For Faith Halterman, Cub Scouting served primarily as a father-son activity for her husband John and son Nathan. But after John’s sudden death in October 2015, she began to see it in a different light.
You might recall when we first wrote about the Halterman family and how Pack 624 in the San Diego Imperial Council rallied around them during that dark time. Families checked in with them every night for a month, bringing toys, food and empathy.
“I wasn’t expecting the incredible support of the den and the pack,” Halterman says.
Since then, Nathan has crossed over into Boy Scouts, her younger son Adam is enjoying Cub Scouts and Halterman has noticed the huge impact Scouting has had on parenting them.
Lessons for parents
Cub Scouts offered the Haltermans some sense of normalcy after John’s passing — a routine that got them out of the house, giving them a chance to heal.
Halterman was so grateful for the pack’s support that she got involved as a pack committee chair. She quickly saw how Cub Scouting was preparing her boys and their friends for life. Not only were they having fun with activities like archery and camping, they were developing social skills, public speaking skills and courage to handle problems that arise. One technique the Scouts learned was how to remain calm when administering first aid — a primary lesson in the First Responder Webelos Adventure.
“Knowledge is giving them confidence they might not have before,” Halterman says. “None of our kids go screaming home to mom. Now, they’re fighting over who is pulling out the Band-Aids when someone gets hurt. That’s empowering for kids that age.”
To fulfill rank requirements, Scouting also pushed Halterman to teach her boys lessons that she hadn’t made the time for previously, lessons such as when to dial 911 and how to dial it on different types of phones or how to turn off the utilities after an earthquake.
“For me, Scouting has been a road map for all the things I should be teaching my kids,” Halterman says. “The more you get involved, the more you get out of it.”
She saw the same development in Nathan’s friends in Den 1 (later the Phoenix Patrol). Many of the parents work professionally full-time and have little to no prior Scouting experience. It could have been easy for parents to say, “I can’t… I don’t know how… I’m too busy… I have no experience…” But they didn’t. And because they stayed engaged, their Scouts flourished.
“No prior experience is necessary to be successful and make a positive impact for the Scouts and Scouting families, and single and working parents can be effective Scouting leads, especially women,” Halterman says.