About 10 years ago, Misty and Larry Boyd sat with their son David at church. It was Scout Sunday.
“I never knew about Boy Scouts,” Misty remembers. “I wasn’t a Girl Scout. My husband’s mom had him in sports from the time he could walk.”
David – who was just in kindergarten at the time – didn’t have an interest in playing sports, but Misty wanted to get him involved in something constructive and fun.
“I told David ‘It sounds like they do the things you like to do. You like to play outside,’” she says. “I asked, ‘Would you like to do that?’”
David answered in the typical 5-year-old way. “Uh huh.” Soon, he was old enough to start the Scouting program, so Misty contacted a local pack, and her family’s journey began.
Both Misty and Larry became volunteer leaders as David began Cub Scouts in elementary school. They learned the ropes as they went along. Each year brought new lessons and experiences. And as David advanced, so did they.
They came alongside other new parents who were just getting started. “We helped them through their first year of Scouting requirements and got them acclimated,” Misty says. Then they became assistant Scoutmasters with their son’s troop.
David took on his own leadership roles, helping younger boys in the program. “For two years, when my son was in 4th and 5th grade, he mentored younger boys in Cub Scouts,” Misty says.
Misty and Larry also became counselors to Boy Scouts working on merit badges. To help meet the needs of troops in their area, they helped start a merit badge college.
Their initiative and commitment caused others to take notice. Misty was offered the opportunity to lead a monthly volunteer meeting (Roundtable) that provided training and shared best practices. “I didn’t know what Roundtable was,” she says. “But that pushed me more.” It’s been rewarding experience.
As Misty’s service took her in various directions, she still found ways to share experiences with her son. “David comes with me to Roundtable,” she says. “He helps out. If I don’t have anyone, he always makes sure he gets the flag and we do our presentation of the colors.”
She also asks for his input. “I’ve said, ‘Hey, this is boy-led, so you’ve got to give me some ideas to do at Roundtable.’ And he’s actually had some awesome ideas that I’ve utilized.”
Perhaps their most special experiences have been while volunteering as campsite hosts for current Cub Scout mothers and sons at the annual “Mom & Me” weekend at Woodfield Scout Preservation in Asheboro.
“We’ve enjoy it because we participated at Mom and Me years ago,” Misty says. “My husband is always working that weekend, so now it’s our little tradition, just my son and me.”
David likes setting an example for the younger boys just starting out. At one event, he put his cooking merit badge skills on display, and the other moms were very impressed. It gave Misty the opportunity to tell them, “You’re going to be amazed at the skills and abilities your son will learn.”
As Larry approaches retirement, he’s found other ways to plug in, as well. “I told him, ‘You’re going to have do something,’” Misty jokes. “I got him involved in the shooting sports.”
This past year, David completed his Eagle project, but he’s not done participating. “There’s other leaders whose sons, once they reached Eagle, were done,” Misty says. “The leaders kept coming, but their boys didn’t. David’s still active in the troop.”
Misty credits David’s commitment as well as his exposure to the many facets of the Scouting program through his parents’ involvement for keeping him interested. Next up is a Venturing Crew that offers high-adventure or hobby-based programs for young men and women ages 14 to 21 years.
The Boyds have come a long way since that Scout Sunday so many years ago. They have flourished and watched one another grow. “We got our toe in and now we’re swimming,” Misty says. “It’s fun. I’ve enjoyed the growth and the opportunity to get involved in different things.”
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