I was asked to step back in as a Tiger Den leader late last year and I didn't hesitate to say yes. Why? Because it's a program I believe in. I love to be around the kids, teach them that being a scout is something you do all the time. Having fun with them, making instruments, learning songs, camping. I think that most boys (and girls) need to be reminded that you have to work to earn things - whether it be rank, patches, or belt loops.
I have made friends, people who will continue to be a part of my life no matter where we (or they) are. People I never would have met otherwise. Boys my son is now friends with he would have never met otherwise. Are there parents and boys that we don't like or get along with? Sure, but since the boys have to work together they learn that sometimes you have to work with people to reach a goal. Even if you don't like them. That's real life.
Do we have parents who think they're kids should get special treatment? Yes. Receive things without following the rules? Yes. And sometimes, after I've told them the same thing five times do I lose my temper? Yes. But for every parent there is a boy - a boy like this one:
This boy is an awesome example of not only a scout, but of a wonderful person. He's been a scout since Tigers and this is at his Eagle Award Ceremony. Without scouts we would have never met him, my son now wants to be a great scout like him - and that's a great thing.
One thing I wish we had more of is involved parents. It's very easy to bring your son once a week, hang out and watch what's going on, but parent volunteers make the program work. I know everyone is busy, I am too - and I'm volunteering with a group that doesn't even include my son - anyone can help! Ultimately the program is as good (or bad) as the people running it - so if you want it to be better step up. This doesn't just apply to scouts - it's any program your child is involved with!
So, even though I don't always like the parents (and sometimes the boys) overall we love being a scouting family.