One of Troop 97’s points of pride, among many other things, is the quality and caliber of its adult leadership. We strive to make adults available who will effectively guide our boys as they make the slow and inexorable transition from boyhood to manhood. We’re always on the lookout for adults who we think will bring qualities to the table that all of our boys will benefit from – adults who have character and integrity and who can teach those values to our scouts.
We think that you are just such a parent.
If you’re like me, right now, there are likely a bunch of conflicting thoughts running through your head: “I’d like to, but I don’t know anything about scouting.” “I’m honored to be asked, but my schedule is already really tight.” “How would that even work?” “I really don’t like wearing a uniform.” “What exactly would I have to do?”
Not long ago, I was right there with you. My son had completed two years of scouts, and I had merely dropped him off for meetings and camping trips. I had all of the thoughts above, plus several others. The fact is, I was reticent.
Let’s face it – every parent who becomes a scoutmaster is reticent at first. But let’s look at those conflicting thoughts one by one.
“I’d like to, but I don’t know anything about scouting.”
At first, all you need to know about scouting is that you will be interacting with boys aged 10 – 18. You don’t need to know how to tie knots, start fires, select a decent camp site, or any of that. You will pick it up as you go along and as you attend the occasional training that you need. But for right now, all you need to know is how to talk to scouts.
“I’m honored to be asked, but my schedule is already really tight.”
This is a good point. But you’ve heard the expression ‘Many hands make light work’, right? If you are able to participate in even 50% of the activities, you will have an impact. If we manage to get two or three new scoutmasters and they all participate 50% of the time, we’ve increased our net participation overall.
That, and you’ll be given some really cool opportunities to take trips and do and see things that you might not ordinarily have the time carved out for. And you’ll have some great shared experiences with your son that you might not have had otherwise. Scouting gives us something to talk about with our sons at an age when they don't always want to talk to their parents.
“How would that even work?”
Simple. You say you want to be a scoutmaster. We’ll send you to Basic Scoutmaster Training – a one day course held on a Saturday. At some other opportunity, you attend Basic Outdoor Leadership Training where you learn about tools and first aid and knot tying -- there are many flexible opportunities to get this training, but it is usually done over a weekend. You also take a short online training on Youth Protection, and the committee helps you get your Pennsylvania background checks processed. And you buy a uniform and start showing up to meetings.
“I really don’t like wearing a uniform.”
I get that. I’m not huge on uniforms either. But you get used to it. And occasionally, when you’re on a trip and you’re herding a pile of boys, you’ll get a “thank you” from someone you don’t know and whom you’ve never met. And that’s when you realize that you’re making a difference.
“What exactly would I have to do?”
Wear the uniform. Get trained. Submit to a very low key background check. Show up to meetings. Help organize camping trips. And whatever else that you see needs to be done and that you can help with. Many hands make light work.
So I ask you to consider it. Let me know if you have any questions. As one who has recently gone through the process and had to be guided along the way, I am happy to help answer those same questions for you.
- ASM Cronlund