Getting The Whole Family Involved In Scouting
Our family is pretty involved in scouting. I wanted to share a fun and awesome experience that happened to our family a couple of years ago.
To set the stage, let me tell you a little bit about my family. My oldest son, JB, is serving a mission for the LDS Church right now in North Carolina. Before he left to serve his mission, he was an Eagle Scout at the age of 13 because he wanted to “do it faster than dad.” He also served on National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) staff in our council for 4 straight years after being a participant. His last year on staff, he was one of the Key 3 running the course.
I also have twin daughters, Emily and Sabrina, who are 18 now. A couple of years ago, they attended a co-ed NYLT because they were always telling me that they were jealous of all the boys in the family and wished they could earn merit badges and be an Eagle Scout. So when the opportunity came for a co-ed NYLT course they wanted to go!
My youngest son, Ty, is 15 and also earned his Eagle Scout at 13 because he wanted to “do it faster than my brother.” He beat him by a few months. He also has been the Order of the Arrow Chapter Chief and has served on NYLT staff for 3 years and is one of the Key 3 this year for our course.
My wife has also been a registered scout leader for many years serving in Cub Scouts as Den Leader and Cub Committee Chair, Unit Advancement Chairman, Merit Badge Counselor, Eagle Coach, and more over the years.
As you can see we are very involved in the scouting program as a family. My daughter, Emily, took it to a new level during her 9th and 10th grade years. While I was serving as the District Eagle Project Approval Chairman, she paid attention and heard me talking to many scouts and parents while coaching them through the Eagle Project process. She learned the process so well that she knew how to tell whether an Eagle Project was approvable or if more needed to be added to make it a valid project.
She unintentionally started coaching all of her scout friends at school. Boys starting coming to her with their Eagle Project ideas asking her if they would be a good Eagle Project or not. She started bringing up Eagle Projects in conversations with boys at school and encouraging them to work on it, telling them that it wasn’t that hard to do. She also told some boys that her dad wouldn’t let her go on a date with them unless they were and Eagle Scout (disclaimer: I didn’t say that exactly, but said that Eagle Scouts are better dates and that I would ask them questions when they came to pick her up).
Well, word got out about what she was doing to other scout leaders in the district and when we went to the District Scout Awards Banquet, they called us up and gave us the Scouting Family of the Year award and told the story about Emily and how she is Eagle Coaching all the boys at school.
It’s hard to know how many young men went on to earn their Eagle Rank because of Emily’s encouragement. (She knows of at least five, possibly ten!) We take pride in that award and love that we were recognized as a scouting family!