Going into Scouts at a young age, as most do, we scouts often think of scouting as a petite, niche group of middle and high schoolers that go out camping and have fun whittling away with chicken and half sodium meals. Little did I know that many people see this organization as one of the most informative and competence-building school activities. Surprisingly, which you may not have known, scouting is revered worldwide by over 50 territories and millions of people, and it is observed as a solid community aid in 170 countries. In the US, desperate parents who have decided to homeschool their children have gone as far as relying on the merit badge system that scouts have provided as their child’s ‘unit studies’ to teach them the basic and more advanced skills in any category that they are interested in. So really anyone can benefit from Scouts as enrichment, a way of socializing, or pure fun.
But even past the life skills, friends, and community of leaders that Scouting brings, Boy (and Girl) Scouts are organized into troops and packs based on advancement to progressively obtain difficult ranks with the higher-up ones focused on leadership opportunities.
So, if one does not go into scouting, they will be missing out on a great opportunity to join a community that aids their city and most countries of the world, while also learning skills that are unique to your liking and enrich your life. Scouting provides over 137 Merit Badges, and it is proven that connection to your peers through multiple long-term encounters other than in school increases the likelihood of a closer and uplifting group of friends, carrying through to your whole social life.
Some say that time is money, and that spending time on scout outings, meetings, and practicing skills is a waste of time and therefore a waste of money. However, I believe that the sheer amount of skills you can learn from scouting can lead to a prosperous life with—sure—money, but also virtuous life ethics and possibly even fame. On the motif of money, with the knots and first aid capabilities you gain, you might save someone who fell off a cliff by tying a slip knot at the speed of sound to lasso the falling very wealthy and philanthropic victim. Furthermore, as life runs on money, and life seems to run away from us, Scouts learn how to save their money and be thrifty. After all, the Scouts were formed by Robert Baden-Powell to prepare young children for war if they were drafted, and to live past it, leading a good life afterward using the scout law of virtues. And let’s not forget that the greatest astronaut of all time, Neil Armstrong, achieved the Eagle Scout award, which proves that fulfilling a scouting journey is possibly the most feasible investment plan to reach fame and fortune.
In sum, why not? Choose to scout over a sport you don’t like, an advanced course that doesn’t make you happy, or a tutor that frustrates you, knowing that functioning American citizens have relied on Scouting for the majority of their education. Yes, there may be a risk but I’d argue that it is small. Joined a bad troop? It can be amended. Being behind on ranks for your age? It’s the same as being late to school- being tardy doesn’t make you absent. And that’s the end of the list, so don’t overthink it. You should join a troop today to build a well-thought-out future for yourself.
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