Monday, February 26, 2007

A maturing boy, Scouts, and Mom's readjustment

Thank you, Cub Scouts, for helping me move to more discussion with my now 11-year-old son. Early in this first year as a Cub Scout he tackled the Readyman badge with his dad, and learned to check the oil in our car and check the tires' air pressure, as well as set up a household chemicals area and various other tasks. I began to readjust my expectations for this young man, nearly as tall as me and looking at the world around him with intelligent eyes.

Today we did a rapid study for the Citizen badge. We'd tackled some of the material before, but we covered everything today: a citizen's rights and duties (interesting conversation), what the text of the Pledge of Allegiance means (interesting again), the role of government or "what's it good for" (good talk), who pays for government (ah, lightbulb going on), why have laws and why obey laws (we even talked about other societies with a lighter/less effective "rule of law"), and some more I don't remember. A very interesting half hour!

This Citizen badge is the final thing Son1 needs to finish to earn the Webelos badge, and is also his last major hurdle for the more difficult Arrow of Light award. The Arrow of Light is supposed to be worked on over the last two years in Cub Scouts, as a Webelos I and then II. We've been told that a Scout who has earned the Arrow of Light is able to pass the Boy Scouts' Tenderfoot class and move on immediately, and that it's the one Cub Scout award or badge that can be worn on his Boy Scout uniform. It's a fairly big deal for Cub Scouts.

Son1 joined Cub Scouts in late August, barely six months ago, and is nearly done with the Arrow of Light (hurrah!!). He has to finish before crossing over into Boy Scouts, which his den is doing in April (to help the boys who got a slow or late start). He has earned the badges for Fitness, Outdoorsman, Scholar, Handyman, Engineer, Geologist, and Forester, and has done almost all of the various other requirements. He need to finish Readyman and Citizen; meet with the Scoutmaster; and complete the Faith, Honesty, and Courage "character connection" discussions with us. I think it's time to get it done, and Son1 is ready and willing (and I love that!).

At tonight's den meeting Son1's den leader will review each Scout's progress toward their goals (eg, certain badges or the big ol' Arrow of Light). I expect we'll find out how well our record matches hers, and find out for sure what Son1 needs to do in the next few weeks.

Then we'll have more discussions about topics I hadn't thought to bring up, and that is a ball!

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