As parents, we always strive to provide our young ones with opportunities that help them develop essential life skills and values. One organization that has consistently proven to be beneficial for children and teens is the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which has different programs tailored to each age group. Children aged 5-10 can join Cub Scouts; tweens and teens 11-17 can join Scouts BSA; and teens and young adults 14-20 can join Venturing programs.
Here are several reasons why joining the Boy Scouts can be an incredibly valuable and formative experience for your child or teen:
- Character development. The Boy Scouts of America is renowned for its commitment to positive Scout character traits. Through a variety of engaging activities and experiences, Scouts learn to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. These core values help shape their character, fostering personal growth, integrity, and empathy.
- Leadership skills. Scouting offers numerous opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills. Whether serving as a patrol leader, organizing a community service project, or leading a team during outdoor expeditions, Scouts learn to take charge, make decisions, and motivate others. These leadership experiences cultivate confidence and prepare them for future roles in school, careers, and community involvement.
- Outdoor adventures. One of the hallmarks of the Boy Scouts is its emphasis on outdoor activities. Scouting provides a range of opportunities for children and teens to explore nature, develop outdoor skills, and engage in adventure. From camping, hiking, and fishing to orienteering, rock climbing, and water sports, Scouts are encouraged to appreciate and respect the environment while building self-reliance and resilience.
- Lifelong friendships. The bonds formed during Scouting often last a lifetime. Scouts join a community of like-minded individuals, forging strong friendships based on shared experiences and common values. Through teamwork and camaraderie, they learn to work collaboratively, respect diversity, and build lasting connections that extend far beyond their Scouting years.
- Service to others. The Boy Scouts of America places a strong emphasis on community service. By engaging in service projects, Scouts learn the value of giving back and making a positive impact on their communities. Whether it’s volunteering at local food banks, participating in conservation efforts, or supporting charitable organizations, Scouts develop a sense of responsibility and compassion for others.
- Personal growth and self-confidence. Scouting encourages personal growth by providing challenges and opportunities for individual achievement. Through earning merit badges, advancing in rank, and setting and achieving personal goals, Scouts develop a sense of accomplishment and build self-confidence. Scouting’s supportive environment nurtures their talents and interests, helping them discover their potential and develop a positive self-image.
- Career exploration. The skills and experiences gained through Scouting can have a lasting impact on a young person’s future career choices. Scouts have the opportunity to explore various fields through merit badges and learn about potential professions during career-oriented programs. The practical skills and leadership qualities developed in Scouting often translate into success in the professional world.
- Cultural awareness and diversity. Scouting embraces diversity and encourages Scouts to respect and appreciate different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, which may be why thousands of girls join Scouts BSA every year. Through interactions with fellow Scouts from diverse backgrounds, young individuals learn to embrace inclusivity, foster understanding, and become global citizens. This exposure to diversity helps build tolerance and promotes a more harmonious society.
- Mentoring and role models. Scouting provides young people with access to positive adult mentors and role models. Adult leaders in Scouting offer guidance, support, and encouragement as Scouts navigate their personal journeys. These mentors play a crucial role in shaping the character and values of Scouts, helping them develop into responsible and principled individuals.
- Summer camp experiences. Summer camps offer a unique and enriching experience for Scouts. They provide opportunities for personal growth, adventure, skill development, and lasting memories. Through camp activities such as swimming, archery, crafts, and team sports, Scouts build resilience, develop new skills, and create lifelong friendships in a fun and safe environment.
The Boy Scouts of America offers a wide range of key benefits for children and teens, providing them with opportunities to develop character, leadership skills, and a love for the outdoors. Through Scouting, future generations of Americans can gain valuable life experiences, build lifelong friendships, and develop skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Enrolling your child in the Boy Scouts may be the best — and easiest — decision you make as a parent.
Make Your Mark in History With BSA Laurel Highlands Council
If you live in the western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, or West Virginia, enrolling your child in the Boy Scouts of America Laurel Highlands Council is an excellent way for them to build character and learn essential life skills while having fun in the great outdoors.
Scouting’s programs and outdoor adventures give young people equal opportunities to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and develop leadership skills. These experiences not only help Scouts while they are young, but help them grow into exceptional men and women that respect their family, community, religion, country, and themselves.
The Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council serves youth members and volunteer adult leaders throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania and portions of the Potomac region in Maryland and West Virginia. We aim to beneficially involve every eligible child and their family in the fun and adventure of our programs. We provide extraordinary youth development programs that develop and strengthen the values of the Scout Oath and Law. However, we can’t do it without you. Join us today!