What Did You Do in the Scouts, Dad?



Ray Capp finished his seven-year term as chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean he has vanished from Scouting–far from it. Ray is still active at the unit, council, area, and national levels, and this fall he sent out a remarkable letter to his Scouting friends.

The letter, which he kindly agreed to let me share with you, is not addressed to his Scouting friends. Instead, it’s addressed to the parents of Scout-age boys who may wonder what this Scouting thing is all about and why they should care. The letter begins like this:

If you are like most people, you know that Boy Scouts go camping … and maybe fishing, hiking, or swimming, too. You know that Boy Scouts are supposed to be nice and do good deeds. That about sums up what most people know about Scouting.

To let parents know what else Scouts do, Ray surveyed dozens of Scouting friends (ages 30 through 80) to ask them what they did as Scouts that they absolutely would not have gotten to do otherwise. The list, which forms the heart of Ray’s letter, is impressive, listing everything from shucking oysters and trying geocaching before it was cool to meeting the President in the Oval Office and–yes–helping an old lady across the street.

One thing that’s cool about the list is that it demonstrates the breadth of what Scouts get to do. Another thing that’s cool is that every item on the list is short enough to be tweetable.

And that got me thinking. What if you surveyed your own friends, as well as the Scouts in your troop, and came up with your own list. Then what if you spent a month tweeting, posting, or otherwise sharing your list, one item a day? If you did, you might get across Ray’s core message, which closes his letter:

A boy who joins Scouting will see things, do things, and BE things that he never imagined. He will emerge as a man of character with a passion and a mission.

And isn’t that really what you want most for your son?

Here are the links to Ray’s letter and “things I did” list:

Thanks again to Ray for writing, and sharing, this material.



2 thoughts on “What Did You Do in the Scouts, Dad?

  1. joselepervanche

    The list is amazing. This is one of the reasons Scouting is one of the best education methods for the next generation of leaders. I have used your Eagle Scouts Court of Honor book, and of course, the rest of BSA books. Yours in Scouting. @ScoutmasterJose. scoutingadventurs.org

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