I would like to share my opinion on the support of local scouting in our area. I am a Life Rank Boy Scout from Troop 252, located in Springfield, Vt., as well as an eighth grader at Bellows Falls Middle School. I am hoping by writing this letter I can help make my community more aware of the importance of scouting and gain support for new scouts.
I have been in Scouts since first grade when I joined Cub Scouts as a Tiger. Today, kids can join as early as kindergarten if they wanted to as Lions; but they can also join at any time of the year, especially at the Boy Scout level. When I was in first grade, there was a Cub Scouts Pack and a Boy Scouts Troop in Bellows Falls. But because of the small number of kids participating, both the Troop and Pack discontinued, and my friends and I joined up with the Springfield Pack 258 and Troop 252.
Since I have been in Scouts, I have seen the amount of kids in my community decrease. Some kids join up and then leave because they have other things to do or because they have decided it was not for them. Right now, there are only three Scouts, two boys and one Cub in my entire middle school.
I know there have been a lot of negative things in the national news about scouting, but I really don’t think people understand how much scouting really does in our local area. I think that if folks understood what we as Scouts do for our community locally there would be a better respect. Maybe parents would look at trying to get their kids into scouting or at least support those who do. It is not only what the Scouts give but what they get in return – a big lesson on what it means to be a better person and how to do for others, not just for ourselves.
One of the most important things that I feel I have done since being a Scout is community service. This past summer I was able to give my local rec area about 30 hours of community service, helping them out on the grounds. I have also helped out my hockey program with their Learn to Skate events and gave them time to help referee games for the younger kids. I have also had a chance to help out my friends with their Eagle Scout projects.
Eagle Scout projects are a project that a Scout, once they have made Life Rank, can complete to assist their community with a need. Many Scouts and other friends, family, and community members help to complete. Now that I am Life Rank, I am starting to plan my project, too.
Not only do we get to give back to our community, but we get to do some pretty awesome other things that gives us chances that we may not otherwise get. In our Troop, we go on a major trip every other summer. In the summer of 2019, we went to California as a Troop and did hikes and cool stuff at Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and in San Francisco. In San Francisco, we visited Alcatraz and rode bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge.
In the summer of 2021, we are planning on going to Iceland with our Troop. I hope that by writing this letter I have been able to help people better understand that scouting is more than just camping and stuff, it is about giving back and letting kids have a chance to do some amazing things.
Life Scout, Troop 252
Bellow Falls, Vt.