More than ever, families need Cub Scouting

Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2005

By By Randy Peterman
Cub Scouting and Families: Outcomes for Optimism. As an adult, you want a boy to grow up to be a person of worth-a self-reliant, dependable, and caring individual. Cub Scouting keeps these outcomes in mind by weaving lifetime values into fun and educational activities designed to assist parents in strengthening character, developing citizenship, and enhancing personal fitness in youth.
These values help a boy make good decisions throughout his lifetime and give him confidence as he grows and develops. Regardless of the quality of their environment (the people, places, and things), all boys grow. But the environment makes the difference in whether they grow in desirable ways.
Cub Scouting helps boys learn family and community relationships. In Cub Scouting, boys in grades 1-5 are grouped into dens-small, family-like groups of same-age neighborhood boys. Dens meet weekly and work on age-appropriate projects. In a den, boys learn give-and-take. It is a place where a boy learns to work with others while still being himself. In the comfortable setting of the den, even the shyest boy soon becomes involved as part of a positive support group.
At monthly pack meetings, parents see their son in action with their friends, meet other parents, and join with neighbors in caring and sharing. These types of opportunities are scarce, and pack meetings highlight how Cub Scouting teaches boys cooperation and collaboration.
Cub Scouting is a positive catalyst for boys and parents to share experiences. The responsibility for a boy's advancement in Cub Scouting lies primarily with his family. Some advancement requirements are done at den meetings, but a Cub Scout completes most requirements at home with his family. The advancement plan is designed to be used by parents to create a learning environment in their home. The plan helps parents awaken their son's curiosity, stimulate his desire to try new things, and encourage him to carry the learning process beyond the classroom. It is important for a Cub Scout to know that his world is filled with exciting and interesting things to do to discover his capacity for accomplishment. This advancement plan involves achievements, which are required to earn the various ranks, and electives, which are optional projects for boys to work on. The advancement plan-especially electives-gives boys some choices to make. There are two reasons for this: first, each boy has different needs and interests; second, making choices is a skill to learn. The advancement plan teaches boys how to set short-term goals and then enjoy the self-esteem of being recognized for their achievements at the monthly pack meeting. Adults and children get to know one another in Cub Scouting. It is safe turf for becoming comfortable with one another, for exploring each other's world, and for experiencing, learning, and creating a shared life. The Cub Scout advancement plan allows boys to work at their own pace. The Cub Scout motto is "Do Your Best." This means every boy is a winner. No one sits on the bench-everyone plays!
Cub Scouting: A call to action. There is a battle of significant consequence taking place in the lives of boys in America today. In simple terms, it is the battle between doing what is right or wrong. A recent study conducted by Louis Harris &Associates tells us the proportion of boys choosing to do what is wrong is alarmingly high. Even basic values such as not cheating on schoolwork and not stealing seem to be unstable. Clearly, the results of this study indicate that our nation's youth are struggling with ethical and moral decisions, and that these difficulties can only increase with age. The need for reinforcing and rewarding strong moral standards and providing positive role models at a young age is more important than ever before.
Cub Scouting is fun! But it is fun with a purpose. Woven through all the fun is an inspiring program that works. The methods of Cub Scouting are on the cutting edge of child development. Proven methods are used that transfer traditional values, build character, and develop leadership skills-all in the context of fun and family togetherness.
The theme for this fall's membership drive is "Race into Cub Scouting!" As a reward for joining, each new Cub Scout will receive a Pinewood Derby car kit with carrying case. Each car begins as a standard block of pine wood. Each boy, with help from an adult, designs, builds, and paints his own car. The finished car must be 7 inches long, 2 ? inches wide and weigh no more than 5 ounces. Each Cub Scout pack holds a Pinewood Derby. The top three finishers in each of five divisions will compete against winners from other units in the District Pinewood Derby scheduled for December 3rd. The District Derby will determine the fastest cars in the three-county area. 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. Additionally, each Cub Scout will receive one free admission to Flomaton Speedway and a blue Cub Scout wristband. Race into Cub Scouting! It's fun at every turn!
Fall Cub Scout School Night Schedule
Sep 8 – 7 pm Flomaton Middle School library (for all boys from Flomaton, Century and Jay elem schools)
Sep 15 – 7 pm Rachel Patterson Elementary Cafeteria (for all boys in Atmore)
Sep 22 – 7 pm J.U. Blacksher School Ag Science Building, Uriah
Sep 29 – 5:30 pm Conecuh County Jr High cafeteria, Castleberry
(Editor's Note: Mr. 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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