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For over 100 years the American Scouting Movement has been both a constructive and enjoyable force in the growth and development of young boys. Scouting is about friendship, community and nature. It is about doing your best and being prepared. It is learning about things you never knew and doing things you never thought you could. It is the view from the top of a mountain after a strenuous hike and the joy of sitting by a campfire at the end of the day with the best friends you have ever had. From their experiences in scouting, young boys take away lessons and values that last a lifetime.
In an age when so much of childhood has become dominated by electronic entertainment, scouting remains a place for boys to run and jump and grow strong in the out-of-doors, to speak directly into the eyes of another, to have the time to observe the quiet wonders of nature and, every once in awhile, step aside from modernity and reflect on the meaning of themselves in the world.
Scouting does not work for all boys. That has always been true. But for those it does work for it can be a wonderful life-changing experience. Scouting is one of the paths to help young boys grow into thoughtful and caring young men.
How do we introduce boys and their families to the possibilities of Scouting? Cub Scouting is for boys age 7 to 11. Boy Scouting is for boys age 12 to 18. In the past, there has been close cooperation between youth organizations and public schools. This year for the first time, the Vermont Department of Education has prohibited all organizations from recruiting in schools. The good intention in this policy was to protect impressionable children from crass solicitation. The unintended consequence has been that the policy has made it very difficult for scouting and other very worthy youth organizations to introduce kids and their families to their programs.
And many of our kids benefit greatly from these programs.
In the long term the Green Mountain Council intends to petition the Department of Education to review its policy. For this year the local scouting Pack and Troop have partnered with American Flatbread at Lareau Farm and will hold an educational night about Cub and Boy Scouting with free flatbread for all boys of scouting age and their families and for all current scouts and their families on Thursday, October 18, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
For more information on joining Cub Scouts, contact AnnMarie Harmon at 371-9997. For information on Boy Scouts, contact Rick Lee at 279-3393.