Has there ever come a time when something in life prohibits you from continuing activities that you really love? My example is playing organized sports and having to stop due to a long medical history of mine. So, I had to figure out another activity to get myself involved with.
This is where Boy Scouts came into play. I started out by joining Cubs Scouts. This is for boys in first grade through fifth grade. Each year you have a different symbol that represents your group. These groups are in the order of Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos I and Webelos II.
Once a kid reaches the middle of fifth grade, it comes time to decide on what troop you want to join to build on the beginning knowledge of the information you learned while in Cub Scouts. Where I grew up, there were several troops for me to choose from.
The one that I decided to pick was Troop 542, which was roughly five minutes from my house. We would have a weekly meeting on Monday night, lasting from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Each meeting would consist of the younger Scouts being taught a new lesson each night. The older Scouts would be working on merit badges, which I will get to later. Usually, a game is occurring towards the end of our meetings for everyone to participate in.
Once you join a troop, there are different ranks that you have to achieve. The order is Boy Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle, which is the highest honor that you can earn in scouting.
For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, you have to earn merit badges that cover a wide variety of topics. There are around 135 of them offered for Scouts to pursue.
I personally earned 21 merit badges, which is the minimum amount that you have to earn to achieve the rank of Eagle. There are merit badge books on each of these to help you look over the necessary requirements to achieve that particular badge you want to earn.
The merit badges that I earned, which are the required ones
- citizenship in the community
- citizenship in the nation
- citizenship in the world
- environmental science
- emergency preparedness
- personal fitness
- personal management
- family life
The main values that I still live by to this day are the Scout Law, Scout Oath, Scout Motto and Scout Slogan. The law is comprised of 12 words, which are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
My favorite memory from Scouting was earning the rank of Eagle Scout. My project was to organize and run a Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive. This was through the Be The Match organization, that helped to save my life when I was around 2 years old.
At my event, I got to meet my donor. It was a very grateful action that I won’t ever forget. She lives out in Colorado. We still keep in contact over the holidays.
I learned many valuable lessons during my time in Boy Scouts.
The first lesson relates back to our motto, which is “Be Prepared.” It helped me figure out what I should bring with myself to activities that could potentially be needed.
My second valuable lesson is fully understanding that you should strive to be well-rounded. This will show people that you aren’t afraid of anything in life. I have experience dealing with a wide variety of people and how to interact with them.
My third and final valuable lesson that I learned from Boy Scouts, is being open to developing new skills/talents and using them later in life. This is very important because I feel that it’s necessary to learn impactful concepts when you’re younger so you can build upon them in the future.