By Christin Gustafson

I am the mother of a new Scout who earned his Arrow of Light in January and crossed over from Cub Scout to Boy Scout. I was initially worried about my son joining such a large group with older boys – he’s 11 and some of them are 17 – but my worries were unfounded. During the last four months he made new friends, faced new challenges and learned new skills.

At the end of May, Troop 07 held their yearend Court of Honor to recognize Scouts who had earned rank advancements and merit badges. I sat in awe as over 100 awards were handed out – each one representing time spent and knowledge gained. In addition, the four Scouts who earned Eagle rank were recognized. Noah  Zukowski, Harrison Green, Copper Donnalley and Ryan Tan are a great inspiration to my son. They exemplify the hard work,  determination, knowledge, moral standing and leadership that BSA values and instills in youths.

This summer, Scouts from Troop 07 will attend camps in Japan, Thailand and the US. The week my son spends in Thailand will be his first ever sleep away experience and he’ll spend it in a foreign country in a tent. As a mother, I’m apprehensive and full of “what ifs” but I remind myself that this is an opportunity for growth and a whole lot of fun. My worries are also eased knowing that he’ll be accompanied by his new friends, those older Scouts I once feared.