The Boy Scouts of America is an organization founded in 1910. The organization’s main purpose is molding future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. From personal experience, I can say that participating in both Cub Scouts, aimed for first through fifth grades, and Boy Scouts, ages 11 through 18, had a tremendously positive effect on the man I have become.
Scouting has a strong foundation for learning experiences in the outdoors, such as camping, hiking, wilderness observation and much more. From these experiences, the young men are able to learn many different skills, stretching from wilderness survival, plant and animal studies, wood working, all the way to campfire cooking. A great benefit of being outdoors is the exercise that comes with being outside.
Even though scouting is known for being outdoors, there are many other opportunities for learning. For every activity in scouts there is a merit badge associated with it; this includes first aid, swimming, camping and so on. Beyond the required and traditional badges you hear about, there are many that will help with life later on; to list some, personal fitness, personal finance, as well as citizenship in the world, nation, and community. Many of the merit badges are educational as well, including subjects like engineering, science, math, chemistry and electricity.
The process to achieve this rank is not an easy one, however. The scout is required to perform a project in which they show exemplary leadership skills. The project must be done for the community; for example, a church or school in the scout’s own area. Through this project, the scout must learn to manage both the project itself as well as the people they are directing in order to be sure the job is done correctly. It is from this type of experience that leadership can be gained, it cannot simply be taught.
The benefits of scouting don’t just end when the scouts age out. All the lessons they were taught stick with them and help them through their journey forward in life. Furthermore, the experience is something that can become a family tradition, with generations of families participating throughout the years. There are just so many benefits that come from scouting; it is something every young man should experience.