The path through scouting

Andy Gimpel looks at the path through Boy Scouts and the values of scouting


The Knight Crier recently ran a story on North Penn High School student Thomas Lloyd and his Eagle Scout Project. In connection with that piece, I’ve decided to reflect on my own personal experiences in Boy Scouts.

Boy Scouts isn’t the kind of endeavor where you simply sign up and immediately get to go camping. It requires a lot of patience to reach that point. You first have to sign up for the Cub Scouts. There you spend time completing activities (such as a lot of community service work) and talking with your fellow scouts while slowly moving up the ranks. The ranks are: Bobcats, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos.

Finally, there is the Arrow of Light Ceremony. This marks your official introduction into the Boy Scouts. Here, there are much more activities meant to improve your survival skills and self-sufficiency, such as knot-tying, fire-making, resource-gathering, and more. There are seven ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. There are numerous and difficult requirements to ascend ranks, but still very interesting and worth your time. Chief among these is the Eagle Project, which usually involves community service work, such as building fences for neighborhoods and fixing up old colonial houses.

Finally, we get to camping. Camping has plenty of activities to participate in, such as hiking, swimming, canoeing, campfires, sports, and is an excellent opportunity to complete rank requirements. It teaches you make do with limited resources and survive the harsh elements. Just be wary of early wake-up calls and bugs sneaking into your tent.

My time at Boy Scouts was exhausting, but ultimately fulfilling. It taught me a lot about what I was capable of and what I should look forward to next. It isn’t exactly one wild adventure after another like what other people may think, but the adventures you do have are sure to be memorable.