The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 2, 2014

Scouts share common goals

The Commercial-News

---- — All parents want their children to grow into responsible, productive and compassionate adults. Sometimes that challenge can seem overwhelming to parents and those charged with raising today’s young people.

To see the decline in number of participants in Boy Scouts — an organization that shares the same goals for the young people who are its members — makes you wonder why more parents don’t take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Scouts and similar organizations to enroll their children.

Today’s Boy Scouts look nothing like your grandfather’s Boy Scouts. As a local leader says in a story on today’s Page 1, the scouts aren’t just a bunch of people who go camping. Today’s organization focuses on developing the leadership skills of its members by encouraging them to try new things, to help others, to be ethical and by developing members’ self-confidence.

Scouting does face tremendous challenges to capture the attention of young people. Youth sports have become a dominant activity from kindergarten age — and even younger — on through junior high and high school. Practices and games can eat away at time that might be spent participating in scouting.

The availability of the Internet and many other entertainment options also cut away at young people’s free time.

The benefits of scouting, however, make the organization worth consideration by parents.

The Boy Scout Law simply states the traits every member should strive to achieve: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Parents who want to see their children work toward those same goals should give the Boy Scouts and similar organization a long and serious look.