Friday, November 4, 2011

Why Be a Scouter Mom?

Jonas and I joined Scouts Canada, in the Beaver Scouts program, in November 2009.
This picture was taken on the first night we went to a meeting after I became a Scouter Mom. 

Someone asked me the other day why I volunteer with Scouts Canada. Afterall, it takes time to plan and prepare for meetings every week and we spend at least a night a week and weekend every few months away from home. My answer was simple: I'm a Scouter Mom because my son is a Cub Scout and it's something we have fun doing together. Just seeing the look on his face at moments like Steve captured in the picture above makes it totally worthwhile. 
There's nothing wrong with parents taking advantage of the time their child is at Scouts, or hockey, or whatever to get other things done. We've got a demanding life and it might be easier to drop Jonas off at Cubs every week and do the grocery shopping or something while he's there. Every family is different and has their own circumstances, but for our family, this is what makes the most sense. Most importantly, Scouts is something that we both enjoy doing together. While he gets to have these incredible life experiences, we get to create wonderful memories together. I don't see a downside to making it a family affair.

Scouter Mom and her proud Cub Scout
Another reason I volunteer is that if Jonas is involved in something, I'd like to be in the sphere of influence where it is concerned. The best way to do that is to be a volunteer. All Scouts Canada volunteers go through background checks, interviews and criminal record checks (sometimes including fingerprinting) before they are allowed to volunteer with youth, so I'm not overly concerned about the fitness of our volunteers as much as I am about overtaxing this valuable resource. Like most volunteer organizations, Scouts Canada has a dearth of volunteers. They need more people to help make the programs happen and the most logical pool of volunteers are the parents. My son is directly benefiting from the Cub Scouts program and I want to do my part to help make that venture successful. With more adult volunteers come more opportunities for our youth. Also, with more of us the share the load, there's less chance of volunteer burn-out that could stop the program dead in its tracks.

My friend seemed convinced that I might be on the right the track, but before the conversation ended she asked me why I still volunteer with Beaver Scouts if my son isn't in Beavers anymore. I told her that I volunteer with Beaver Scouts because we don't have enough volunteers in our group for me to leave and the program to still be operational. "Why is that your problem?" she asked. Well... let's just say that I've spent two years with that group of kids and it would break my heart if the Colony (the name for Beaver Scout groups) folded. Instead of walking away, I've made it my mission to convince other parents that this is a great opportunity to start making these memories with their own child. 



  1. Brilliant, keep up the fantastic work. Scouting brings so many skills to the children which go with them through life. They learn through experience and fun and I feel there is no other organisation that teaches such high values to our children.

  2. Awesome post! Both my husband and I are volenteers with Scouts and you have all our reasons listed. Our Colony is like part of our family.

  3. I like your answer to your friend ... I have gotten the same answer. My response is "It is not a problem, it is a pleasure!". I havenow moved up to Cubs and am standing in as Akela as my daughter moves up to Troop next year without me. We are closer now than ever because of that "one hour a week" (LOL).