The Boy Scouts of America isn’t just for boys. The organization recently expanded its programs to include girls at all levels. Scouting has had coed programs for a while now, but If you have children of either gender, consider involving them in a Boy Scout program. I know the most about Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts because these are the organizations I was in as a child and the ones my sons are in now. However, there is also Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring. I view scouting as the ultimate enrichment opportunity. My boys can still be kids and make mistakes along the way, but will develop a strong foundation of discipline while doing “good deeds” as they learn life skills. These days I teach Advanced Trauma Life Support, but my first exposure to helping the injured was as I learned First Aid in scouting. Children in scouting stand out among their peers. Here’s a list of just some of the benefits of Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts teaches not only respect for oneself but also respect for others. Ethical decision making is one of the core values taught throughout all scouting troops. In the Scout Oath, Boy Scouts vow “to help other people at all times.”

Role Models
Although Cub Scouts has some age-based sorting, there isn’t just one age group; it’s many different age groups brought together. The older children become role models for the younger ones and provide examples of how to become a good leader. Having exposure to kids not too much older than themselves is important to show how they can grow up through the program and ranks of scouting.

All of the badges awarded in the scout’s program are earned, not handed out. Not everyone earns the same badges because everyone doesn’t do all of the same things, and this is okay. It helps scouts understand the importance of diversity and building up each other’s strengths. It also allows each scout to have an experience customized for him.

Family Time
Once your children are in scouting, you’ll find your family spends lots of time together going to meetings and attending different scouting events. My older son helps his little brother at the Cub Scout meetings. We’ve done a variety of activities together from service projects to camping trips to court house visits.

Teaches Motivation
Aspiring Eagle Scouts know that they don’t have someone telling them what to do each step of the way. If they want to earn their title of Eagle Scout, they must find the motivation to become a self-starter and put in the work to reach their goals.

Persistence and Tenacity
The motivation they learn translates to a life of persistence and tenacity. Scouts will learn that they won’t always get things right on the first try. Having the drive to continue to reach their goals will help them become successful throughout their lives.