[April 21, 2021] Just this past weekend, our local Boy Scout troop had a “day camp” where we spent time having fun and learning valuable skills. These skills are the very type needed to succeed as a responsible young man. Speaking with the boys, I learned something about their weekend I would like to share.
- Songs are a builder of esprit de corps. Singing is not a talent we all possess, but when everyone sings to their fullest, it makes us feel good, makes us smile, and shows we are part of a team.
- Friendship means someone cares. Scouting friends are often friends for life. They are there when you need them. Our boys have learned that when the going gets tough, they can rely on a buddy from scouting to help them. We are never too busy to stop what we are doing to help.
- How to build a fire. There must be some primal desire to start fires, as all our boys jump at any opportunity to build the largest bonfire they can manage. We teach them how to do so safely, and we teach them tricks to keep a fire going to keep them warm and cook their food.
- How to cook a meal. Young boys and girls today are rarely taught how to plan, resource properly, and cook a meal. They admit that doing so is relatively easy with some early thought into what they like. The meal also provides a time where they get to know one another better.
- How to keep themselves clean and avoid bug bites. Personal hygiene is emphasized, and we teach them the specifics of doing so. They learn that little things make a difference. For example, they know that even a tiny cut can get infected and ruin your day.
- Leading and Teaching can be fun. Leadership skills are crucial. We show them “how” to lead and “what” to look for in good leadership. We also teach them to teach. Every scout is required to demonstrate some skill like fire building, wood carving, knot tying, etc.
- Being a better man. Boy Scouts, at its core, is preparing young boys to be responsible men. They learn how to be better family members, how to help their community, and what values are most important. Lots of examples are given, and we speak to them about what they are doing and why.
Regardless of the rank a scout obtains, many skills are taught in the Boy Scouts that push us to be good citizens. We teach character. And we teach what character means, its value, and plenty of ways to be a man of character. This starts with ethics.