[This post also appeared on Today Show Parents Community]
All four of our boys have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America over the years, something I am very thankful for. Three of our boys are still active.
One of the big reasons that I appreciate Scouts is its emphasis on community service. Throughout the years a young person goes through the program, many opportunities are presented to give back to the community, with the final goal to complete an Eagle Scout Service Project to earn the rank of Eagle.
An Eagle Scout project is an opportunity to demonstrate initiative, leadership, and creativity by designing, planning, organizing and implementing a project that will benefit to the community.
My older son Ryan completed his Eagle Scout project creating a trail in West Linn in 2009; it took only one day because of the amazing family and friend support. Many people use the trail, which is part of a larger trail system in the city of West Linn.
And my twins, who are now 18, just completed their Eagle Scout projects last month. Spanning four separate weekends last month, my twins’ projects were all consuming for our family. It was really neat to have older brother Ryan there for all four weekends of the projects. Older sister Rachel and younger brother Gus were also there along with many family members, friends, community members, fellow Boy Scouts and their parents.
Mickael Josef’s project was building a bridge across a creek on a path that connects two city streets. He and his army of friends and family gathered had to transport 8,400 pounds of cement from where we parked to the place where the bridge was to be built.
Micki designed the bridge, he worked with the city to get the bridge approved, and he invited friends and family and Scouts and church members and parents of Scouts to join him to help build the bridge. And he got to work. It is quite a solid structure and I am so proud of him.
People have told us over and over again since my twins completed their projects, how much they are enjoying the twins’ proects in our community.
“Wow, that is some solid bridge that your son built for his eagle project.”
“I sat on the bench by the kiosk the other day.”
“I crossed over the bridge yesterday on my walk.”
“I see the kiosk everyday when I go to work.”
“Thank you so much for your sons’ service to the community.”
One of my parenting practices is to make community service a part of our family life.
Whether it is through Scouts or church or schools or non-profit organizations or City government initiatives or simply on our own, it is important to provide our families opportunities to serve in the community in which we live, to help make it a better place.
I remember going to Seaside on the Oregon Coast as a family to pick up garbage on the beach, an initiative of my daughter’s fifth grade teacher, which she coordinated with an organization called, SOLVE. Another time our family joined other church members to assist in a one-day clean up of West Linn High School.
What kinds of ways have you served with your family? With your children? What kinds of things have your kids done alone in the community?
[I am participating at my own pace with the #Write31Days community on the topic of “Finding Your Parenting Philosophy: Read my intro post which includes a link to my other posts so far. Thanks for reading! : #Write31Days – Finding Your Parenting Philosophy]
Additional photos from the twins’ Eagle Scout projects: