One of the remote influences on my life was the British Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. As the famous Maria Montessori said, it is a good organization for growing children. Unfortunately, the boys’ branch has fallen on hard times, largely due to sexual predators, unknown in my boys’ times. Let’s hope, that like the Church, this organization recovers.
The Boy Scouts appeal to the basic instincts of boys as regards competency in the wilds and adherence to a moral and military code. It brings out the best in young men, and teaches them to adjust to the demands of civilization. And it does not mislead them into thinking this can be done without God.
In the merit badges, the boys (and girls have similar pursuits) learn about the adult world they’re going to enter. As my youngest son said: the best things I ever learned was in Scouts. (I was his scoutmaster.)