I wanted to post here regarding my involvement in the Boy Scouts of America as a leader, my son was in it for years. I was heavily involved, along with many other moms for at least 7 years. I took many lessons and experiences from my scouting career. Although as a child I never was involved in scouting, mostly because my local girl scout troop didn’t do anything but sew and cook. I was not interested in either activity and instead joined because I was told they went camping.
As a young girl I spent much of my free time at the girls club, which had a wide variety of activities available to me at any time. My favorite long term teacher was Ms. Vick. She was an older teacher that played acoustic guitar, dressed like a forest ranger, took us hiking, had reptile and rodent pets in her room, offered interesting crafts like pottery, identified plant life and other scouting outdoor activities. She rarely played any sports. She was my favorite – I was always trying to stay in her classroom and help. I think sometimes I got on her nerves but she put up with a lot of crap from me, too. Over the years I learned so much from her and my interest in nature was continued as I began to train for Boy Scout Leadership.
One of my largest training events that I remember was a 3 day backpacking event in the pouring down rain, with a group of other random adult leaders. My group had 3 women and 3 men. It was really enlightening, both weekends. Other than the training, workshops, and personal counselors – I learned a LOT! I learned about how to pack a back pack, plan for a trip with very little gear, several recipes that required little refrigerated food, setting up a lean-to, protecting from extreme weather including a hurricane and tornado, choosing the perfect spot, prioritizing what you carry in your pack, and being one with the outdoors. A healthy respect for nature and a love that just grew deeper and deeper.
In 7 years of adult scouting – I learned as much as I did as a child in Girl Scouts. So for all you out there that disliked girl scouts for the same reasons as I did….if they do change the ban on gays… consider leadership. I am hoping that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts combine their programs like the girls and boys clubs did…. therefore providing good program based on interests, not gender.