Another End, Another Beginning.

Posted On May 22, 2011

Filed under Children, Cub Scouts, Reflective

Comments Dropped 2 responses


Today, the Cub Scout Pack my son belongs to, and I am a den leader with, had its end of year “pack graduation.”  This term confused several of my friends.  Many of the packs they belong to call it “bridging over,” but our pack reserves that term for the boys crossing over from cubs to boy scouts.  That is not what happened today.  We did that back in February at our pack spring campout.  Today, the boys who remain in the pack “graduated” from their current rank, moving up to their next rank.  For my son, this is a transition from Wolf to Bear.  For me, it is the same, but also much, much more.

Yep, mom found herself feeling all nostalgic today.  For those of you who have never read with me before, I am almost 30 years old, and my cub scout is my oldest child.  There have been quite a few bumps along the way for us.  Today, I saw him very, very excited, when this time last year, he wanted to quit.  Scouts had gotten boring for him, he said.  A lot of that fell back on me and what I was doing wrong.  While I had a 100% retention rate in my den from Tiger to Wolf, the delivery method I was using needed a serious revamp if my own kid was getting bored.

But, there was a huge dilemma with that.  At the end of last year, and subsequently, the beginning of this scout year, I was pregnant.  I was due in October, the third month in our scout year, as here in Florida, scouts starts when school does, which is the beginning to middle of August.

So the first order of business was going to be making things fun, while finding a co-lead who was going to keep my boys engaged and doing something in my absence.  I had planned to take off the week or two before the baby was born, returning the end of November, beginning of December, with my return slated for the Pack Holiday Party at the absolute latest, which is the second week or so in December.

So, total score, at the beginning of the year, I got a new boy, who came along with an adult (step-father of sorts) who was totally willing to step up to the challenge.  Well, when the time came, he bailed.  Left the boys hanging at a time when I was not able to be there.

So then, the Pack’s committee chair stepped up.  She stepped up to the plate and kept things going.  She offered to stay on with me after my return, and I graciously accepted.  I was extremely grateful to her, both for filling in where there was a need, and for showing me the light on how I was doing things and how I could do them better.  It was totally enlightening for me.

So, with a few bumps along the way, there were many events that kept the boys coming back, although I do fear I am going to lose 2 or 3 of them this year, which will put us back to 4, but I will take that as it comes, and do the best I can with what I have to work with.  We started out our tiger year as a den of 2, and ended our wolf year with 7 boys on the books, so it always works out as it is supposed to.

This year, there is no hesitation for my son.  He WANTS to be a bear.  He loves every minute of scouting, and probably doesn’t even realize that it is shaping him into a young man who any mom would be proud of.

For me, the transition to Bear means that he is not such a little boy anymore.  He is almost a year younger than his grade peers, because his birthday falls on the 1st of August, so he was just 7 at the start of this year, and will be just 8 at the start of next, which does make him younger, but I think the maturity level is there, and he is quite wise beyond his years.

It makes me sad, because he is not my little baby anymore, and trust me, he gets madder than all hades if I call him “baby,” although he will occasionally allow it, as long as it is in private!

And I am armed with an arsenal of understanding that I didn’t have before.  I have a plan.  I have found a few activities that will keep this boys coming back.  Oddly, one of them is fishing.  We have gone twice; once with rod and reel, and the second time with cane poles.  While no one caught anything on the cane pole excursion (and admittedly, that was freshwater fishing, and I was totally clueless on that one), they still seemed to enjoy themselves.

For the most part, my entire den of boys are slightly “high-strung” and “high-energy,” which can be a challenge.  If an activity is not “amazing” by kid standards, after five minutes, I have lost them.

Another point for today was that my little man earned the Cub Scout Conservation Award, which is an incredible amount of work, along with 8 Arrow Points, one gold and 7 silver, all total.  …yes, he completed over 80 electives.  He is, after all, a bit of an overachiever and he gets that from his mother.

So today, for me, was the end of an era, but one that I will embrace with open arms and move forward.  And to the Pack 726 Bears, as they are now known, hold on to your hats, gentleman, because this coming year is going to be awesome.  I have a lot of projects and activities in mind that are going to keep you on your toes.

Yes, I realize the likelihood that 7-8 year old are reading my blog, and that is probably a good thing most days, but I felt like I needed to say it.

To the rest of you out there who are scouting families, I hope you also had a great year, and here is hoping that next year is awesome.  I really thing scouting is one of the best things to have ever happened to my family.  It has opened my eyes to so many things.  Life is good.

Alright, 2:30 a.m., time for shuteye, as 7 a.m. comes early around here, usually with loud squeals from an infant that translate to “mommy, daddy, I am awake, where the heck are ya!”

Good night my friends!!

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2 Responses to “Another End, Another Beginning.”

  1. scouteradam

    Great posting. Thanks for the follow on mine. I am working to read yours. Being a Den leader is a tough job. Throw life into that, it’s a lot. Good for you and your son & two other children. All of this will pay off. There is a post on my blog called “My Son” It might help you.

    Do what you can. It seems like you have a great committee as well. I would also suggest looking into the MISS Show at ptcmedia.com. It’s right up your alley. Take care.

    • destinyisntfree

      Thanks for the info. I will look into some of those, and hopefully they will be helpful!

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