When my husband was first asked to serve as a Scoutmaster, I knew my life would be BUSY. The first several months were filled with campouts, training, campouts, and more training. I had little ones at home and struggled with his absence. However, I soon realized that he was serving young boys, who in turn were learning to serve people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. I had to make a choice: hold a grudge or learn to love and serve as well. I devised a few opportunities to attend Scouting activities so I could see for myself who was there and what was happening. I soon realized that of ALL the things in the world for our husbands to be busy doing, supporting Scouts is a GREAT way for them to spend their time. I soon learned to love the boys, too, and to want what’s best for them. Sending my husband off to a campout is still hard. However now when people ask, “What can I do for you?” I jot down their names. Turns out Scouts aren’t the only ones who like to do a good turn!
~Amber R., White Rock, New Mexico
How do I suggest supporting your husband and son in Scouting? Just go and do it! If there is a meeting for your spouse, let him go without complaint. If there’s a committee meeting, go and contribute your ideas. If there’s a pack meeting, go and give your big round of applause. Recently I’ve witnessed the huge impact that parental involvement can have on a pack and thus on my Cub Scout son. What was once a struggling pack is now strong. And it didn’t take much, just a little more commitment from everyone involved to be a little bit more involved.
~Tina B., Port Orchard, Washington
I support Scouting because of an experience I had as a youth. I was serving on camp staff and during training week we participated in a flag retirement, and learned the procedures of retiring a flag properly. I gained a great respect and reverence for our country, our flag, and the values of Scouting. During that few minutes around the campfire, I gained a commitment to Scouting and the values I hold dear. I was glad to meet and marry a young man who loved Scouting too!
~Rebecca P., Tucson, Arizona
I support Scouting because the activities and campouts are opportunities to introduce the boys to beneficial life skills. My oldest son has really grown from the leadership opportunities in Scouting. He has served in a variety of positions in our own unit, on three NYLT staffs, and has worked at Scout camp for three summers. I love the fact that the boys are given ownership and real responsibility, with the expectation that they need to plan, prepare, and be ready to serve. They learn that being a good leader takes a lot of effort and the word leader isn’t just a title. My son has been guided well by adult leaders who help him to be successful.
~Marni H., Clinton, Utah
When my husband was a new Scoutmaster it was hard on me at first. As a young mother with only one vehicle in the household it felt isolating to have him gone on weekend events. However, my heart was softened and I began to feel genuine support and even enthusiasm for his service as a result of several things: 1) I attended a Scout training, where spouses were invited, and I learned how Scouting is designed to teach boys practical skills and to help them develop into honorable men of faith. 2) I chose to join him in the Scouting effort by becoming a Girl Scout leader for my daughters. My husband and I have now been Scout leaders for eight and five years, respectively. We enjoy our service and the “hobby” we share. This summer we accomplished a milestone—a nine-mile backpacking trip with all five of our children, ages four to fourteen, carrying our own packs. Perhaps we can now say we are truly a Scouting family!
~Heather K., Maple Valley, Washington