Robert Forcey

The Boy Scouts of today are drastically different than when I was senior patrol leader of Troop 53 in Grassflat, Pennsylvania.

But the basic premise is still the same: Teach kids leadership while giving them an opportunity to do some things outside of the house.

I don’t know about you, but that word outside seems pretty important these days.

Now, before I get too high on my horse, I will admit that my father was convinced I would lose my eyesight from staring at the TV too much (MTV still showed music videos in those days and I was my Dad’s “remote control” in our house), so we had our own challenges.

With the use of computers and cell phones being so commonplace these days, I feel myself channeling my Dad. I’m pretty sure my kids would spend all their waking moments tied to some kind of screen, if I let them.

What the Scouts did for me was to expose me to events and adventures I would never have had the chance to experience.

Scouting provided a means to learn how to work as a member of a group, cook my own meals, survive in the woods – and taught me about leading my peers.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but considering that all of that would happen over one weekend of camping, I am amazed at what I was being taught while having fun.

I, in turn, have passed those skills down to my children.

But many kids with great potential can benefit from an organization that will give them a chance, as the Scouts gave me.

There are many families in our community that should welcome the chance to encourage their kids to learn how to work as a team and play outside, while teaching them a few life skills.

Luckily, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we just need to take advantage of what is out there.

Please consider the Boy Scouts of America when you are thinking about where to devote your time, effort and support. In today’s society, getting your kids in a positive environment that teaches while allowing them to have fun is priceless.

We need good leaders today, and in the future.

Robert P. Forcey is publisher of The Tribune-Democrat and The Times-News of Cumberland, Maryland. He can be reached at 814-532-5111.

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