The Boy Scouts of America is a youth organization that provides an avenue for boys to develop character, leadership skills and that promotes citizenship, personal health and fitness. Being a Boy Scout may not the most popular thing for many boys, but the benefits to boys who join and participate in scouting activities can be huge.
When a boy joins a Boy Scout troop, he starts learning about Scouting. He learns about the various ranks he can achieve and how he can move up in rank. He also learns about merit badges. As a boy earns merit badges, participates in Scouting activities and achieves higher ranks, he also develops and learns skills he can use throughout his lifetime.
Scouting includes activities like camping. To prepare for camp-outs, boys learn basic skills like tying different kinds of knots. Knowing which knots to use in which situations can help in the field as he sets up a tent, as he lashes poles together or dresses a wound with a bandage.
While camping, Scouts learn basic survival skills like finding shelter, making a fire without matches and finding water and making it safe to drink. Scouts can learn how to identify various plants that are safe to eat and how to trap game. They can also have a lot of fun exploring nature and learning to find their way around with a map and GPS device.
Scouting also brings kids and families together. Fathers can participate in activities and can help lead a troop. Some dads with special skills can teach the Scouts those skills. When I was a Scout in Alaska, we learned arctic survival skills from cold weather experts. We even built a winter shelter and slept in it at 44 degrees below zero.
The more modern day Scouts now also learn about graphic design, computer skills and building websites. Just as Scouts did 100 years ago, modern-day Scouts also learn the value of serving others by doing service projects.
Take a look at some names from history who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest rank. Former United States president Gerald Ford was an Eagle Scout. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon is an Eagle Scout. Stephen Spielberg, J. Willard Marriott and Bill Gates all earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Those are some pretty big names and my guess is that some of what they learned as Scouts were used to help them achieve what they did.
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