Scouting around

It is a popular trend among parents to organize their children’s free time so that they are constantly occupied. Sports teams, music or dance lessons, even play dates which are often planned days or weeks in advance. This can cause stress and limited free time to relax and wind down, and that is just the parents.

Participation in organized sports can be expensive and sometimes involve travel. It isn’t like taking the kids to the local park to kick a soccer ball around. With so much time taken up by each game, parents sometimes have to decide which games to have their kids take part in or even which the parents can attend.

It is a shame that there can’t be just one organization that allows children to experience a number of different activities while helping them become valuable members of society as they learn about teamwork, social responsibility and friendship. Somewhere that children could learn about astronomy, recycling, climate change, fishing, cooking, camping, carpentry, entertaining, swimming, first aid and so much more. It would be even better if this organization held events and went camping.

Welcome to scouting which does all of the above and so much more. Since the publication of Scouting for Boys, the origins of scouting, in 1908, the Scouts and Girl Guides have provided opportunities for children to learn skills, make friends and travel and camp. Meeting just once a week, the Scouts and Girl Guides make the most of the time.

In St. Thomas alone there are four Scout troops. The 7th, 10th, 13th and 18th as well as troops in Sparta, Sheddon and Aylmer.

Children love to learn and achieve and Scouting provides numerous badges to award such achievements. It isn’t just the challenge that are fun though, learning responsibilities and how to treat others is also a large part of Scouting. Having adventures gives children confidence and allows them to discover things about themselves they would never otherwise have realised.

Any organization that has existed for over 100 years must be doing something right.

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon was a Scout, as was the man who holds the record for the highest free fall ever, Felix Baumgartner. Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, Bill Gates, George Takei, Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame, Paul McCartney and Jaime Oliver were all Scouts.

While playing hockey, soccer, or dance are great, they focus only on one thing, Scouts on the other hand provides plenty of variety and helps children grow up to be respectable, honourable and perhaps even famous adults.

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