Scouting can change parents’ lives

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Five years ago, my first-grade son came home from school with a flier for Cub Scouts.

“Mommy, can I join? You need to go to this meeting and sign me up.” Well, I went. It was there that I found out that it was not a drop him off for an hour and then pick him up sort of thing. It was a program that required parental involvement.

Being a business owner, mother of two, and busy garden club member, I thought, “How in the world am I going to squeeze this in?” Four of us at the Tiger Cub table signed leader papers that night and off we went into uncharted territory.

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I want to say that night changed my life and my son’s life. I know that the Boy Scouts of America program has changed and bettered the lives of countless young boys over the past 97 years.

Last night, the executives of the Andrew Jackson Council came to Natchez to conduct a “Fireside Chat.” It was there I discovered that here in our community we only have three Boy Scout Troops and two Cub Scout Packs serving our area’s youth.

In Natchez there are many church youth groups that are very active and exciting. But scouting is different. The Boy Scout Law is this: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

Who wouldn’t want their son to have all of these values and character traits instilled in them?

In cub scouting, the motto is to “Do your best.” This approach gives each boy regardless of coordination and athleticism the chance to succeed.

Scouting opens up opportunities to experience the great outdoors, learn cooking and camping skills, knot tying, canoeing, backpacking, hiking, archery, gun safety, personal care, respect for self, others and country, emergency first aid, map and compass, conducting flag ceremonies, water safety, safe knife, ax and tool use, citizenship in the community, country and world.

I could fill a page with the enormous range of topics and skills covered in the Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Boy Scouting programs. It is an awesome journey for our boys. Not to mention, at the end of it all, the ultimate title of Eagle Scout is with him for every college application and resume to follow.

So, with all of this being said, if you would like your son, the boys at your school or church to experience this journey, then act now. Call or e-mail our Southern District executive, Michael Culpepper, at 601-248-9243, and he will explain how easy it is to start a unit. Leaders can be trained and in place before the next school year begins in August and your boy could begin this exciting journey. It only takes a few good, concerned, caring adults to change the lives of the boys who will be the leaders of tomorrow.

Sherra Arnold

Webelos 2 Den Leader and Natchez resident