Boys invited to race into scouting

Published 8:36 am Monday, June 27, 2005

By Staff
My wife and I are proud parents of a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. Five years ago, I asked my wife, "What kind of adults do you want our kids to grow to be." With a bewildered look on her face she said "I don't know. I never thought about it."
I instigated the discussion to point out that as parents, the choices we have and the decisions we make will dramatically influence their future-the type of adult they will grow up to be and how successful they will be the real world. On Jan. 14, 2005, ABC's 20/20 aired Barbara Walter's interview with President Bush and the First Lady.
Mrs. Bush stated that education for our youth will continue to be a top priority for her for the next four years. She added that for the first time in our country's history, more girls are going to college than boys. A profound statement indeed!
Before, I'm the local Scout guy – I'm a middle-aged dad with old-school values (e.g. God and country, education, service to others, plus more). As a parent, I struggle with everyday stressors too, but I clearly understand the value of a quality education. Educating our youth is an investment in our future and theirs, and a parental responsibility. Today, traditional classroom academics receive a lot of attention (a good thing), but regarding personal development (mind, body and spirit)-we can all do a better job.
Scouting is an educational program that teaches boys to be men. Scouting helps boys learn good character traits, citizenship and personal fitness. It helps boys grow up to be responsible, productive citizens with good leadership skills-people that our society really needs. Scouting offers three fantastic programs for youth ages 6 through 20. Boys in grades 1-5 are eligible for Cub Scouts; boys age 11-18 are eligible for Boy Scouts; and young men and women, ages 14-20 are eligible for Venturing. Yes, Venturing is coed!
Hey Mom and Dad, school's out. What's your boy doing next year? Playing sports, you say. How does playing sports all the time help him grow up to be a better man? How do the memories and dusty trophies help him get a quality education, a career and long-term financial stability? I don't have anything against sports.
As a youngster, I played enough sports to learn that I wasn't blessed with much athleticism. It was part of the learning process, not an end in itself. Not all boys play sports. A few boys play sports and are Scouts-yes, it is possible. Scouting isn't about being the best. It's about doing your best. Scouting helps create a well-rounded person by supplementing traditional classroom academics. It uses the great outdoors as a classroom to teach respect, teamwork and responsibility. What you learn in the woods will help you survive the jungle. Survival doesn't mean fleeing from some cyborg on a video screen.
Scouting doesn't have a computer chip, doesn't require batteries (only your flashlight does), and there's no Entertainment merit badge. Life is about values, priorities, and relationships with people. Where your heart is, everything else will follow. Where's yours?
Hey Mom and Dad, August is two months away. What's your boy doing next school year? What will he be doing 10 or 15 years from now? What kind of an adult will he grow up to be? The choices you have and the decisions you make will dramatically influence your boy's future. Choose Scouting!
The theme for this fall's membership drive is "Race into Scouting!" As a reward for joining, each new Cub Scout will receive a Pinewood Derby car kit with carrying case and driver's license. Each boy, with help from an adult male, design, builds, and paints his own car. Each car begins as a standard block of pine wood. The finished car must be 7 inches long, 2 ? inches wide and weigh no more than 5 ounces. The boys then race their cars on a downhill track, 32 feet long, to determine the fastest car.
Since 1953, the Pinewood Derby has been a fun and memorable event for Cub Scouts across the U.S. It teaches boys sportsmanship, how to follow instructions, introduces boys to modeling and hand tools, and spawns creativity. So Mom and Dad, what kind of adult do you want your boy to grow to be? Scouting-it's a great choice!
Randy Peterman is Scout Executive for the Alabama/Florida District of the Gulf Coast Council, BSA. He serves Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties in southern Alabama and northern Santa Rosa and Escambia counties in Florida.

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