As promised in my last entry, I wanted to write a little bit about how we got into scouts and why we value it.
Neither Dan nor I are from scouting families, so this is a first generation experiment! We did not get involved in scouts until a little more than a year ago. We had previously been involved in a church that had an AWANA program, but around that time we decided to attend a different church where the Word of God was more boldly and clearly taught. We love our new church. It is a smaller church that did not have a mid-week program for our kids, so we began to look for alternative activities.
We had friends involved in scouts, so that is where we turned. Little did we know, though, how ignorant we were about what scouting really is all about. Oh, I knew they camped and did “outdoorsy” stuff, but I had no idea how many projects and programs are available.
Scouting is definitely more than camping. It is a program that encourages exploration of new hobbies and areas of studies. As the boys get older, there is a lot of career exploration and leadership training. There is an emphasis on character training that is often strangely absent even in modern churches.
We are doubly blessed because our scoutmaster is a member of our small church. I have known him for a long, long time. In fact, God used this man to lead me back to Himself during a very troubled time in my young adult life. His family came to our wedding. So we go back a ways! 🙂 This scoutmaster, who is himself an eagle scout, truly sees his leadership position as a ministry and he puts a lot into those boys. He has already had such a positive influence on my boys, and I am thankful.
So, scouting is a blessing. It has also gotten us back involved in the community. We are making friendships that we would not have any other way, and who knows where those friendships may lead?
John is a first-year Boy Scout, and Brock is in his first year of Webelos. Luke is old enough to begin Cub Scouts this year and will be in Tiger Cubs. I can’t wait to see how cute he will be in his Class A uniform!
Now–about the girls. Dan has never felt very comfortable with Girl Scouts. Their national organization supports and stands for things that we simply do not agree with, and yet I still want a scouting program for them too. I tried Camp Fire USA last year, and although we did enjoy it, it really was not what I was looking for. It was more focused on self-image, understanding emotions, etc., and I am really wanting something more practical. So, this year we are trying something new. It is called Caravan, and the website is at http://www.caravan.nazarene.org . It is published by the Church of the Nazarene, of which we are not a part, but the religious content in the materials are very compatable with what we believe. It is similar to the scouting program that the boys will be doing in that they will be doing projects and earning merit badges. The girls can hardly wait to start!
Some of the first year badges for Caravan are Sports and Fitness, Personal Care, Safety, Family, Manners, Friends, Art, Pets, Money, Prayer, Our Church, My Bible, Botany, Birds, and Recycling. Each level offers different subjects, and of course, they go more in depth as the scouts get older.
So, I hope that Caravan works well for my girls this year. If so, I may carefully consider inviting some other girls to join. I am starting a new category on this blog for Caravan, so be looking for those entries to begin soon!
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