The beginning of the school year brings with it “Scout Week” – a time when the local Boy Scouts across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts recruit new members and adult volunteer leaders. This year, the Narragansett Council’s Scout Week begins on Sept. 22.
As a longtime Boy Scout and Eagle Scout recipient, and as someone who benefited tremendously from Scouting as a young man, I want to briefly share my thoughts on how the Scouting experience can help shape a young person’s life.
Today, Scouting is far more than just camping, earning badges or learning survival skills. The youth organization helps Scouts develop responsibility and self-confidence, as well as academic and leadership skills. It also builds character and citizenship skills that serve as an important foundation for boys as they prepare to play a constructive role in society.
If you haven’t had a chance, take a moment to read the Scout Oath, Motto, or the requirements and commitment needed to become an Eagle Scout. You will quickly gain an appreciation for the program and its values. These values, reinforced repeatedly through Scouting’s extensive and varied programmatic offerings, are truly the hallmark of an organization that has produced countless local, national and world leaders whose influence, in some cases, has extended well beyond our borders and across the globe.
Many families become involved in Scouting as a family activity. Parents become leaders or volunteers while their children participate in the program. And because of the extraordinary flexibility in today’s Scouting program, it can be tailored to fit your schedule while still leaving ample time for other activities. Different Cub Packs and Scout Troops throughout the area meet at different days and times, with a whole host of local options. Ultimately, families can choose the best fit for them, based on their schedule, location and program options.
As I reflect on all the opportunities Scouting offered to me and my friends growing up, I hope that today’s young men can have a similar positive experience – one that pays dividends for a lifetime.
As we approach Scouting’s fall recruitment period, I encourage all parents and youth looking for a fun, positive extracurricular activity to check out Scouting.
You can visit beascout.org to register and learn more. To learn more about our local council, visit www.narragansettbsa.org.
Lloyd Albert is a member of the Executive Board of the Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America and resides in Narragansett.