When I was younger I was a boy scout, and I have positive, fun filled memories as well as memories of drudgery and mental torture. I learned from both.
My most vivid scouting memory occurred when I was 16 or 17 on an overnight snowshoe hike to a cabin belonging to an uncle of one of the boys. The leaders prepared an equipment list items necessary to keep us safe. Proper footgear was a priority.
Somehow my friend escaped the pre-hike inspection conducted by the eagle-eyed leaders, and he wore engineer boots (similar to cowboy boots). We loaded the trucks and were so excited and full of enthusiasm we could hardly wait to begin our snowshoe adventure. We arrived at the mountain finally began the hike. Unfortunately, before long we were lost.
As we wandered around the mountain trying to find the cabin, my friend began to fall more and more frequently until he was falling every few steps. Eventually we stopped, pulled off his boots, and discovered that his feet were frozen. Our leaders recognized the dangers and knew something needed to be done quickly or he might lose one or both feet.
About fifty yards from where we were we saw a cabin and decided to break into it to save his feet. After warming up and getting food into our stomach, one leader and three or four scouts went back down the mountain to arrange for help.
Everything worked out well. My friend’s feet were saved, help arrived on time, and the owner of the cabin was notified about the break in and damages were repaired.
There are many parallels between this experience and raising children. After my friend’s foot was taken care of, and we had eaten our warm meal and knew we were safe, we were very grateful that help had been given when we needed it and that all would be well. We can help our children develop greater resiliency by teaching them to be grateful, especially when it may be difficult.
We will all make mistakes and face many other challenges as well, and our children will benefit as we help them develop gratitude for the help they receive and the personal growth they can gain through their life experiences.
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