My Life in Scouting

My Life in Scouting

By Lucas Greene

 

I have been a member of the scouting organization since I was six years old. I joined as a tiger in cub scouts, and now I am a star scout at 17. After spending more than half my life in scouting, I thought other people should know why it is an organization that they should think about joining. 

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First, Scouting SBA teaches leadership skills that are incredibly helpful in life. As scouting is a youth-led organization, we have a layout of leadership that promotes problem-solving among the youth. Older scouts mentor younger scouts through various roles in the troop, which provides leadership development opportunities for all scouts. For example, we have a senior patrol leader who is in charge of everyone and as the name suggests, is usually a senior scout. And then we have the assistant senior patrol leader, who helps with the senior patrol leaders’ jobs. We have troop guides who are usually senior scouts; the troop guide is in charge of helping the youngest scouts and the scouts that just joined the troop figure out how the troop runs, what they are expected to do on trips and at meetings, etc. Then we have the patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders who are in charge of managing the patrols. Patrols are breakout groups who are usually decided by either age or rank. After the patrol leaders, we have the quartermaster; the quartermaster is in charge of managing the supplies that the troop has access to, taking inventory, managing the place we store equipment, etc. And then after the quartermaster there are several other miscellaneous leadership positions you can take on in your troop. With so many opportunities to lead, scouts learn organization, scheduling, inventory, planning, meeting management, and other life-long skills. 

Moving on from leadership and mentorship opportunities, there are many things I have gotten to experience thanks to scouting that I likely never would have gotten the chance to otherwise. For example, my troop went to the Grand Canyon over spring break one year, and that was an amazing trip. We spent the entire week exploring all the facilities and the canyon itself. As another example, in 2021 I went with a group of scouts from a few separate troops and we all hiked roughly 67 miles of the Continental Divide Trail over 11 days. We got to catch and eat fish from the streams. My favorite part of the trip was when we got to the top of a peak and there was an absolutely magnificent view of the surrounding forest. I also got to try rock climbing on a separate trip, in which I tagged along on an expedition that my little sister’s troop planned. 

Which leads well into a BSA new development, girls in scouting. I’m actually really happy that girls are allowed in scouts BSA now, because it allows my aforementioned little sister to experience a lot of the things I have. For example, she got to go on the backpacking trip down the continental divide trail. As I already mentioned, her troop did a rock climbing trip. I’m sure there are more examples, but girls and boys are largely separated for youth safety reasons, so I haven’t been with her the entire time. The only thing I can think of that I don’t like with the inclusion of girls is the name change. We went from Boy Scouts of America to Scouting BSA, or in other words we are now the Scouting Boy Scouts of America. 

Another thing you can do in scouting, although this is not quite so simple, is join the OA—the Order of the Arrow. The OA is the national honor society of scouting and to join you need to both meet certain prerequisites and be nominated by your unit leader. The OA provides even more opportunities in scouting for both youth and adults than you would get otherwise. For example, you can meet scouts from all over the country who are a part of the OA when you attend any of the national events. In the OA, we also promote service. The OA is known as the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service because we try to do service projects that help people in the surrounding area of wherever we host an event. 

Returning to the subject of scouting, it has helped me succeed outside the organization as well. I currently work as a lifeguard, and I never would have realized it was something I was interested in until I was working at a scout camp. They needed lifeguards, so they put me through the training and sent me out. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. It also helped me decide on a plan for the future. I have always loved nature, and scouting helped me realize that I wanted to work in the outdoors, possibly as a forest ranger, maybe something else. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but scouting at least helped point me in the right direction. 

In conclusion, I believe that Scouting BSA as a whole is an amazing organization and if you are a parent reading this you should ask your child if they would be interested. If you are a child, you should ask your parents to sign you up. It is an experience you will be happy to have for the rest of your life. 

Lucas Greene was born in West Virginia but moved to North Carolina at seven and then New Mexico at 13, where he has lived ever since. He has been a member of scouting for as long as he can remember (so, at least five minutes) and has been having fun with the various activities the program offers. His favorite scouting activities were always the aquatic activities, and as such he now works as a lifeguard while he goes to college.

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