How the Cub Scouts Prepared Me to Be a Soldier

Today, I want to share how the Cub Scouts prepared me to be a Soldier.  I spent a couple years in the Cub Scouts as a young child (it’s for boys ages 7-10).  I really enjoyed the experience.  I learned lots of valuable life lessons and lessons that prepared me to be a Soldier later on in life.

As a quick disclaimer, I am not saying the purpose of the Cub Scouts is to prepare kids to be Soldiers.  It’s not.  However, I do believe that a lot of the things they teach are valuable for folks who will one day serve in the military.

According to the organization’s official website, the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  The Scout Oath is “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Scout Law states that “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” (Source: Boy Scouts of America Website).

The Boy Scouts taught me a lot of about teamwork, having a good attitude, working hard, treating others with respect, giving my best, being honest and loyal, being thrifty, staying in shape, and so much more.

Listed below, I want to share a seven things that the Cub Scouts taught me that really helped me succeed as a Soldier.  They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 Team Work – I participated in the Cub Scouts BEFORE I ever did organized sports.  The Cub Scouts taught me a lot about team work, such as how to get along with others, how to work together with a group of people, and how to put the needs of the team over those of my own.

# 2 Friendly Competition – I used to love the Pinewood Derby.  My father and I would spend hours building my car.  I never won on race day, but I always gave my best.  The Cub Scouts taught me how to be graceful when I lost and keep a positive attitude.  They taught me to WANT to win, but also to be humble in my defeat.

# 3 Survival Skills – One of my favorite things about the Cub Scouts was all of the survival skills and survival training we got.  We were always camping or were out in the woods doing something nature/survival related.  A lot of these skills carried over into my military career.

# 4 Physical Fitness – The Cub Scouts always stressed the importance of physical fitness. Sometimes we did exercise and we were always active.  This was good, because a lot of the kids in our Pack didn’t exercise much.  I was always a pretty active kid, but the Cub Scouts taught me the importance of staying active and living a healthy lifestyle.

# 5 Diversity – The Cub Scouts is a diverse organization.  You have people from different religions, ethnicities, upbringings, values and beliefs.  What made the Cub Scouts great is that it could bring all of these people together and work toward a common goal.  We were all Cub Scouts.  Nothing else really mattered to us.

# 6 Goal Setting – One key take away from Cub Scouts was the goal setting.  You were always working toward your next badge or next achievement level.  You always had something in front of you to work toward.  This really helped me out in my military career and personal life.

# 7 Continuous Improvement – Another thing the Scouts taught me was the importance of continuous improvement. They taught me that I could always get better; I could always improve.  They taught me to be a little bit better tomorrow than I was today.

Some people might argue that these seven things could apply to anything, not just for military folks.  I AGREE.  The lessons you learn in Cub Scouts are great for future Soldiers, but they’re also beneficial to ANYONE looking to learn the principles and values of living a happy, meaningful and successful life.

Sadly, I lost interest in the Cub Scouts after a couple years.  Looking back, it’s one of my biggest childhood regrets that I didn’t stick around and work my way up to Eagle Scout.

Final Thoughts

The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America is a fantastic organization that does a great job preparing young boys to be productive members of our society.  They teach good values and principles that would benefit ANY child.  Many of the lessons you learn in the Cub Scouts would also benefit anyone thinking about serving in the military one day.

What are your thoughts?  Were you a Soldier and a Cub Scout?  If so, what lessons did you learn as a Cub Scout that benefitted you in the military?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Disclaimer: The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are registered trademarks.  I am in no way affiliated with the organization.  All views are my personal opinion.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “How the Cub Scouts Prepared Me to Be a Soldier”

  1. First a joke from Good Morning, Vietnam:
    "What's the difference between the Army and the Cub Scouts."
    "Cub Scouts don't have heavy artillery."

    I was not in the Cub Scout myself, but I see many possible benefits. Team sports help prepare people for a military life, but the scouts seems to offer an even more in the area of teamwork and diversity. Also the survival skills you pick up are a nice starting point to learn how to do things for yourself later in life.

  2. My daughters are involved in Girl Scouts of America, and I see a lot of what you describe here. First of all, the diversity is amazing. At summer camps, the girls get to meet other scouts from all over the state, from all different backgrounds and social-economic situations. They get to see that all people are basically the same, and that you need to work together to reach common goals. They get to learn team-work which, for my little non-athletes, is pretty amazing. Scouting gets them out and involved in the community, also. It is such an amazing organization.

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