By Charles Leroux

When I first joined the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in September 2015, I was really excited to follow in the footsteps of my family before me. My great-grandad was involved with the French Scouts, so was my dad and now three of my cousins. What was different for me, though, was that at the time I decided to get into Scouting, I had moved to Singapore. Once I had learned English, I joined BSA Troop 007 and, so far, my adventures as a Scout have been far from disappointing.

In my first year, I went camping twice, and then on a Troop camp and summer camp in my third year. Troop camps are a great way to bond with your patrol and have fun, but summer camps... oh boy! It’s like school, except it’s Scout school. There are sessions in the morning and free time in the afternoon. You choose your “subjects” or Merit Badges and do them across one to four periods.  Classes” involve more practical elements to master your craft. Once the day is done, you come back to your tent, weary but happy, with a smile on your face and a full stomach. You collapse on your mat and think about a great day spent.

There are sometimes other awards you can earn by taking part in contests and competitions: Tomahawk throwing, knot ninja, which involves doing knots under a certain time limit, archery and quizzes, which are a lot of fun.

But as Lin Yutang said: “No one realizes how beautiful travel is until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” The best part of summer camps is when you come home, reflect on your time and turn it into a memory that you will keep forever.

Scouts has been great for me. It has helped me develop confidence and knowledge, and build character through leadership. It has educated me on the values of trust and chivalry, teamwork and responsibility.

Scouts is a great educational activity for kids and, if you are between grades six and twelve, then come join us: it’s an adventure and you will make lots of new friends!

Charles Leroux, aged 14, is from France and moved to Singapore at eight years old. He is a senior patrol leader and Scouts is his favorite hobby, along with boxing.