Father Ron Camero talks proudly of how his children have flourished in Long Beach Scouts and what the organization means to their family.
By John Grossi
Life-long Long Beach scouting enthusiast Ron Camero - a patrol parent, assistant scoutmaster, and former scout – is above all, a proud papa. His son, Santiago, just completed his Eagle Scout project at the tender age of 14. And Ron now gets to watch daughter Micaela
(11) and her friends complete Scouting merit badges, learn independence, and find their passion just as he has mentored his son and Santiago’s friends since they were little.
“The best part is watching these kids grow up and mature together. We camped out recently and I didn’t have to do anything. They [Santiago and his friends] got out of the car and set everything up. I was like, “Wow! This is amazing! I don’t even have to do anything anymore!”
Ron explains that the independence and discipline his children learn through Long Beach Scouts is what makes him love the program. “A lot of kids get that discipline and structure through sports or joining something else. But sports aren’t for everyone. I’ve had many
parents tell me their kids weren’t cut out for sports, but they tried scouting and were very successful.”
Learning to Support Other Non-Profits Through The Scouts
Santiago thinks one of the best parts scouting has exposed him to are the service activities that he otherwise would not have known.
For his Eagle Scout project, Santiago built eight raised garden planters for a non-profit called “New Way of Life,” which houses formerly incarcerated women as they start their life over and reconnect to life outside prison.
“It gives residents at the facility access to a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also improves their mental and physical health as they spend more time outside,” says Santiago, reflecting on how his Eagle Scout project positively impacted the community.
Micaela is enjoying earning merit badges this year. She is also realizing that some that seem difficult to achieve at first, such as the swimming badge, can end up being the most fun and rewarding.
“I tell anyone who is thinking about joining Scouts that there are so many different merit badges, you’ll definitely find something you like,” says Santiago.
Santiago finished his Eagle project so early that he will now have 4 years in high school to take more of a leadership role. That’s another aspect that his dad likes. And he knows from experience that the training Santiago will get in leadership is second to none.
“The training they now have for adult leaders is amazing. It helps leaders like myself get ideas. They have ideas already set in place that I know the kids will be engaged in.”
The entire Camero family is a walking billboard for Long Beach Scouts, and will continue to serve their community through scouting and beyond because of what experience has taught them.
As Santiago says, “Scouting was an important part of my childhood because it allowed me to become more independent. There were lots of times where scouting taught me to become a better person through community service and helping other people.
Scouting in Long Beach has provided service to our community for 102 years, since 1919.
Today, we serve thousands of families with youth ages 5-21. Programs include nautical training, camping, high adventure, and career exploring. Scouting provides youth and families with positive outdoor experiences and gives youth the confidence and tools to lead a meaningful life. In the past 18 months, Scouts in Long Beach have performed 25,000 hours of
service and collected 34,147 cans of food. Scouting’s commitment to our community remains strong. Scouting is enrolling youth now! We would be happy to connect you to the nearest group. Learn more at www.longbeachbsa.org.