There were many groups that I could have joined growing up, but my parents both worked and had little time to invest in my after school activities. When I became a mother, I wanted my children to be social in the community and learn good skills while doing so. I decided that I would offer the choice to my children of what they wanted to participate in. My youngest two were just a little too young to really get into anything, but my seven year old was at the right age to get into activities.
He Chose Scouts
The only thing that he wanted to do among all of the options was to play soccer. I has seen the signups for the local kid’s team on the wall at a local clinic. I thought it ideal to ask him before just signing him up. He thought the idea was great. He wanted to play something so bad that he would take any option available. After the first season of soccer he noticed that it might not have been the right choice for him. He asked me if he could join boy scouts with his friend from school. I thought it wouldn’t hurt and it would teach him some key life skills. So later that week we went to the scout office.
They accepted him without much but his birth certificate and my picture ID. His friend had already been in for a few years so he was a few steps above my son, but they still got to see one another whenever the scouts met. There were several adventures that we all had while our son was in scouts. We were able to go to the local bird park and visit briefly as well as travel to different state parks and enjoy the surroundings. We even had the opportunity to camp out at some of the parks that we visited.
Camping out was probably the best part for our family. Not only did we get our own little tent and mini-vacation but the kids had things to do during the day and we could relax while watching them. It’s good to have enough supplies to last throughout the week, even if you are only staying for a couple of days. It is best to always plan that something will go wrong, that way you are always prepared for anything. We had a few mess ups where we did not come prepared and our six year old or our four year old had issues.
The Grand Outcome
My son only stayed in boy scouts for a year but that entire year was filled with going here, there, and everywhere. When we talked about what he had learned, I was amazed to see how much he actually did retain from scouts. He was a great little fisherman who loved going fishing with his dad and showing his dad all of the new cool things that he had learned while in scouts. He also taught our youngest son about knife safety, even though we are against him even holding a knife at this point.
Our oldest son learned a lot out of attending the Boy Scout meetings and being around other boys his own age. He learned that working together can get more done than working as an individual and that even though you might not look like everyone else, everyone has a heart and should be treated respectfully. He made a few life-long friends along the way, already adding to the one that he joined because of. I am one proud mother whenever I get an invitation to have a play date with the boys.
I plan to offer the option of sports or scouts to our other children and see where they would like to dig their feet into. My daughter has mentioned wanting to try out gymnastics and that sounds like a great plan to me for this upcoming summer. My youngest wants to try football, but is skeptic as he also likes soccer and scouts. We will see where the new year takes us and where they end up, but I know that whatever they end up doing that they will learn some great life skills and gain lifelong companionship along the way.