National Capital Area Council holds a quarterly full-staff meeting where we gather to share the “30,000 foot view” of what’s happening within each respective department, share valuable interdepartmental information and initiatives, and enjoy a moment of fellowship with everyone together at that day’s lunch. In short, it’s a Scout meeting, right down to the prayer and thought of the day. At our most recent meeting, Senior Accountant and lifelong Scouter Joel Kahn offered the thought of the day. We asked him if it was okay to share it with the Council at large, and Joel, affably agreed.
My thoughts on Family Scouting:
Everyone is either saying “embrace the future”, or “don’t mess with a good thing and make changes to the past”
I think we are doing both!
When a river or creek gets blocked, and the water stops flowing as it should, it will become stagnant.
The same goes for any great institution. If they stop accepting the continuing changes needed to stay a relevant and vibrant organization, they will become stagnant.
Scouting has always tried to be a leader in training young men to become better persons and teach leadership skills. Family Scouting is not changing this, it is expanding to officially include all members of the family.
To me, this is not new at all:
I grew up through my early life as a Cub Scout, with my Mother being the Den Mother, and my best friend and I were the kids that misbehaved the most. Every kid in the pack and troop had 2 working parents. One parent always tried to support the activities when the other was working. The parents would bring the cub’s siblings to the meeting, and keep them amused with activities of their own. This included younger brothers and sisters and the occasional older sister who could not be left alone at home yet. The Troop used to take us camping with them occasionally during the summer, and this is where I learned to appreciate nature, a love I still have today.
When I became a Boy Scout in Troop 755 at Temple Israel Synagogue in Silver Spring, the Scoutmaster seemed to know what each boy was capable of doing and what they needed to learn. He tried to take us camping at least once a month, even through the winter, when the weather allowed it. Some of the parents who were chaperoning us would bring a male sibling who was usually a cub Scout, and if it was a mother, sometimes the female sibling would come and stay in her tent. We never thought about this as right or wrong, it just always was.
When I was made Den Chief of our pack, it was the same then as when I was a cub Scout. The younger brothers and sisters of the cubs would come to the meetings and participate where they could.
While I did not learn a lot about the Scouting system-I never knew we were part of a district or the Council. I first learned about Camp Philmont when I was in my twenties and my cousin chopped the tip of his finger off with an ax while he was there. (After I started here, learned his Father had retired from a Scouting career as the Scout Executive of the Council in Reading PA). What I did learn was right from wrong, good ethics, good manners, and respect for our elders and for nature.
So, Family Scouting is not something new at all. It is just officially being recognized and incorporated into the leadership programs we have been providing for over a century.