Counting down the 3 things we’re most thankful for: No. 3

Photo by Dan Bryant

“A Scout is thankful” — not officially part of the Scout Law, but certainly worth making it part of our lives this week. So much so that I’ll be publishing three consecutive posts leading up to Thanksgiving about the three things we at On Scouting are most thankful for.

Starting with No. 3 …

Our amazing volunteers!

Put quite simply, Scouting wouldn’t exist without our volunteers. Whether you’re volunteering at the unit, district, council or national level, let me just take a moment to say something we should probably say more often: thank you.

It all starts in Cub Scouts, where the show is truly run by our Cubmasters, assistant Cubmasters, den leaders, assistant den leaders, committee chairs, committee members and everyone else who helps out however they can.

Without them there would be no camping trips, no fishing expeditions, no arts and crafts, no day camps, no Pinewood Derby and no blue and gold banquets.

In other words, there would be no Cub Scout program whatsoever to help boys and girls in kindergarten through the fifth grade Be Prepared for what comes next.

Photo by Dan Bryant

The programs for older youth rely on volunteers, but in a different way

Things change a little bit when our youth members join Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts or Exploring. Those programs are youth led and youth run, but still rely on adult volunteers to serve as role models and to provide an ideal learning experience for the youth.

This is when the Scouting program shifts away from activities such as carving cars out of blocks of wood to things like performing maintenance on a real car, and when car camping for the weekend becomes backpacking for the entire week.

At this level for sure, every one of our volunteers has something valuable to offer. Do you know about cars? There’s a merit badge for that. On any given outing, Scouts might work with an adult volunteer who teaches the Fishing merit badge, a Scout mom to learn orienteering, another leader to go on a 5-mile hike, only to end the day learning how to clean and cook fresh fish from someone else.

Volunteers learn, too

Over the years, volunteers have told us that the time they’ve invested in Scouting helps them be better citizens, better parents, better managers, better employees, more patient and tolerant of others, and more open to new ideas and opinions.

Given all you’ve done for us, it’s the least we can do for you.

Once again, I’d like to send a hearty thank you to all of our volunteers, across all of our programs.

About Aaron Derr 457 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.