11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

Scouting and Studying go together quite nicely
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Being a part of the Boy Scouts was a huge part of my life. I became an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and continued on to earn 11 Eagle Palms, which are awarded for every three months of continued activity, leadership, and five merit badges. Scouting played a huge role in making who I am today. Today, I am a college student. To most people, they believe that scouting only teaches you to build fires and set-up tents, but scouting truly teaches you so much more.

1. Tying Knots


You read that right. Anyone who has to deal with moving and transporting equipment has had to know a good knot or two to hold everything together. As a rower, when we leave to compete, we have to tie up our boats, oars, riggers, and other equipment tightly so that they do not fall off the trailer. It also applies to moving in and out of dorms. Have to tie extra bags to the roof of your car or secure them in your truck bed? There is a knot for that too. I certainly know a few people in the rock climbing club who definitely need to know knots too.

2. Time Management

Five merit badges each month sounds easy right? Having to work with a merit badge counselor, Scoutmaster, whoever manages the merit badges, and not to mention getting all the requirements done can get a little complicated. It takes time and planning to make sure you can get everything done on time. Group projects are a breeze if you can get your work done, schedule around your group members' times, and get it turned in on time. The same goes for multiple homework assignments from different classes. Manage your time and set goals. They will be easily completed without a rush.

3. Teamwork

The ability to work with people of all kinds is an important skill for many aspects of life. Being in the Boy Scouts has allowed me to meet and work with a variety people from many walks of life. Those experiences have allowed me to enhance my own teamwork abilities, and thus help my team. I'm not just talking sports teams. There are other groups that require teamwork too, like study groups, lab partners, and group assignments.

4. Leadership

Speaking of teamwork, sometimes you have to take the reigns. Leadership is a core value in the Boy Scouts. Scouting offers a variety of leadership roles such as quartermaster, historian, patrol leader, troop guide and more. The most important form of leadership I learned was servant leadership. The team does not work for you, you work WITH the team. I have found this form of leadership to be most applicable to those in leadership positions of clubs. The best way to improve a club is to lead the way, not tell the members which way to go and watch them wander.

5. Cooking

No, I do not have a gas stove or fire pit in my dorm room. Yes, I have taken two Home Ec classes. What I mean by cooking is how important food and the preparation of it is. Home Ec taught me how to cook and health class barely taught me the food pyramid (Is that still a thing?). Cooking in scouts has taught me how to properly nourish myself on my own. I've learned how to make the best, quick cold cut sandwiches and can cook up an exquisite meal using only leftovers. Being the grubmaster on camp outs has also taught me to be thrifty when buying enough food, even finding good deals for a little extra. Using every bit of what you buy can help cut into your grocery bill.

6. Adaptability

Thanks to scouting, I have had the opportunity to travel to many places and do many things I would have not been able to without. Going to all of these places and doing so many activities usually required me to get used to a new environment. When I attended the World Scouting Jamboree in Sweden, I had to learn to communicate with people who did not speak my languages, English and German. While I was at the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience in Philmont, I had to get used to the hot and dry environment while performing first aid and search and rescue exercises. Let's just say the weather doesn't bother me anymore. College will end up placing you in many different situations that you will have to adapt to or risk not performing well.

7. The Importance of Physical Fitness

Scouting offers many outdoors adventures from hiking to whitewater rafting. Everything we did required some level of physical fitness. PE and Health class did teach me about physical fitnes, btu scouting really nailed how important it is to maintain a good level of physical fitness for life. In college, we are usually confined to a desk, bench, or bed. It's is easy to pick up that habit of staying there and continuing it once you leave college. If I maintained a more sedentary lifestyle through college, I would not be able to do all the activities I loved doing in scouts once I leave.

8. First Aid

I'm not talking about running to the scene of an accident on you way to class, I'm talking about the little things that can add up. Knowing first aid also means you knows how to treat yourself. While studying, it is easy to focus too much on that and not on your health. I have had several friends become very dehydrated because they did not bring a drink and did not want to leave to go get one. First aid also comes in handy in case of an accident in the lab for you science majors.

9. The Importance of Community Service

Giving back to your community is something I firmly believe in. Whether it is a merit badge or an Eagle project, scouting requires community service to be performed in some way. There are a multitude of ways you can serve your community. When you help out your community, you build a bond with the people you work with. It is an excellent way to get you out of your room too.

10. Fun and Work are not mutually exclusive

The Order of the Arrow, a group within scouting, emphasizes cheerful service. It has taught me that no matter how arduous my task, I can do it with a smile. It may not be the most fun thing in the world, but I can make the most of it. You can enjoy whatever work you are doing as long as you view it that way.

11. Keeping to my Values

Even though I am no longer a Boy Scout, I continue to live the Scout Oath and Law in my everyday life to the best of my ability. These sets of values have helped guide my morals and decisions as I matured. In college, you will have your values challenged. Of course, this is not a bad thing. You should also listen with an open mind, btu you should not be so quick to change your mind on your values. Scouting gave me firm groundwork to lay my values, ethics, and morals. I still build on it to this day.



Cover Image Credit: James Stephenson

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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The Night Circus: A Book Review

Magic, adventure, and romance on every page.

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The Night Circus, written by Erin Morgenstern, is a captivating story of two apprenticed magicians who have been entered in their own magical competition. Celia Bowen is the daughter of a world-famous magician, Prospero the Enchanter. Prospero bets his own daughter against an old friends own apprentice, a young boy named Marco Alisdair. They both begin their training under their respective masters from a young age, always having harsh lessons and multiple performances. The two young magicians are told very little about the competition and they do not know who their opponent is.

Chandresh Christophe Lefevre is the creator of the circus, which becomes the arena for Celia and Marco. With help from Ethan Barris and the Burgess sisters, the circus is created. The whole place is black and white, from the huge tents to the performers costumes to even the grass within the gates. Magic and wonder fills the air as people enter the unusual scene. Chandresh constantly works with Mr. Barris and the sisters to continue creating new tents, along with the help of Marco and Celia. Eventually, the circus becomes the playing board for the apprentices. Each new creation of a tent is built up from the others ideas. Magic courses through the circus, but to the patrons it is all illusion and misdirection.

Bailey Clark is a young boy who dreams of joining the circus. He goes the whole while the circus is in town. He starts to fall in love with one of the young performers and eventually has to make a difficult decision that could save the whole circus from disappearing forever. Bailey's journey of self-finding and growing up will have you smiling the whole time you read about him and his wonderment of the circus.

With such vague, but strict rules of the competition, the magical components that keep the circus and everyone apart of it alive, and the desperation of a winner, things soon begin to turn complicated. In strong attempts to not give in, Marco and Celia begin to fall in love, but the competition prohibits that from happening. The circus starts to die. Misdirection turns into manipulation and things start to go wrong for everyone in the circus. No one is safe and it all comes down to Bailey to save everyone.

The book is written in a multi-perspective scenario, often jumping to a new storyline, new time era, and new events with each chapter. When reading, one should take careful notes of the starting dates and times at the start of each new chapter. Each individual story eventually comes together at the end, but read carefully or the illusions of the book might just trick you as well. Let yourself go and return to the childlike mentality of magic and wonder. You must attend the circus soon, for it only comes for a short time... and there is no warning. It will open at dark and close at dawn. Enjoy your time around the bonfire and get lost among the tents. Welcome to the Night Circus.

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