Monday, October 23, 2006

Boy Scouts

We have a wolf cub in the family, a young lad who found out about the local group utterly by fluke, and he eagerly requested if it would be possible to join in the group at this later date.

Naturally we’ve realized the "keeper of local information" is found easily at the post office, where the postmaster herself can answer almost any question and if the answer isn’t at the end of her fingertips already, she will search around to find out for us soon afterwards. Therefore, she was the greatest contact for gathering information on the group, as well as the time and place.

His first meeting occurred three weeks after the had begun, just last week in fact. That particular evening was "Bicycle safety night”, to earn not only the badge but to be knowledgeable, safe and have personal responsibility for issues while out driving about. This was a special night for this guy, bringing along his bicycle and helmet, a little uncertain about not having a uniform to blend in, and not knowing a soul belonging to the same local chapter, though it didn’t deter his determination one itty bitty bit.

Being a rather outgoing child, he easily enjoyed getting to know the four volunteer men leaders and the boys who gathered around during the meeting and later when the bicycle teaching was taken outside. He found out the details of acquiring this specific badge were numerous, and all was hands-on learning that evening, including taking wheels off the bike frame, oiling the chain, tightening nuts and bolts, checking the seat height and making adjustments, handle bar and hand grip safety, pumping air into the tires and checking tread for wear and tear in case a patch was necessary to apply, ensuring the helmet fit correctly on his head, learning hand signals, how to ride safely with road rules, and so much more.

This past Saturday was the 137th anniversary of “apple selling” for the boys scouts, therefore guess what we did that morning? YES, our son was taken to a meeting location to fill his basket with shiny red apples and a can for coin donations to be inserted. Not having been a salesperson in any capacity before this day, his smile alone radiated just enough to have a donation along the door to door campaign from everyone house except one. The odds were in his favor, fairly good considering the weather was not very pleasant, raining off and on, with a chill factor of a mere 6 degrees. Eager to sell more when his time slot was complete, he sold half a brown grocery bag to me, thus the hot apple feast on hubby’s Sunday morning brunch menu. But, this is the badge fund for the boys, so why not?

Apples anyone? I sold alot already this rainy day.

Today hubby came home from work a bit early with the Scouting store’s white plastic bag filled with this eager lad's cub uniform, sash, handbook, then to add to the excitement, hubby became a mush ball and found a few other trinkets he couldn't resist to purchase, one item he couldn’t resist was a handy dandy safety whistle/compass and thermometer for group outings. He also bought a cool yellow belt with a wolf cub metal clasp to keep his pants up during the meetings and shirt tucked in. And overall he mentioned what cool other items were awaiting a lucky lad someday when a gift might be in order, like a Christmas stocking. Seriously, I think the real thing happening is my hubby having fun flashbacks of his youthful days during his own scouting fun, and thinking what he would have loved from the store to play around with…laugh.

Modeling his new uniform and handbook.

In two weeks, our son will be invested as a brand new wolf cub, and at that time he will be given his scarf and assorted badges for the specific Wolf Cub Pack after saying his cub promise, which is;

I promise to do my best,
To love and serve God,
To do my duty to the Queen,
To keep the law of the Wolf Cub Pack,
And to do a good turn for somebody everyday.

The Wolf Cub Pack

The huge poster accompanying the Cub handbook features a few pages with peel off stickers. He’s supposed to either hang it up or keep it handy in his book, so each time he earns a new badge, bar or star, its’ his own personal visible record of those items he’s acquired for a keepsake, showing at a glance what is still available for the learning and doing. What a great motivating tool for a young boy to keep on learning because as mother says;

“Life is all about learning and it should never end”!

“If the brain is a muscle, keep on exercising it…daily!”

I especially love the Wolf Cub Motto;

Do your best.