Scouting organizations are a solution for families who may not know how to begin to engage with the outdoors. These historic organizations provide the infrastructure, knowledge, and the equipment that takes the guesswork out of outdoor exploration.
Even though my own parents were “country folk”, they were not campers. It was my experience with the Girl Scouts as a kid and later with Outward Bound as an adult that expanded my joy, technical savvy, and ecological perspective about the outdoors that I am now able to pass on to my kids. Even though the scouts have had some negative press in recent years, our troop experience has been nothing short of amazing and relevant for the growth and development of my son Seth, and I have been welcomed as a parent volunteer.
I just got Seth and three of his fellow Troop 24 members off to Wolfeboro this week, a Boy Scout camp located near Yosemite. His troop has had a tradition of visiting the site each year since the 1920’s. While driving up through the forest, I remembered fondly my own trips with the Scouts as a girl, recalling the whispered secrets and giggles that went on through the night under the stars, and the adventure of hiking and singing along lush mountain trails. Those experiences were a foundation for the passion I have for the outdoors today. For my 12 year old son, this is his first extended “roughing it” trip without me, where he will not only be sleeping on the ground, but also managing the responsibility for meal preparation and chores with his fellow troop members. He is getting a big dose of the natural world, while also learning about self sufficiency and peer group leadership — lessons for a lifetime.
Contact your local scouting organization to learn more:
Girl Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America