This video shows the very energetic Matthew, as he describes why he loves Cub Scouts. In his eyes, Scouting is playing with friends, doing sports, collecting patches, and making cool stuff. These moments are exciting to him, and something he will remember.
In the eyes of an adult, Matthew is learning new skills, getting outdoors, making new friends, and achieving great things. These moments for us adults make us feel proud and often relieved.
The best thing about these two perspectives is that they are both 100% true. Matthew is having fun and developing life skills.
I was an assistant den leader for a summer when I was 18 yrs old. My den leader asked me to come up with an activity to do with my Bears. I’m the youngest in my family by five years, so I wasn’t used to working with kids younger than 13. I wasn’t sure how these kids would react to my silly ideas.
I wanted to learn to carve something, but I thought using a knife on wood might be a little advanced for them, so I thought of carving soap. They loved it! They came up with all sorts of shapes like dogs, dolphins and stars. My den leader’s kitchen was riddled with little white shavings, but it smelled very clean for several days. We also talked about proper knife use and safety.
Working with my Bears I discovered my own innocent wonder in life. One day we played croquette. I had played it many times with my family, but for these boys it was the first time. How inquisitive they were, and how much fun they had hitting each other’s balls out of the arches. It was even more fun than playing with my family. These things that were fun to my Scouts were fun to me too when I tried to see it through their eyes.
For Matthew and my Bear Cubs, I’m glad Cub Scouting exists to bring fun, adventure and life skills to our young boys.
Author: Melany Gardner | Marketing & Program Assistant, Utah National Parks Council