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SCOUTER Feature:

Twenty Tips for New Scouters
(From the
AIS Survey)

by MaryAnn Gardner

In their own words, today's Scouters speak to adults who are new to Scouting:

(The Leader being quoted is identified by Name or Initials (if available) and # years as a Scouter. Eagle Scouts are so designated. For example: M. Smith - 10yrs, Eagle Scout)

1. Get involved. Make Scouting a family affair. -David "Doc" Buerger - 35 yr.

2. Volunteer to be on the Troop Committee and show your son that the entire family is involved in the Scouting program. The worst thing a parent can do is treat Scouting as a free babysitting service. -5 yr. Leader

3. Get involved. You won't regret it. If you don't have time for your child, someone else with more time will. Think about it! 10 yr. Leader

4. Be patient and get involved. You don't have to be an Assistant Scoutmaster or Scoutmaster, but help on the committee, or just be a driver to get the Scouts to an event. -Paul Parrish - 7 yr., Eagle Scout

5. Be a part of your son's Scouting experience. It's well worth it! -Jason O'Neill - 6 yr., Eagle Scout

6. Get involved. Scouting is a family thing. The boys that I see that have an involved family do well in Scouts. Even something as small as driving to an activity is a great help to the Scout Leaders. If everyone helps a little, no one has to do a lot. -C.C. - 7 yr. Leader

7. Get involved! It would help the Unit and give you [the parent(s)] the ability to understand the program and goals of the Scouting movement. -G. Warde - 22yrs, Eagle Scout

8. Get involved. Your kids are only this age once. Then, all you will have is memories. Make as many memories as you can with your son. If you don't influence your son, someone will! -Steven Lenig - 20 yr., Eagle

9. Get involved as much as possible. Join in the pack as a Leader. The few that are there can only do so much. You CAN make a difference in your son's Scouting experience. No matter what you can contribute. 9 yr. Leader

10. Spend some time looking over your son's Wolf, Bear, or Webelos books. Most, if not all of your questions, can be answered there. Offer assistance to the Den Leader. Get to know the Den Leader - and tell them thanks every once in a while. The feeling that a Den Leader gets when one of the parents says "Wow this Scouting thing sure is neat. I wish my son had been in it longer," is almost beyond belief. -G.H. - 2+yrs, Eagle Scout

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11. As with anything, you only get out of it what you put into it. Your children only grow up once. Use Scouting as both a tool to help them grow and as a way to be involved in that growth. -5yr Leader, Eagle Scout

12. Get involved. Get registered. Get trained. You will have the time of your life. -J.P. - 10 yr.

13. Find an experienced Leader who can provide you or show you the resources available to do your job. Also attend the monthly roundtables. -Bob Beatty - 10 yr., Eagle Scout

14. Become Involved! Take an active interest in your son's activities. You will enjoy the experience and so will your son. -T.D. - 10 yr.

15. BECOME INVOLVED. Look over the TROOP like you look over a NEW car. After all, you're going to invest a lot of time and money on it over the next six to seven years. GET TRAINED - then get more training and network with other Scouters. -Chuck Vain - 12 yr.

16. Stand by your Scout (not literally-unless you want to) and let him/her go (grow) -8 yr. Leader

17. Get involved with at least Basic Training and watch the Fast Start video as soon as your son joins the Troop. Enjoy Scouting so it is fun and check out more than one Troop before putting down roots. -Ed Henderson, SCOUTER Staff, Eagle Scout

18. Support your son in his endeavors. Encourage him in his efforts. Remind him of the meetings and events, but allow him to make his own decision in the end. Scouting is boys leading the boys - with kind and gentle assistance from the adult Leaders. Teach the boys the correct principles and they can lead themselves. Volunteer to assist the Scouting program - whether as a member of the committee or merit badge counselor. -Thomas Foster - 20 yr., Eagle Scout

19. Encourage your boy to stick with the program. The values that the boys learn are ones that are admired by all. The more involved you are with the program the more your son will be involved. -L.H. - 10 yr.

20. Ask questions -- LOTS. PARTICIPATE in meetings and activities. Don't be a spectator. Relate family & school activities to Scouting and vice versa. READ YOUR CHILD's HANDBOOK. Set an example. -L.W. - 4 yr.