Disclaimer: This is my own individual opinion and has nothing to do, not even a teeny bit, with the Seekonk School Committee.
As my kids grew up, they became active in the different town activities. We started early on with soccer. There is a certain enjoyment in watching 5-year-olds running around a field, zig-zagging to wherever a ball is. They are not in the least bit concerned yet on where the ball actually might be be going. With three kids, soccer became the sport of choice. It is short and easy; after an hour it is all over. There is no overtime.
The family became more involved in soccer as they grew older. I went from being a coach to running the town program. It was a rewarding experience and two of the kids still play. My youngest tired of the sport and wanted to try something different. At first I tried bowling with him. We concluded in a very short period of time that it was just not meant to be. Next he wanted to try Scouting.
Though I am one of six brothers, there was little experience in Scouting for our family. I vaguely recall one younger brother wearing a blue Cub Scout uniform with a yellow bandana.
Being a person with a limited amount of time on my hands, I was quite concerned about his forage into Scouting. It took only one trip to realize what a great choice this was for my child. Since starting last year, we have explored the river channel locks by bicycle outside of Albany, learned the art of cold weather camping (I was one step ahead of him with that thanks to the military), hiked and watched him learn how to use a compass and a knife, and canoed together. The canoeing took a bit of work, but we only capsized three times before we got our system down. I still carry some bruises on my legs from being dragged across the river bed, but it was all good.
The trips have been fun and the character development great to watch, but two things have set Scouting apart from any of the sporting events that the family participates in. One of his obligations has been to deliver groceries from Doorways to needy people. He has done this several times and I think it has taught him a lot about having a role in helping your community. The other was for Memorial Day. His troop visited the local cemeteries and replaced all of the worn U.S. flags. This taught him respect for those who served our country.
Both the kids and parents involved work as a team. There is none of the yelling or micromanaging that I see in the sporting activities. The most distinct difference I see is that parents are not just worried about their child and what their involvement is. Instead, everyone works together to build all of the kids' skills, teaching them the value of civics, and making them into effective contributors to society. I am proud to be a parent of a Boy Scout.