February 20, 2013

Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts Can Help Kids Explore, Engage the World

To the Editor:

Last week, the Princeton community was treated to a wonderful Commonground lecture on raising resilient children, by Lenore Skenazy, author of the book Free Range Kids: A Commonsense Approach to Parenting in these Overprotective Times. She took the opportunity to highlight the ways that modern parents can promote activities and provide environments that help kids become “smart, young, capable individuals, not invalids who needs constant attention and help.”

Scouting in Princeton is a way that parents can implement Lenore’s ideas. Girl Scouting and Boy Scouting use progressive experiences to prepare kids for adulthood. They promote child-led experiences and provide multiple opportunities for kids to explore and engage the world around them, all the while cultivating leadership.

For example, girls in Princeton have yearly opportunities to attend camp with older girls, and learn to survive and thrive without modern amenities. Their time with their troop, both at camp and at their field trips and meeting places, enables them to bond, be in the company of other adult authority figures and contribute to both their own development and the larger community. All the while, the girls practice common sense, have opportunities to challenge their comfort zone, and learn valuable skills.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts provide a similarly rich experience through which boys participate in a broad array of activities and adventures. Through camping, hiking, service projects, and other outdoor activities, boys learn skills that will help them overcome obstacles and challenges with courage and character throughout their lives. As they grow as leaders, they learn cooperation and teamwork, as well as the importance of being active members of the community.

We hope that all parents will consider how Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts could benefit their children as they grow, experience, and master the world around them. Please join us!

And if your own childhood and adulthood has equipped you with an expertise that would benefit Scouts in Princeton, please consider joining our volunteer ranks to give back to your community and positively affect the next generation.

Karen Freundlich

Stanford Place

Tracy King, Laura Felten

Girl Scouts of Princeton

Bill French

Cub Scout Pack 43

Kevin Baranowski

Cub Scout Pack 1880

Patrick Sullivan. Adrienne Rubin

Boy Scout Troop 43