Troop 209G Scoutmaster and her Scouts garnered national attention from Bryan on Scouting…
Scoutmaster Sangeet Srikanth is a trained educator. But she insists that some of the most important lessons are taught outside the classroom.
“None of the experiences in Scouting can be measured in terms of letter grades, GPA, test scores,” she told Bryan on Scouting. “But you can witness and experience it every day in your son and daughter’s life.”
It was a chance exposure to Scouting that changed the lives of Sangeet, her son Arnav, and her daughter Anishka.
Bryan Wendell of ScoutingMagazine.org explained that Srikanth “first learned about the BSA in 2010 on a family trip to Boston when they happened upon an event celebrating the BSA’s 100th birthday. Her son, Arnav, wanted to sign up right away. Her daughter did, too, but this was before the BSA had opened all its programs to young women.”
Enter Troop 355 of Newton. Or, make that, Arnav entered the venerable unit. Then, fast forward to 2017, and an Eagle Scout court of honor.
“Every rank advancement was a clear sign of leadership building,” explained Sangeet. “Every merit badge was a new life skill.”
Two years later, it was Anishka’s turn to join Scouts BSA.
“Every day, my admiration for her increases as she excels in her maturity and ability to deal with the challenges of life,” Srikanth said.
However, it’s not like Arnav or Anishka were alone on their journey. Their mother was there – unofficially – every step of the way.
Later, after a two-year stint as an assistant Scoutmaster, Sangeet was named Scoutmaster of Troop of 209G.
It’s a commitment, but Srikanth indicated it’s more than worth it.
“It’s about five to six years from start to finish — weekly meetings, camping trips, outdoor trips, and finally the long-awaited Eagle project,” she says. “Some families find it hard to commit with their own busy careers.”
That said, the end rewards, particularly for Eagle-earners, are worth it.
Meanwhile, Sangeet hopes that other families, particularly those in the Indian community, see Scouting as a viable adjunct to traditional education.
“Scouting structures their lives and gives them the most valuable experience that even the best classroom education may not fully provide,” she said.