Our hometown newspaper had an interesting article this week about a local group of friends who have been getting together every year for the past couple decades to hold a “no moms allowed” campout. That’s right – just like the “no girls allowed” sign that boys might hang on their treehouse, only in this instance it was just dads and their sons and daughters camping for a weekend while the moms (who didn’t particularly care for camping anyway) stayed behind and went shopping and to the movies with the other moms.
It got me to thinking that Scouting is also a “no moms allowed” activity, but in a different sense.
Sure, moms are allowed to participate – but never as “mom”. Women can hold any position in Scouting, all the way from den leader to council commissioner (hi Jody!). But within the framework of Scouting, they’re not a parent, but rather act as other adults act.
- In Cub Scouts, the caring, helpful leader Akela treats all of her cubs equally and celebrates them individually. She uses the same approach with all of them, whether it’s her own son or someone else’s.
- And in Boy Scouts, the role of the parent-adult is the same as that of any other adult leader – we train and advise the youth leaders and counsel Scouts one-on-one, but we hang our “parent” hat at the door.
Possibly one of the worst things a parent of a Scout can do is to rob their son of the chance to function independently of his parents while in the Scouting program.
Sure, go along on a campout, or come to a troop meeting, and hang out with the other adults. Watch your kid from a distance, but don’t be a parent. Let him figure things out on his own, because some day he’ll need to.
Oh, and “no moms allowed” goes for dads, too.
Image courtesy of Jill O’Connor / twoboysclub.com