I have heard it said over and over. I have heard it from those who don't like Scouting and those who love it. I have heard it from members of the Church as well as traditional Scouters. "The problem with Scouting in the Church is that it is a calling. The leaders don't necessarily want to be there. They are not invested in the program."
I can see at least one flaw in this argument. Me.
Twice I was called to be a Cub Scout leader when I did not particularly want to be. I had no son in the program, no vested interest. My experience up until that point with Scouting was watching my brothers have fun that I wasn't having.
In fact, the second time I was called, I had specifically mentioned to a member of the bishopric a couple of weeks earlier that I had done Cub Scouting before and would rather not do it again. You should have seen the look on his face when he told me what they wanted me to do and asked me if I would accept. I have thought back on that many times with a smile. There is no doubt in my mind where that calling came from. That bishopric would not have given me the assignment otherwise.
As often happens in life, the Lord chose better for me than I would have chosen for myself. In both cases I gained valuable experience and learned valuable things. Those led me later to learn more things on my own. I have grown a lot since, and much of that growth started with seeds planted during those two brief callings. Scouting has even affected the way I parent.
An article from the Young Men General Presidency states, "Many have said that, 'Scouting is for the boy,' In reality, it is for the adult. Boy Scouts of America provides the training, programs, and resources necessary to help adults effectively prepare young men for today and their future."
It turns out that those experiences were not just for my benefit. Now I am part of a program in a relatively young ward. We currently have many leaders who are willing to build a great program, but most have no experience in Cub Scouts. They have no idea where to start. The things that I learned in other wards can now benefit this ward.
When my own sons become scouts, I will be able to support them properly. I will already know the program and what my role is. If I had not had that previous experience as a Den Leader, I would probably be one of those parents who drop their sons at the curb once a week, then show up for the awards ceremony when it is time to pin the badge on.
I am very thankful the Lord gave me the experiences he did. We have all heard the phrase, "The Church is perfect, but the people aren't." We need to have patience with those people at whatever level they are at and trust that the Lord knows how to run His Church. His ways are not our ways, and we do not always see the reasons for things until long after they happen. Sometimes we never do.