Scouting today is a lot different than it was a generation ago – and still very much the same in many ways. What it is not is a place to park your kids, which I think should be made very clear right from the start. This page is not an introduction to scouting, it is not a tour, and it will not cover every aspect of the program. It has a much more important purpose, because it is about. . . You!

As a parent of a scout, or as a parent of a child who you want to be a scout, you play a very significant role in the entire process, from start to finish! It is a process that is more a partnership than it is a thing, and make no mistake, as a scouting parent you will have a unique and excellent opportunity to not only improve your relationship with and involvement in your son’s life, but you will also have the privilege of sharing some first-time experiences and being a real mentor to them, even when you believe you are out of your depth.

It really does not matter at what age or stage your son joins scouting – though most begin when they enter the first grade of primary school. Many – not all it is true – close out their scouting career as they finish their secondary school education, but there are still opportunities for involvement as a young adult and of course, as an adult, so it is fair to say that scouting can be a life-long endeavor if you want it to be.

So how does it usually begin?

You may be driving and see a sign that declares an open house event for a local Pack, or perhaps you saw the notice in your church newsletter, or some other paper; either way your attention to the idea of introducing your son to scouting has been raised.

Chances are when you arrive at the organizational meeting with your son you will see other parents and children from your son’s school or church – people you know – people you will get to know better as you begin the journey into scouting.

At the meeting you will learn how your Pack is organized, and perhaps the leadership for the Pack will call out for volunteers. Chances are good that they will, but with life being how it is and time being short, surely everybody will not raise their hand, but how about you?

There are many levels of participation possible, and you can make a large contribution filling the smallest position! It would be a shame not to try though, because scouting is all about the boys, and the more effort and the more volunteer power that can be raised, the better their experience is going to be over-all.

What sorts of Volunteers are needed?

Leaders of course. . .

But being a leader in a scout Pack is not a simple thing and it does require a lot of time, a very large amount of patience, and self-discipline. If you have all of that, step up! Being a leader in scouting is not as hard as it may appear upon first look, because the science of scouting leadership is a product of decades of learning from our mistakes.

The cannon of material and guides and the program itself is designed so that you cannot fail to succeed as long as you follow it and avail yourself of the training that is both mandatory and worthwhile.

Assistant Leader. . .

Sounds like a position of less responsibility, but that is not really true – certainly you have fewer assigned duties than the “Leader” but in a good Leadership Team for any Den, the Leader and the Assistant Leader are partners, sharing the tasks and the burdens together.

Mind the notice above then, if you are considering volunteering as an Assistant Den Leader but do not be put off by the challenge! Filling one of the Leadership positions makes you a front-line force in shaping the program and in the end, the success of your Pack.

Councilor. . .

Do you have a special skill? Are you a carpenter? A nurse? A physician? Do you have a special hobby? Did you serve in the military? If you did, you can very likely read a map and you know how to use a compass. Did you play marbles as a child? How about baseball or tennis?

There is a plethora of activity badges and pins that are part of the success of scouting, and each benefits greatly from the active participation of the Activity Councilor – a volunteer position that can take as little as a single meeting but have immeasurable impact on the scouts!

Committee Member. . .

The Pack Committee is the heart of the Pack, a truth that is not always as easy to see because it is not an out-front position. The truth is that a Pack cannot exist without its Committee, because the Committee does all the really important planning and event staffing, as well as fundraising plans.

Being a Committee Member usually means one meeting a month and volunteering to help staff events for the Pack, but the impact of that volunteer effort is huge. Remember the Committee is the top of the organization – it really cannot exist without a well-populated Committee.

Pick-Up Volunteering. . .

The undefined role of the Volunteer Parent/Scouter. What is it? It is the mom and dad and sometimes older sibling who is there when they are needed, serving food at the Blue & Gold Banquet, holding a cub scouts hand as they hike a trial, pitching a tent at camp, and everything else that equals a job that needs volunteering. Being a Pick-Up Volunteer is the perfect position for you if you cannot schedule time that is locked in, and yet you can still contribute in a major way.

Concluding the Thought. . .

If your son is in Scouting chances are that your Pack will really need your help at some point, so please consider volunteering because Scouting is about the Boys, and offering them your time is the best way you can support them! If you want to volunteer the easiest way to find your niche in the Troop or the Pack is to attend the regular Committee Meeting and let them know you want to play a role in the unit!