One of the most memorable pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever heard came when I was just 18. My dad offered this to a new dad, and I overheard it: “Whatever your kids are involved in, you’re involved in.”
Fast forward 22 years and that means we are all-in on U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This amazing organization is completely run by volunteers. I will admit that the “mama bear” side of me was a little hesitant to have my kids spend so much time with people that I didn’t know. But I didn’t need to worry. Every single adult I’ve encountered in this program is a top-notch human being.
Most volunteers I’ve met are parents who have had kids or grandkids come through the program; some are retired military who want to give back. I have met several folks whose kids are long grown, but they’ve stayed with the program for 6, 8, 10, or even 20 years because it is just THAT good.
Our training had 10 adults committed helping out in some capacity. TEN! We all pass background checks and commit to required annual training hours. We are a highly trained volunteer corps with strict protocols in place to ensure cadet safety above all.
We also have adults who aren’t even Corps members give their time and expertise to our Cadets. Our friend did a 45-minute zoom with our Marksmanship cadets, sharing his knowledge and wisdom from his 30+ year public service career. The cadets loved it!
As a mama, it’s invaluable to have other adults helping to teach and lead my kids. For kids to have other adults who care about them, instruct them, and cheer them on not because of obligation, but just because of who they are, is magical to a developing brain. On a subconscious level, they are learning that the world is good, that people are good, and that THEY are good. The old wisdom that “it takes a village to raise a child” is still true – and probably even more true – in this day and age. This is the BEST village!