Among many pleasant childhood memories are the years spent in scouting. In the “old days,” Girl Scouting started with Brownies. We all wore our brown brownie dresses and goofy beanie caps with pride. Then we moved on to become Junior Girl Scouts. Our sashes were filled with patches that celebrated our mastery of many skills.
Time passed and interest in scouting declined for many young girls, with few going on to become higher level scouts.
I put scouting in my rearview mirror.
Fast forward past high school, college and marriage. Our two young boys were getting up to scouting age and I found myself in scouting once again. This time, it was Boy Scouts, instead of Girl Scouts.
I became a den mother. My dens seemed to grow and grow. I started with about eight boys and the number grew to more than a dozen. It was recommended that my group split in half, but nobody wanted to leave my den. So, I deputized assistants and toured local gift shops to find craft projects I could copy and still stay within the $1 per meeting dues. We took the den to the University of Delaware for a tour of the radio station and rock exhibit. We attended sporting events and other fun happenings. My goal was to get any kid who came to most of the meetings to the Cub Scout Arrow of Light and most achieved it. I also wanted to take them out into the world to see there were other jobs than whatever their mom and dad were doing to support the family.
Between the two boys, I was a den mother for a total of seven years and my husband led the local Cub Scout Pack for a time.
Our boys didn’t make it too far into the Boy Scout program. We are just not into camping. We put our Cub Scout experiences in our rearview mirror.
Fast forward past the boys’ high school and college and marriage. The oldest of three grandchildren wants to be a Girl Scout! My son and daughter-in-law went to an interest meeting and called me to let me know I am now going to assist my daughter-in-law with a troop. Now the little ones are called Daisies and I am getting ready to dust-off my years of Girl Scout and Boy Scout experiences.
In this time when many youngsters bury their faces into mobile phone and computer screens, scouting is needed more than it ever has been needed. Even in this rural county, many kids don’t get out to learn about nature. Then there are the concepts of friendship, teamwork, leadership. They are all provided by scouting programs.
So sign your youngsters up to be a Scout. It is a unique experience. Be ready to volunteer. There is always a need for parents to help haul cookies or set up for the Pinewood Derby.