Thursday, February 16, 2012

Influence

Back in September Maxfield joined Cub Scouts. My wife and I discussed this issue back and forth for several months. At first I was against it, she was for it. Then I was for him joining scouts and she was against it. Then she was for it and I was not listening. Then I was for it and she was trying to decorate the powder room. We discussed the time commitments, the financial commitments, the volunteer time needed over and over again.

During our many discussions my wife made a very valid point, not just about scouts, but about many other group activities. She said, "This is the time where Max may be forming the bonds of life long friendships. Shouldn't we expose him to scouts and what the scouts teach? Don't you want him to grow up with his friends being a good influence?"

Now I have known many kids in my life that I grew up with who were part of scouts and turned out to be "bad" kids. These bad kids usually never continued with scouts past 3rd or 4th grade. But I have also known a few other kids who went through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and turned out to be incredible people. I am not saying that all the kids who stopped scouting were bad kids*. I am also not saying that kids who do not join scouts are bad kids. I just know that the kids who continued with Scouts into Boy Scouts all turned out to be exceptional people. I would like for Max, and my other boys, to be surrounded by exceptional people.

So we signed Max up for Scouts.

We are seven months into scouting and it seems like Max likes it. I have attended every meeting. There is a bit of a "insiders club" feel to the pack and the people who run it but you get that with every organization. Little League, Home and School Association, Soccer Clubs you name it, they all have their own inner circles of leadership, I get that, I understand it.

 I enjoy going to Scouts with Max and watching from the outside. I get to participate as a parent.

And that right there is the one thing that I see different about the Scouts than other club type organization or sports team. Everyone is involved. Everyone participates. I have yet to see (as I have with coaching) a parent drop off their kid and leave as if the den leader is a babysitter. All the parents stay. Some take a more active roll during the meeting than others but for the most part all the parents are involved. No parents are complaining that their kid is not getting enough playing time. No kid is upset that they did not get to play short stop. No parent is mad that their kid is second chair in the trumpet section of the band. The parents are spending time with their kids at Scouts. Good quality time.

The Scouts, so far, have been a good idea. Max is surrounded by good kids and I am surrounded by good parents. Both of which are good influences.


*For the record I stopped Scouts in 3rd grade. I am not a pot head, gangster, thug, hooligan, goon, ruffian or troublemaker...

Okay maybe a troublemaker.

7 comments:

Melissa said...

oh wow...how handsome does Max look? and so very grown-up...i may or may not have a bit of a tear in my eye over this.

i am glad he is a scout...and of course you know how girls love a man in uniform...HA

On my honor...a good thing for a young man to learn at an early age.

I am proud of Max, I am proud of you and Lauren.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

How cute is he?

Michelle said...

Very cute in his uniform! My middle daughter joined Brownies this year. My hubby and I were fairly well set against it, but she persuaded us. She's happy and enjoying it. I still have many negative opinions on the whole thing, but she doesn't seem any worse for wear. After the whole cookie selling ordeal though, I'm a little tired of it.

Idaho Dad said...

My son was a Cub Scout and hated it, so we quit after a year. More recently, we decided to give Boy Scouts a try (he's 13), and he's loving the advancement, the merit badges, and most of the skill building.

So, I've become involved with the Troop, and it's kind of fun for me too. But the weird thing is, I'm a rarity in this Troop. Most of the boys are either dropped off or come with their mothers.

Out of 20 boys, only 4 of them have involved dads. One mom told me that her husband considers Scout night as his "stay home and relax" night.

When I was in Scouts, back in the 70's, almost every boy's dad came to the meetings, and most of them went on the campouts.

I hope your son continues to enjoy Scouting. And I hope you continue to be involved!

Susie said...

I dropped out of Girl Scouts after Brownies. My daughter joined as a Brownie, and is now a Senior GS (a sophomore in h.s.). I am SO happy that she's stuck with it. There are a lot of opportunities for travel and exposure to careers, etc., in the upper grades, through scouting. No organization is perfect, but I think scouting is really one of the better programs for kids.

Bridget said...

so proud of both you and max! and of lauren for pushing for it!

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