The Benefits of Active Parenting

Submitted by Ted Cormier-Leger, Cub Scout Dad, Pack 7, Dedham, MA

A little over 5 years ago, we got a call that our application to become pre-adoptive, foster parents was approved and our social worker had a little boy in mind for us to meet.  Since we had just completed the state’s required classes and home study visits, we thought we would have to wait a lot longer so the call came as quite a surprise.  Were we ready?  What were we going to do with him?  Would he like us?  Would he get along with our dogs?  So we forged ahead and figured this was part of some larger plan.  We went to the house where Charlie was staying.  He had just turned 2.  It was the summer so he was running around with only a diaper on.  He hid behind the couch and peeked around at us.  He smiled and giggled and ran away to some other part of the house.  Needless to say it was love at first sight.  He was non verbal at that point but he knew various signs to tell us what he wanted.  He quickly won his way into our hearts and shortly after came to live with us.

Having a son brought back lots of great memories for me.  Especially those that involved Scouting.  Whether it was sitting in den meetings in our kitchen with my mom as our den leader or building my first Pinewood Derby car with my dad in our basement, Scouting played a critical role in my young life.  Sports were never really my thing back then despite trying really hard.  I got hit by the pitch way more than I have connected the bat to the ball.  Scouts was different.  I could learn new stuff, play, laugh with other kids, go on adventures and just be myself.  I am also confident that because I had such a great experience in Cub Scouts, I stayed with the program as a Boy Scout and later attained my Eagle.  (I could also talk about all my great summers at camp, both as a Scout and on staff or even delve into my trip to Philmont, but I think I will save those stories for another time.)

So when the opportunity came for my son to become a Cub Scout, I was so excited to bring him to the first meeting.

Seeing him in his full uniform and a big smile across his face brought a little tear to my eye. At the first meeting, all of the parents decided to divide and conquer so we each would take turns with delivering the lessons and activities to the kids each month.  Within a month, Charlie earned his Bobcat as well as his first belt loop and he was beaming to get those awards at the pack meeting from the Cubmaster (with proud dad standing beside him of course).

If you have the opportunity to work closely with your child on anything, I suggest you grab it.  If that opportunity is with Scouting, that is great.  My mom and dad were not spectators watching my young life go by.  They were involved, they cared, they took risks.  They did stuff with me.  I want to be that parent for my son and I encourage you to do the same.

dad and charlie