Scoutmaster Minute – Camping is a Privilege

I was recently on a conference call for work with people from Mexico and China.  We sometimes like to hear about each other’s vacations, so they asked me about when I went to Summer Camp with you guys.  In return, I asked if any of them ever went camping.  I was surprised to find out that camping is another one of those little things that we take for granted, but we really shouldn’t.

My colleague from Mexico said they can’t camp there because it’s too dangerous.  I’m wondering if he means bears or some other wild animals.  But, no, there are actually gangs of people there that go around robbing people that are camping.  They just don’t have the same level of law enforcement in Mexico that we have here, so it’s not safe to camp there.

My friends in China first reminded me that they’re not allowed to do anything as a group because it’s a communist country, and it’s against the law to gather in groups like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. And, even if they were allowed, they said they still would never send their children off to camp because there is too much of a problem with kidnappings in China, so it’s not safe to camp there, either.

So, as we wrap up our evening choosing where we’d like to camp next summer, among the hundreds of safe places that our country has to offer, remember not to take it for granted.  Camping truly is a privilege that not everyone has.

Scoutmaster Minute – Reasons to Stay in Scouts

As fall approaches and school starts, you might find yourself re-evaluating your schedule of activities. I’ve seen many times where boys have to choose between Scouts, sports, and other activities because there’s not enough time for everything. If you find yourself in this situation, then hopefully you think about the advantages of each activity, including the impact on your future.  I presented some statistics from one study a few months ago, and I have more for you tonight:

If you stay in Scouts for at least 5 years then you almost double your chance of earning a college degree, from 19% to 34%.

If you stay in Scouts for at least 5 years then you will also increase your salary by an average of almost $20K, from $61K to $80K. After working 25 years, that makes your time in Scouting worth almost a half a million dollars.

While a college degree and money certainly aren’t everything in life, they’re worth considering when you decide what activities to do, and hopefully you continue to find Scouting worth it to be one of them.