Wednesday, September 20, 2006

We have Scouts in the house

Both boys were interested in finding out what Cub Scouts was about, so in late August we went to the first pack meeting of the year. This was a pack that had a lot of boys in it we knew, and we'd heard good things about it. I signed them up before we left! Son1 is a new Webelos II, and Son2 is a Tiger Cub.

Now each boy has a weekly den meeting with dear husband and the other boy is at home with me. We all attend the monthly pack meeting. They are excited and having a ball, and dear husband and I love it, yay! A friend suggested we try 4-H, but Cub Scouts has just clicked in a very big way with us. I love how well the adults treat the boys in small and large groups; the fact that the leadership is mostly men (but not 100 percent); the good organization of this pack (I gather that's not always the case); the variety of things the boys will be able to do throughout the year and in coming years; and how the boyness of the boys is treated -- as perfectly normal! The fundraisers are even reasonably reasonable, and 90 percent of the money raised goes to the individual Cub Scout's pack account to pay for summer day camp and other opportunities; I really like that approach.

Son1 is very excited about the family campout at the end of the month. It's two nights and a full day camping with family, other scouts, and leaders. For our family it's been complicated trying to figure out how to do it, because we have NO camping gear, dear husband has an obligation Friday evening, and I have an obligation on Sunday morning. Wonderfully, dear husband has worked this out. Son1 will go for the entire time, under the wing of his assistant den leader, leaving Friday early evening. Dear husband and Son2 will go for the day on Saturday and come back that evening. Then Son1 will return Sunday late morning. It works! And I noticed that in the midst of that is the very big gift of a Saturday to myself. Wow. We need to get Son1 a ground pad, but otherwise we have pretty much everything he'll need. The dens take turns being responsible for a meal, apparently, organized by the den leaders -- this time.

There was a previous, more complicated plan that brought me along for the first night, too, which I was up for--except for the fact that we have NO camping gear and honestly I have no proper outdoor clothing. I don't think dresses and flipflops or Birkenstocks are quite the typical gear. I'd be fine if nothing unusual came up, but that's not good preparedness!

As of yesterday afternoon and a trip to the far side of Nearby City, the boys each have a uniform shirt. Son1 has his first earned badge and his handmade den patch, and I have a lot of patch and badge sewing to get his shirt ready to wear! Then I'll get started on Son2's; we got him a Tiger Cub T-shirt to start, and will get a regular Cub Scout shirt for him shortly, now that I know what patches to buy. I'm pretty curious about the Raingutter Regatta coming up, and the winter campout for Webelos that is on the calendar in the week following Christmas.

My guys and I love Scouting so far. I hope the months and years to come bear out this early promise of good things in Scouting.


Phil said...

This was good to read. We are getting my son started in Cub Scouts next month. He's NOT excited about it, but I hope he realizes how much fun it can be once we start. He's just not much of a joiner, being very shy around groups of kids.

I was in Scouts, went all the way to Eagle. My experience wasn't always a fun one. I wasn't exactly sure that I wanted my son to follow in my footsteps but now I'm thinking it can only be good for him.

I'm sure I'll be blogging about it at some point!

Barbara said...

Phil, in thinking about this further, I simply have the gut feeling that this is a really good pack. I hope you find a great pack for your son, too. As a newbie to Scouting, I'm interested to know what wasn't so good about your own experience as a Scout -- I'd like to have a good understanding of the ups and downs that are possible. Good luck!