Indiana mom: ‘I could not be the mother I am today’ without Scouting

Stephanie Shaw was raised in a house of women.

She was an adult when she was first introduced to Scouting. That’s when she met the man who would become her husband. He’s an Eagle Scout, and both his dad and his grandfather were Scoutmasters.

“I am so thankful to have married into a Scouting family,” she says. “I have always loved the outdoors but was raised … without much exposure to the world of Scouting.”

That changed when her sons became Cub Scout age. These days, Stephanie is the Wolf den leader in Pack 536 of North Vernon, Ind. Both of her boys are in the pack, and her husband is the Webelos den leader.

Stephanie says Scouting lets her and her husband spend more time with these two “precocious balls of energy.”

“Now our schedule revolves around den meetings, pack meetings, district and council level meetings, campouts, canoeing, traveling to Philmont Training Center, and more,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

A life changed

Stephanie has seen her family grow stronger together through Scouting.

She has grown, too.

“Because of Scouting I have learned to be a better leader in my job as a high school biology teacher, be more compassionate to the children in our community, and most importantly be a better mom to my future Eagle Scouts,” she says. “What I am saying is that I could not be the mother I am today to my sons without Scouting.”

Stephanie’s sons both love Scouting, but the reasons differ greatly.

The older boy loves building fires, sharpening sticks, fishing and shooting BB guns.

The younger one enjoys wearing the uniform, performing campfire songs and skits, and leading flag ceremonies.

Scouting principles at home

Pack 536 uses Leave No Trace principles every time they go outside.

The Shaw family does the same at home, with the boys integrating those principles “into the house to make sure they are picking up after themselves.”

Pack 536 recites the Scout Law before every meeting.

The Shaw family weaves those 12 points into their daily lives even out of the uniform.

One time, “after fighting with each other, the younger son apologized to his older brother by citing how he broke different parts of the Scout Law,” Stephanie says. “It was precious!”