidence. The desire and ambition which starts in Scouts goes a long way in later life when it comes to building a career. Many older Scouts even go on to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or go on an expedition to gain their Explorer Belt.
Scouts Is About New Experiences
Rock climbing, rafting, archery, caving, scuba diving and wind surfing are just some of the activities offered by the Scouts. A full list of experiences can be found on the official website. Scouts helps boys develop their skills, learn their strengths and weaknesses and learn to communicate and work as a team.
While some kids today may think being a part of the Scouts isn’t the coolest, there are lots of reasons why joining the scouts can form a large part of an enriched childhood.
I am an Eagle Scout – once an Eagle always an Eagle. I earned my Eagle in Troop 53 in Bellevue, Nebraska. Some of my favorite childhood adventures were in the Boy Scouts. My most memorable experience was a high adventure canoe trip out of the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota. A small group of us went canoeing throughout the Quetico Provincial Park for a week with no interaction with the outside world. Scouting prepared me for life in the military and after by providing me with a variety of character and confidence building leadership experiences I couldn’t have receive anywhere else. As an adult, I served for several years as a board member of the Santa Clara County Council here in Silicon Valley. Scouting was and still is a great program to develop boys into responsible and contributing young men.