Volunteering: The Benefits of Giving Back

Updated: Jul 14

For as long as I can remember, I have been involved with Boy Scouts of America. As a child, my parents signed me up for a Cub Scout Pack and I spent my early years learning how to work with crafts by making a leather wallet and helping others by doing simple projects around the school or in our home. As I got older, I learned how to handle a knife, build a fire and set up a tent. I also participated in more service projects.

By the time I hit 6th grade, I crossed over to Boy Scouts where knot tying and leadership skills were the new norm. Our service projects grew in size and we spent time building benches, cleaning parks and helping other scouts with their Eagle Scout Service Projects, including my own. We were also introduced to the concept of Cheerful Service through the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of the BSA.

It was through Scouting I learned to give back to those helping me through my life’s journey and to my surrounding community. This concept has never left me and over time I have found that volunteering not only helps the organizations I participate in, but also helps me grow as a person.

I served as a Den Leader and then Cubmaster in my sons’ Pack for 8 years. This time was filled with excitement, fun, frustration, joy and sadness. And through the years, I learned how to lead a group of volunteers, plan programs that kept scouts and parents excited, and grew our pack from about 30 boys to over 100. After our boys aged out of the Pack and moved on to the Boy Scout Troop, I became an assistant Scoutmaster and the Charter Organization Representative, or Scouting Coordinator for six boy and girl scout units at our church.