Teaching young boys about bravery, leadership and respect

Doug Dexter, Chandler super dad and Cub Master for Pack 584, shares the importance of being a good role model and explains why he’s teaching life lessons to young boys.

How old are the boys?

Boys start in first grade and can bridge to Boy Scouts in the middle of fifth grade.

How long have you been a leader?

I started as an Assistant Den Leader five years ago with my oldest of three boys. I moved up to a Den Leader with my second son, but shortly thereafter took the Cub Master position when our long time Cub Master bridged to Boy Scouts with his son. I have been the Cub Master for two years, but involved with Cub Scouts for five years.

Why did you chose to become a Cub Scout leader?

Initially I became an Assistant Den Leader because I wanted to be involved with my own son’s scouting activities so I would know what he would be learning. I continued to move up in leadership responsibilities because I wanted to provide a positive role model for my boys and others. Plus, we have a great group of leaders in our Pack who make the activities fun. Our family tries to volunteer in the community so that we can benefit from the great things that happen in Chandler. Those things do not happen without people making the effort, and sometimes sacrifices, to make it happen. Everyone has something to contribute to our community and should volunteer by doing what they enjoy.

What values have you been able to teach these young boys?

Cub Scouts learn 12 primary values – to be respectful, kind, courteous, trustworthy, obedient, loyal, helpful, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Why is it so important for you to be a role model?

Kids learn from hands-on experiences and from seeing what others do. Kids need to be taught respect for others and they need to experience the hard work and benefits of doing good deeds. They should learn how to take care of themselves and others. Male role models are an important aspect of every child’s life, not just boys. It is important that I teach my children these things and if they can have fun doing it with friends, it’s even better. It is not just important for me, but for everyone to be a role model to the children in our community.

What are some of the community projects that the troop has been involved in?

We annually do Scouting For Food, where we collect food donations from our neighborhoods and deliver to local food banks, directly helping those in need. Each year we also sing holiday carols at local retirement homes. We have a Toys for Tots drive each holiday season in conjunction with the local fire department. This year we also picked up trash at Snedigar Park, we planted trees at Hope Church, and we regularly do service projects for the Forest Service while camping.

What do you hope the boys will learn the most from their time and involvement with the troop?

I want the boys in our Pack to have fun while learning skills they need for the future. We give them the opportunity to build things like rockets and pine wood derby cars; to experience outdoor activities such as two camping trips each year and a New Year’s hike; to learn responsibility; first aid and wilderness survival techniques; safety; community involvement; and building relationships with each other. In today’s world of electronic entertainment and busy schedules, we need to make an effort to teach our kids about the world beyond the screen.