2016: Scouts Dare to be Great and Healthy

By Vivian Diaz for Alamo Area BSA: January 29, 2016

As Scouts take on 2016, they dare to be great by working for the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Award that was incorporated in March of 2014 to promote healthy habits and strong minds; the key to a STRONG Scout.  Scouts and leaders know the value of health and fitness as they aim to receiving the award by committing to this value at meetings and gatherings.

Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened drinks, eating fruit and vegetables for snacks and engaging in physical activities at meetings are three simple ways this outstanding award can proudly make its way to the shoulder of each scout. As we encourage our scouts to celebrate health, these three practices will help Scouts establish lifelong habits.

The kids love it, they don’t realize that by playing physical games, drinking water and having a healthy snack they earn an award and many of our Cubs are close to receiving the patch. It’s a really good initiative to get the kids up and running rather than watching television or playing video games,said Marylynn Garcia, Cub Scout Program Coordinator for Packs 1004, 1009 and 1135 for the Alamo Area Council.

Leaders have achieved success in helping their scouts attain the award as nearly 9,500 youth and leaders across the country have acquired the patch. However, patch aside, leaders and parents are maintaining the healthy practices as an on-going part of their weekly meetings by incorporating at least 15 minutes of physical activity and providing healthy snacks. Whether an active game or active break is taken in between activities, leaders have seen many benefits to Scouts moving during meetings. If you’re interested in leading a SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit or to find materials for the award; including ideas for physical activities and healthy snacks at –www.scouting.org/scoutstronghealthyunitExternal LinkExternal Link

“Doing physical activity really helped the boys shake off some of their energy, especially after a long day at school,” continued Marylynn Garcia.

As Scouts feed their bodies with exercise and hearty foods, the Alamo Area Council professionals seek to lead by example by partnering with the San Antonio Food Bank to make better health choices. Exercise is promoted and encouraged, especially with Golds Gym being across the street; leaving the Alamo Area Council professionals with no excuse to not dare to be as great as the Scouts. The San Antonio Food Bank informs the professionals on better cooking habits, food choices and healthy alternatives. As we work with Golds Gym and the San Antonio Food Bank, we’re right behind you Scouts!

“Here at the Alamo Area Council, we encourage each other to make ourselves stronger than our excuses, which can be applied to our work and to our health. The price of excellence is discipline. We want to serve our Scouts, the parents, and the leaders the best way possible and will do so by taking initiatives toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Micheal De Los Santos, the Chief Executive Officer and Scout Executive at the Alamo Area Council.

With that in mind, the upcoming Scout Strong Patriot Run is an excellent way to not only honor our Armed Forces but also a way to promote a healthy, active lifestyle for the Scouts, families, and communities we serve. To learn more about the upcoming event, visit- www.alamoareabsa.org/Event.aspx?id=4535