This I Believe

Jenifer - Tampa, Florida
Entered on February 6, 2007

In all the jobs that I have had outside of being a wife and mother, the one that has given me the most gratification is being involved with the BSA. I started with my son in the Cub Scouts, first as a Den Leader, then CubMaster and have graduated with him to the Boy Scouts, now as a committee member. Being a part of Scouting is a family tradition, my grandmother was a Den Leader for her 5 boys. My uncle was a Scout Master and 3 of my cousins earned Eagle. Intially, I thought like some others that scouting was just camping and learning how to tie knots. I had no idea how much I would learn, not only about scouting but about myself. I never thought I’d know so much about reptiles, our local government, how to make a pinewood derby car, how to (and not to) handle a BB gun and how to decorate a cake. I also learned how to lead a group of 8, 9 & 10yrs to planting bushes, collecting food for the food drives and making cookies for the local firemen and sheriffs. They also taught me this great marching song “God Bless my underwear”. Though scouting, they are taught how to care about life, community, government, how to share, how to lead. They learn their strengths and how to help each other with their weaknesses. This is one of the few places that the reward system works – the more they want to do, the more opportunities are available to them – real life opportunities. How may places can a boy 11-18yrs be able to camp, learn to read the stars, swim, sail, travel, learn how to do simple repairs on homes and cars, become a salesman, electrian, be able to play music, create a play, (I could go on and on as there are approx 120 badges that they can earn) in one place. I am amazed at the commraderie within scouting, I can go any where in the world and find another scouter who does the program just like we do. I am very proud of my son and it brings joy to my heart that I have been blessed to be able to see him grow into such a man. That he cares about his neighborhood, his classmates, his family, knowing that he does his best – it all makes me breathe a little easier as a parent. I have to say that I plan on being a life long scouter – like many of the other volunteers that I know – it’s not just a club or another organization – it’s a way of life for us. We live the motto and say the promise right along with the boys.