BSA and Military Families: Ideal Partners in Scouting
By Adèle Lewis
The U.S. Armed Forces have always been a strong partner for Scouting and a powerful asset to our communities. Every day new Scouts and leaders arrive at installations all over the world. Since military values like loyalty, duty, and bravery mirror the Scout Law, military Scouters are already vested.
Like many U.S. Air Force families, Tony and Melissa Rivera have moved from base to base for the last 12 years. The assignment to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas was just the latest job for the C-130 instructor mechanic and his wife. Like many military spouses, Melissa found herself single parenting a lot while Tony was deployed or teaching. Her two rambunctious boys, Jaxson and Logan, needed an outlet and Scouting fit the bill. “Scouting was our family while Tony was gone. When we first started I thought being a Mom, I didn’t know much about boy stuff.” Melissa wasn’t even a Girl Scout but knew the virtues of Scouting would be valuable for her children. “Scouting in the Air Force is strong and a great place to recruit new leaders. It really pumps you up.”
Tony got more involved when they moved to Texas. He was home more because of his new Staff Sergeant position as an instructor. He got bitten by the Scouting bug, too, and went from just a parent to the Council’s shooting sports director.
Melissa was a den leader, committee chair, and working on council-level planning for Cub Scout camps. Both Tony and Melissa agree that Scouting has made a positive impact on their family. “No matter what base you move to, you will have a Scouting family at your next home.”
The next home for the Riveras is Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. They moved over Christmas break. If you’re in Scouting and at Davis, you will run into Melissa and Tony. They are dedicated and enthusiastic leaders.
But Melissa sees her move like this, “While we left Texas, I know other leaders will move to Texas in our place. Military families bring new ideas to their new units and provide new blood to their communities.” So Catalina Council, be on the lookout for Melissa and Tony. They are ready to serve their country and their Scouts.