Jen sent in this question:
I’m in a relationship with a man who is a Scout Leader and involved with Scouts at multiple levels. I’m looking for resources, or support groups, etc for “mom’s” or spouses of Scouts. My kids were never involved with Scouts so I know very little and I want to learn more so that I know how to be more supportive and understanding of his schedule and activities with his boys. Any direction or advice would be greatly appreciated.
First of all, I applaud your effort to understand what is involved in Scouting. The world of Scouting can be confusing to newcomers and you are taking an important step.
I am not aware of any formal Scouting support groups, but they probably exist somewhere. There are many great websites which serve as Scout resources. The BSA website is a good source of information of all sorts.
But I think that one of the best ways to learn about the program is to volunteer with your unit. It doesn’t have to be a big role. Just find out which smaller jobs they need help with, and if one of them seems to fit with your skill set, then offer to help. For example, find out what service projects and fundraisers they have coming up. If you and your significant other can volunteer together, that is even better.
The reason I recommend volunteering is that you will get to know some of the other parents involved. And they will be your best resource. Every unit is different and has its own traditions. By networking with some of the other parents, you can find out how the unit is organized and what the expectations are for the leaders and parents. You can also learn which events are really important to the Scouts and which are more optional. You can’t get information like that from a website or magazine.
The members of the troop or pack committee can provide answers to many of your questions. So if you get to know them, you should gain a better understanding.
Also, there will often be a group of parents at meetings and events who are also trying to learn more about the program. Get to know them also. There is a great camaraderie in learning the ropes together.
Readers, what are your suggestions? Add them to the comments below.