By Michelle Carpenter
May 03, 2017

How Merit Badges Help My Husband Survive Pregnancy (And Prepare for Fatherhood)

Pregnancy is a crazy thing. Your body carries another body. You throw up, feel a little human wriggling around, and become like a giant seal puppy (slow and chubby).

While I’ve been going through seven months of prego life, my husband has been too. He may not actually be pregnant, but he likes to think he is.

Sometimes, he says, “I can’t do that…I’m pregnant.” He thinks it’s funny, but in some ways it’s true. He’s dealt with me and my complaining and the side effects and worries of expected parenthood.

The whole pregnancy thing, of course, has got me thinking about parenting and whether we are actually prepared. 

My husband’s survived his “pregnancy” with the aid of essential skills learned while in Scouting–like being tough and doing hard things. 

And, though I don’t really think it’s completely possible to prepare for something till you jump in and do it, I do believe becoming an Eagle Scout has helped my husband better prepare to be a dad. 

After talking with him and contemplating things, here’re some ways a few required merit badges prepare him (and your Scout) for future parenthood:

  • Camping

 “Well, camping taught me how to stay up all night and party with my friends. Obviously, you have to stay up all night with a baby.”

He also said from camping he learned to embrace being really, really dirty. According to him, this will help with the challenges of nasty baby problems like vomiting. 

  • First Aid

With the first aid merit badge, you learn essential life saving skills. From being around six younger siblings, I know kids get hurt a lot. “When my baby hurts herself, I’ll be able to fix her,” said my husband. It’s nice to know he (and other Scouts) have gained skills to react quickly when an emergency exists.

  • Family Life

This one should be obvious. Of course, it helps. In fact, Scouts are supposed to discuss with their counselor about what it takes to be an effective father and the responsibilities of parenthood. Isn’t it awesome that my husband was asked to do this while only a teen? 

  • Environmental Science or Sustainability

This is a topic my husband’s extremely passionate about. In fact, he built his own water filtration system for our tiny home. He says, “Babies are expensive, so it’s good to save all the water we can.” He was taught basics about conserving water while a Scout. 

Being pregnant is crazy. Parenthood is even more crazy. I really don’t know how so many people do it, but I’m about to find out! 

I’m glad for what Scouting taught my husband about surviving “pregnancy”.  I’m also grateful for the parenting skills he’s gained. 

(Of course, I’ll find out when the time comes if it really did help him prepare. Then, I’ll let you know.) 

With Scouting, your boy does more than just gain skills; he gains mad, life kid-raising skills. 



Author: Michelle Carpenter | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council

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One thought on “How Merit Badges Help My Husband Survive Pregnancy (And Prepare for Fatherhood)

  1. AvatarMaloree Anderson

    I never thought of the comparisons when is comes to Scouters bringing in a new member of the family. I just recently went through exactly what you are going through, and though my baby is now almost two years old, I can definitely see how my husband’s Scouting experience plays a huge part in his fatherhood role. Example, a Scout is always prepared. When I ask my husband to get the diaper bag ready, I never have to worry about whether or not he packed enough diapers because he packed not only enough diapers and wipes but has also packed an array of snacks, toys, extra clothes, books, sippy cups, and our kid’s favorite blanket. We are prepared for anything that could happen when you take your kid errand running. Thanks for the new point of view!


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