Scouting – My adventures in being a part of the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts….
It’s official, we are now a girl and boy scouting family! The differences are pretty significant even from only one meeting with my son’s den. I was a girl scout myself and have been an assistant to the leaders for my daughter’s troop for the past three years so I am very familiar with the girl scouts. Boy Scouts is a whole new world for me.
The first and most obvious difference is that the girl’s meetings are right after school and the boys are at night. The boys meetings are family friendly where the girl’s meetings are for leaders and scouts only. At our school, the girl scouts meet every other week and the boy scouts meet only once per month.
One of the parents I know actually told me he wasn’t sure he was signing up his boys this year since everything was mandatory for parents to be there to supervise their kids. I can understand his point of view, he also has a daughter close in age and he would have to send his wife or he would have to accompany his sons each time. I did not join last year because with the two girls I was not sure I could make arrangements for them if they could not attend and to be honest, I was intimidated by how much of a commitment it would be. After talking to a boy scout mom I decided to give it a try since my son really wanted to join and she assured me that it was really a family friendly den and almost all activities were optional.
It sounded fool-proof… pizza dinner at the meetings, optional family camping trips and only two fund-raising efforts per year. So far, I cannot complain. However, my older daughter will need to have her very own Boy Scout survival bag filled with items to keep her busy during those meetings. It was not too bad, and she was wonderful, but I could see where she may be bored next time. Well, not next time, since that will be the October meeting with their Halloween costumes. We will definitely pack a bag for the November meeting though.
Our first camping trip, should we choose to attend, will be in October. The girl scouts had their first “practice” camping trip last year. That’s right, I said “practice.” We set up camp in one of our leader’s backyards to spend the night there. If that practice run was successful then the girls would be permitted to camp overnight with their leaders if they so desire. Ours went well and we have decided to set up a camping trip for November, the girls will have to stay in a cabin or tent on their own and the leaders will have their own as well. The girls know that they will have to be able to spend the entire night on their own. As I said before, very different from boy scouts.
So I look forward to our new adventures and I hope my kids will get as much out of their scouting days as I did out of mine. My favorite memories are when our troop went on a trip to Savannah and quite honestly, our amazing leaders. We were blessed with a group of three moms who were my leaders the entire time and I just loved them! They are still great friends and I believe part of the foundation of their lifelong friendships was scouting. So, thank you to my leaders for their time, dedication and countless memories of all the fun times we shared. I just hope I am able to provide the same for my children and their friends.