This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boy Scouts of America. However, all content and opinions are entirely my own. Please see my disclosure policy.
As you might know, my youngest, J.C., started Kindergarten this year. I was so nervous since we sort of unschooled preschool at home, and he’s a very young Kindergartener. But it’s going incredibly well. (Insert mama’s sigh of relief and a superstitious knock on wood here!)
But I notice one thing… there aren’t many extracurricular options for my little guy. Many start in higher grades (i.e. instrument lessons). Or are way too intense physically at the end of a tiring Kindergarten day (i.e. gymnastics). Or are – honestly – too expensive for us (i.e. all of the above!).
So I was thrilled when the Boy Scouts of America reached out to invite J.C. and me to check out their new Lion Program – which lowers the scouting age to include 5-year-old Kindergarten boys and their families.
The Boy Scouts Lion Program for Kindergarten Boys
The Boy Scouts heard parents’ plea for meaningful activities and positive experiences for their young children. So they gathered a team of experts in childhood development, education, and child psychology to develop The Lion Program curriculum – full of the adventure, leadership, and character development. Now our Kindergarten boys who are heading to school like their older siblings and friends, don’t have to feel left out when it comes to extracurricular activities.
Now, Check Out Our Scouting Fall Festival Fun…
J.C. and I were invited to a local scout troop’s Harvest Festival. J.C. and I entered to a school cafeteria full of fun Fall-themed games and activities. He was super excited to play. After a brief announcement from the leader and a quick presentation by the new Lions themselves, scouts and their families were invited to circulate through the games and activities around the room.
J.C. headed to the Donut on a String Game. A line of scouts quickly formed behind him. It may have been the most popular event! I was pretty impressed with how patient and polite the fellow scouts were. I’m sure scout meetings and activities offer great practice in those qualities.
Finally, J.C. got to take his turn trying to eat his donut off the string. Lots of smiles and giggles ensued.
From the kids and the parents. Who could NOT laugh at that powdered donut fun?!
Finally, J.C. finished the fun night off with some Pumpkin Bowling. I was impressed by the older scout managing this activity and encouraging the younger scout participants.
I left the Harvest Festival with a very happy kiddo – and an appreciation for the hard work the scout volunteers and families put into helping their young scouts build character and make memories. Plus, this kind of fun hands-on Boy Scout event is perfect for new Lions. They get to be their wiggly selves while also learning scouting norms from older experienced scouts.
My Visit to a Lion Scout Meeting
I was also invited to check out a Lion meeting. Since J.C. is still only 4-years-old (I told you he’s a young Kindergartener!), I attended on my own. They started the meeting saluting the Flag. Reminding the young boys about proper Flag etiquette and respect, of course.
Next was reciting their Scout Oath and their Scout Moto – “Do Your Best!” The understandably wiggly Kindergarten boys calmed their bodies right down to participate. A testament to their interest in being a member of a strong troop of fellow boys.
The boys had a little fun (and motor skills and teamwork practice) stacking recyclables before delivering them to their fellow Boy Scouts, the Webelos, for their service project.
Then scouts joined their family member to do a craft while their troop leader circulated to connect with each one. I overheard the leader asking each boy about how they help out at home, either with themselves (i.e. brushing teeth) or with their home (i.e. household chores). Prompting thought and conversation between the boys and their family members about responsibility.
This conversation about responsibility continued later on the carpet where the scouts brainstormed ways they can help out at home and with their personal care. Which culminated with their family members joining them to practice the personal care skill of shoe-tying. Perfect for Kindergarteners!
Having gone to Cub Scout meetings with my older son before, I noticed some differences in this new Lion curriculum to suit the younger boys. A faster pace through shorter activities to suit their shorter attention span. And more parent (or family member) involvement, which is great for younger kids who need a little more attention and also great for strengthening the family bond, too.
Now, over the course of that 1-hour Lion Meeting, I observed learning and/or practice in…
- respect & etiquette
- cooperation & teamwork
- listening skills & patience
- social skills with peers and adults
- connection with family members
- fine and gross motor skills
- creativity & craftsmanship
- responsibility and self-care skills
I’d say that’s a pretty beneficial extracurricular activity for a Kindergarten boy, wouldn’t you?!
Want to Join in on the #Scouting Fun?
Hop on over to Scouting.org for more information about the Boy Scouts’ new Lion Program and to find a troop near you. Plus, follow Boy Scouts of America on Facebook and Twitter. You can even share your own experiences with scouting on social media using the #scouting hashtag.
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