Scouting America instills values, traditions and skills

Posted 6/12/24

(BPT) - After 114 years, the Boy Scouts of America has changed its name. More than five years after welcoming girls, it has become Scouting America, a name that is more welcoming to anyone who wants …

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Scouting America instills values, traditions and skills

Posted

(BPT) - After 114 years, the Boy Scouts of America has changed its name. More than five years after welcoming girls, it has become Scouting America, a name that is more welcoming to anyone who wants to join. Nobody is happier about it than Bob Brady, Scoutmaster of Troop 1150 in Sparta and the Executive Vice President of Patriots' Path Council. He said the name change is reflective of what Scouting is all about.

"The name change reflects what our Oath has always been," said Brady. "We want everyone involved. Everyone is welcome. We're better with you than without you."

Brady's own family knows a bit about that. When Brady was a kid, being a Boy Scout was at the center of his world. He had moved with his family to a new part of the country and was short on friends and activities. Joining Scouts was a pivotal turning point in his young life.

"Scouting was everything to me," said Brady. "I earned Eagle at 15 and stayed involved. I did everything you can do in Scouting and loved every minute of it."

Scouting didn't just teach Brady how to pitch a tent and survive in the forest. It taught him leadership, public speaking, and the values that are central to who he is as a person. It even pointed the way to his career.

"I'm a lawyer," he explained. "But there were no lawyers in my family. I had never even thought about becoming a lawyer until I took a law merit badge in Scouting when I was 17 years old. That merit badge changed the course of my life. I don't know where I would be without it. Those merit badges help Scouts figure out who they are."

Brady's involvement in Scouting diminished over the years, primarily because of the birth of his daughters. He was a bit wistful about the fact he couldn't share what was such an important part of his own growing-up years with his girls. At the time of their birth, Boy Scouts of America had yet to accept women into its ranks.

All of that changed in 2018, when the organization began admitting girls. Coincidentally enough, the announcement came on his daughter's 10th birthday.

"I teared up, because I realized that I could now share the program that had meant everything to me growing up with my girls."

Bridget and Bob wearing scouting badges and holding an award.

Brady sprang into action right away to see how he could help. He formed a girls-only troop, 13 Scouts of which went on to achieve the highest rank in Scouting, Eagle Scout. Two of that group of 13? His own daughters.

This Father's Day, Brady is reflective of what it all means, not just to his own family, but to Americans as a whole. It's about raising good kids — the most important work any parent can do.

"The values we instill in kids in this program — this is exactly what we want good citizens to be," Brady said. "If everyone went through Scouting, imagine the society we could have. It is the single most important youth program you can offer to your kids. It's going to change their lives."

To learn more or to find a scouting troop for your child, visit BeAScout.org. According to Bob Brady, you'll be very glad you did.