FAMILY SCOUTING: ANTHONY CAMMON’S PERSONAL STORY
My family would not be who they are today without the BSA and, I am grateful for Family Scouting. It’s a blessing and privilege to join them on their adventures and see the people they are growing into – or have grown into – through Scouting.
This summer, almost our entire family has been at K-M Scout Ranch to work or attend with their unit. Jill, my wife, works on the weekends to relieve the head cook. My daughter, Lita Robinson, is the Aquatics Director, while her husband, Isaac Robison, is Assistant Program Director. Hiram, my oldest son and Eagle Scout is the Counselor/Climbing Instructor, and I returned as Webelos/Arrow of Light den leader with my two younger sons, Micah and Isaac, during the first session. My daughter Tirza will soon be a Lion.
SCOUTING IS WOVEN THROUGH MY LIFE.
It was fun as a youth in the Sam Houston Council and now rewarding as a parent. It even led to my daughter’s wedding this year.
Jill and I want our kids to be active. We also understand that active kids mean busy schedules. Additionally, we want to be involved with our kids’ lives, which means helping and volunteering in their activities. We have always made their activities a priority.
Years ago, Jill and I wanted our son, Hiram, to get the most out of Scouting. Because our church did not participate in the Tiger program, we registered him in another pack with plans to transfer him to our church pack when he turned 8-years-old.
After making friends and enjoying being a Tiger, his den leader, who was sad to see Hiram go, suggested we dual register him. Given the choice to participate in one den/pack with our church or dual register, he chose Scouting twice a week in two dens and two packs. There were advantages and disadvantages with both programs. Together they made a rich, thorough experience that allowed him to get the most out of Scouting.
As a youth, my favorite time in Scouting was two years in Webelos. I told his den leader that I would be glad to serve, and I registered as a Webelos den leader with my son in the BSA.
LOOKING BACK, IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE.
I became prepared with YPT, Position-Specific Training, and BALOO Skills. As a leader, I was rewarded by being directly involved in our son’s Scouting experience. I enjoyed making the program the best it can be and working with my son to earn his Arrow of Light. I became better prepared when I attended Wood Badge.
I was lucky that my Wood Badge Troop Guide was involved with National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). As a former Air Force officer, I liked the idea of my sons getting as much leadership development as they could get and NYLT sounded like the ultimate experience. Serving as an adult leader with NYLT with my wife serving as the cook and my son as a participant was a wonderful experience! It was rewarding to serve with my spouse.
Starting my second tour of duty as Webelos den leader, I thought it would be easy since I had experience. The Webelos program, however, had changed, so I recruited Hiram to serve as den chief, a Scouts BSA member assisting a Cub Scout den leader and assistant den leader. Micah worked with his big brother to also earn his Arrow of Light.
When our third son, Isaac, crossed over, I began my third tour of duty as Webelos/AOL den leader. Micah agreed to serve as my den chief for the Webelos and develop his leadership skills.
Last summer I served as NYLT Course Director and Jill served as NYLT Head Cook in the new lodge at K-M Scout Ranch. Hiram served on NYLT staff.
After NYLT, I returned as den leader to K-M Scout Ranch for Webelos Camp with Isaac as a Webelo and Micah as den chief. Hiram and Lita were serving as staff members. It was very cool to have four of our kids at Scout camp at the same time!
During the summer of 2020, Lita met Isaac Robison – originally on Melita Island’s staff – who was working with the Camp Ranger at K-M Scout Ranch and assisting with additional needs due to COVID requirements. Over the next many months, Lita and Isaac began dating and were married in 2021.
I URGE PARENTS TO DO MORE.
I value the character development and values-based leadership opportunities for both my sons and my daughters through the Scouting program. I encourage parents to allow their children to benefit from what Scouting offers.
I also urge parents to do more than drop their youth off at den, troop, or crew meetings or attend only pack meetings and troop court of honors. Parents of Scouts should register to become leaders when they register their kids with the BSA. There are many opportunities to serve. Most importantly, Scouting is fun!
A wise man once said that if we all don’t row, the boat won’t go. If parents don’t register with their youth to become leaders, there will not be a program for our youth to participate in or to benefit from.
Wood Badge teaches that every Scout deserves a well-trained leader. Parents need to be those leaders. When possible, parents should take training to “Be Prepared,” improve leadership skills and help deliver a quality program. Training for adults is available, ranging from quick reference to complete courses, including virtual training online at Scouting.org and in-person training, including through the Montana Council’s Screen-Boosted Scouting.
Parents that do will be glad they did. Their kids in Scouting will also be glad they did. Volunteer today!
Anthony Cammon is AOL Den Leader for Pack 4426 and Assistant Council Commissioner.