Since its founding in 1910, Boy Scouts of America has trained youth to be resourceful, considerate members of society. Through educational programs and leadership opportunities, it continues to positively impact present and future generations. To embrace inclusivity and encompass future leaders, Boy Scouts of America declared that all U.S. females can join the Scouting program in 2018.
As a female Life Scout, my experience with Scouts BSA has offered new perspectives on modern life, including how effective communication and leadership shape today's communities. These valuable lessons can guide teenagers to practice healthy habits and observe the world around them.
#1. Exciting Challenges Always Lie Ahead
If people knew their entire life trajectory, excitement and bravery would cease to exist. Every victory comes from adapting as life unfolds and accepting new challenges. The beauty of being young is understanding you cannot know what's coming many years from now.
Your teenage years allow knowledge and experience to flow with time. Forming goals to move forward and adopting a positive mindset help you overcome obstacles.
Learning to embrace dedication and adversity fosters growth. Embrace that your future will always have opportunities to grow and form memories.
#2. Respecting the Outdoors Builds Character
Over your teenage years, you acknowledge the significance of respect. It helps form lasting bonds with others while improving self-worth and communication skills. Honor and regard are essential to keep society functioning. Similarly, with the environment, respect has lasting impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.
Scouts understand their roles in protecting local campgrounds and habitats. They have learned that appreciating the outdoors strengthens character.
#3. Skills Are Acquired Over Time
The temptation to rush toward an advanced level when starting a new activity is expected. It's only human to desire instant gratification and gain skills quickly. However, learning is more rewarding when it occurs over time.
Truly grasping the concepts of skill sets includes exploring their nuances. Make personal connections with your current knowledge and abilities, which will inspire you to expand your interests.
Working with others while engaging in activities makes learning fun and collaborative. Scouting provides opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, encouraging them to use their passions to fulfill their future.
#4. You Are Always Making Progress
Even when you don't notice it, each day is a step toward a new direction. Test scores and achievements are only two measures of progress. Instead, you display it through your willingness to grow.
For example, instead of believing in "wasted" days, know that your future won't be tarnished. It unfolds throughout your life! Practice self-compassion because you are always learning.
Remember, the feeling of falling behind is normal. However, do not let negativity limit your potential. Everyone has a specialty to share with the world, and it often takes time to uncover it.
#5. Everyone Has a Story to Tell
Sometimes, people become so absorbed in their lives that they forget to observe others. Every person you meet, from your next-door neighbor to a stranger, has a story to tell. Taking the time to appreciate each individual will give you a powerful sense of community.
These stories are doors, and the key is to listen. Others find it meaningful when you take an interest in their experiences.
When people recognize the potential within each other, they work together to achieve a better world. Aim to be kind and trustworthy, and enjoy sharing your story when the time comes!
#6. New Places Are Milestones
Each place that I've visited during my time in Scouting has been called home by many. People live near each campground. Tourists and hikers walk alongside the same trails.
A wide variety of insects and species lurk around every corner. Everywhere is a home, even if you don't recognize it.
Consider each place that you traveled to be a milestone in your life. When you revisit photos or landmarks, remember your previous experiences. Appreciate the homes away from home.
#7. Competition Should Be Uplifting
Contests and tournaments draw out a participant's competitive side. It adds a sense of urgency and victory to these events, encouraging people to surpass their limits. Unfortunately, many people let their competitiveness become destructive to others' progress. Nobody should tear another person down to reach first place.
A healthy sense of motivation applies to all participants for exciting Scouting events. Competition is a driving force for everyone, not just a single winner. Communication and teamwork are more compelling than self-centered ambition!
#8. A Community Loves a Helping Hand
Every community needs support, whether in a small town or a bustling city. People consistently advocate and raise awareness while working on various projects. Search for volunteer opportunities in your local region. Support is always welcome and in demand.
In most troops, Scouts work together to complete community service projects. Older Scouts aspiring to earn the Eagle rank often design these. Setting goals to uplift communities is a core theme in Scouting.
#9. Hard Work Starts With Easy Steps
It's no secret that hard work is essential to reach your goals. Unfortunately, people often overlook that discipline spreads over continuous, small actions. Before dedicating your time to goals, you must first understand your tasks. For example, when learning how to tie knots, you must first "learn the ropes." Over time, with consistent practice, you will tie them flawlessly!
What you find challenging now may be easier in the future. Take each obstacle you overcome as a milestone toward personal growth.
#10. Old Memories Inspire New Ones
For Scouts, experiences such as camping outdoors and learning skills don't have to end when you turn eighteen. You can foster your old memories to create new ones that resemble your passions. Use what you previously enjoyed to discover what you seek in the future.
Look inward instead of comparing yourself to others. You are always making memories, even when you don't recognize it.
Growth is a process that takes time and commitment. You will make informed decisions by examining your experiences and listening to others. Always keep an open mind and show respect for local communities. After all, the choices and memories you make throughout life make it unique.