Monday, November 10, 2014

Parenting Tip - 3 Cheers for Cub Scout "Moms"!



I have 4 boys, but have never worked in cub scouts, even though all my boys attended and advanced in scouting.  I was always the Mom who was asked to volunteer to work with the children’s music programs.  My mother was a Den Leader when she was in her 60’s and truly loved it.  I think maybe I missed out on something.  Maybe with my grandsons I’ll be able to help in the cub scouting program.


A friend of mine, Alyson Gardner,  has worked extensively in our local cub scouting program.  I’m amazed at her enthusiasm and love for the boys and for scouts.  Here are her words:

“I love working in Cub Scouts!  Cub Scouts is one of the times when I can truly enjoy everything good about a boy being "all boy."  Sometimes at church I might be quick to notice the boys' irreverent behaviors such as wiggling in their seats, shouting out answers or poking their neighbor.  At cub scouts I notice these same behaviors but in a different light. Suddenly, that restless boy is a fast runner or good at basketball.  Or the loud boy becomes the inquisitive boy that wants to understand the what and how of a science experiment.  And the rowdy boy discovers he makes a great bear when performing in the den skit.  Cub Scouting is a wonderful opportunity for boys to discover hidden talents, develop confidence in themselves and have fun!

One of my favorite things to do as a Den Leader is to go into the home of a boy who is about to turn of age and join my den.  I sit down with him and his parents.  I explain the ins and outs of cub scouting including the reasons we wear a uniform.  Often I'll help him pass off a simple requirement or two.  We talk about what he can expect from me his leader - a fun, productive and safe learning environment and what I will expect of him - a good attitude, coming prepared and treating others with respect. The best part is that while I'm making myself familiar to the boy and getting to know him a little better, I'm also spreading enthusiasm for cub scouts.  I've found that when I take the time to hold this personal meeting, that the boy is more excited to come to den meetings each week and his parents are more committed to helping him.  I feel that when I sacrifice a little of my time I send the big message that "You're important and I care about you."

Some of my best learning moments with the boys have been when we are working on the religious knots.  My all time favorite was with a group of 8 year olds.  We were discussing the principle of faith and sharing stories from the scriptures of people who had faith.  We began our den meeting by doing some fun hands on activities that demonstrated aspects of faith such as hope, courage and trust.  Then we broke into two groups and each boy chose one story of faith.  They studied it and then shared it with the group asking specific questions and ended by bearing their testimonies.  It was an amazing experience to have the boys go from laughing and playing as they practiced having faith, to bearing their personal witness of our Savior Jesus Christ.  As they bore their testimonies, it was a silent audience.  

Always remember that we do it for "the one."  My first year as a Webelos leader I only had 2-3 boys.  Occasionally, because of conflicts in some of the boys' schedules, only one boy would show up.  How easy it would have been to justify cancelling cub scouts by telling myself that it was an awful lot of work for just one boy.  But I didn't.  Instead, my assistant and I would present the material and have that one boy do the requirements.  This young man earned his Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks and continued on into Boy Scouts. Eventually, through his experiences in scouting he earned his Eagle.  I had nothing to do with him earning his Eagle, but maybe my small act of holding consistent den meetings and having a genuine interest in his success, helped him along the road.

And then there was Danny (name changed).  He acted up in church and so the other children avoided him.  I wasn't his den leader but I knew him because he was in our pack.  I tried to say hello and visit with him when I saw him at church, school or pack meetings.  There wasn't much I could do to help him have friends, but I could try to help him feel loved.  I tried to notice every time he did something nice or "good," no matter however small and compliment him on it.  He didn't have a uniform so I found one to give him.  I remember how happy he looked at pack meetings to be wearing a uniform like the other boys.  I was his sub in his church classes several times.  He always had behavior issues, but I noticed that he was quick to respond to my correction. I think that was because he knew that I loved him.  He felt safe.

I would love for every cub scout leader to realize the importance of his/her calling.  I feel sad when I hear leaders say, "I'm stuck in cub scouting," as if they've been put in exile.  I worry that they feel their position is insignificant when in reality it has the potential to change the lives of boys.”

Wow!  There is a mother who in actuality is a mother to many other children—all boys!  The world is a better place with moms like her who see great potential in rowdy little boys and help them grow into responsible young men.  

Thanks for reading,
Cathy

***********************************************************************************

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful post, thanks! I love Alyson's attitude. It's so great when scout leaders catch the importance of scouting, and especially when they see this as a great time to let boys be boys and teach them wonderful life skills while having fun. I remember when I was first called being a little disappointed, but I soon learned to LOVE scouts, and more importantly (as said) LOVE the boys. I would go back to cub scouts in a heartbeat. And I plan to volunteer when my boys are cubs, whether I'm called to the position or not.

    ReplyDelete

Comments

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...