I've volunteered with the Cub Scouts for the last 5 years and it's been a great experience. As I'm winding down my role in the pack, I was asked to write a testimonial about how rewarding it has been to be involved. Here it is.

Spending my days working in an office on a computer, I generally declare that I'm not very handy. As my sons showed interest in building and fixing things, I would often tell them that I was not capable of doing it. But after 5 years of volunteering with Pack 561, I've learned that in fact, I am handy, and I can build and fix things!

You see, as adults, we tend to know our boundaries; we know what we can and cannot do. But our children are still learning their boundaries. And Cub Scouts are taught that in fact, there are no boundaries--you can do whatever you're interested in! If you want to learn how to whittle, you can! If you want to learn how to build a Derby car, you can! If you want to learn how to identify trees, birds, or animal poop, you can! You can tour a TV station. You can meet and interview the mayor. You can experience what it's like to sit in a fire truck or inside a jail cell. You can learn a little bit about a lot of things so that you can discover what you want to learn more about.

When I first started volunteering with Pack 561, I faced some boundaries. How could I possibly teach children how to build a Derby car when I've never built one myself? How could I possibly lead them on a trek at the Arboretum, identifying birds, when I can't tell the difference between a cardinal and a robin? I can't do these things and I'm too old to learn. But when I saw first-hand the eagerness to learn that our Scouts have, it rubbed off on me. I can learn how to build a Derby car! I can learn to identify birds! I can learn all kinds of things!

I may not have been in Scouts when I was a boy, but I've spent the last 5 years volunteering with the Scouts, and I've learned so much. But the most important thing I've learned is that I don't have as many boundaries as I thought I had, and I'm not too old to learn about all of the exciting topics that my sons want to learn about themselves. And just today, I worked with my sons to to take apart and fix two of their toys that have been broken for years. I used to tell them that I didn't know how to build and fix things, but today I proved to them that life isn't about what you know, it's about what you are willing to learn.

Jeff Handley

Den Leader, Den 2 (2009-2015)
Den Leader, Den 4 (2011-2014)
Derby Car Workshop Host (2012-2014)
Webmaster (2013-2014)
Honorary Scout (2009-2015)