Trained cub scout leader!

I forget who said it. There I was, in the hospital with a newborn baby boy. Among the congratulatory phone calls and visits, someone made the comment that the world should look out, because here comes a Den Mom. I am a type A through and through, and my need to run things has always been apparent-so for one of my friends or family members to say that wasn't that much of a stretch.

Well, older son ended up having special needs and not being cub scout material. Or so I thought.

My younger son got a flyer for a cub scout meeting in his backpack last year and bugged me incessantly. "Can we go? I wanna be a cub scout, will you take me?" He's the child that definitely struck me as being a scout. We went to the meeting, only to find there were 4 boys (two were mine) and it was a meeting to begin a new pack. Nope, sorry, I will be happy to help out, but I do not have the time to devote to getting a new pack growing. After a few attempts to connect with the packs close to home, we promised him that we'd seek out a different pack at the beginning of this school year.

Back to school night this year was our meeting with destiny. I ran into a woman in a scout uniform and discovered that there was a booth in the cafeteria for us to meet up with the Pack. A week later, we sat in the cafeteria and officially joined. Younger son was very excited. As is typical these days, older son decided to tag along for the ride-our younger son is definitely the trailblazer for these things.

We started the journey and while it hasn't gone exactly the way we expected, we're all happy with the way things have panned out. Younger son's leader didn't show up for several weeks. I was approached to lead the den-and I agreed. Instead, the leader did show up and I took the committee member role, basically making sure that there was always an adult leader at the meetings (save for the week we went to California, we've missed nothing). Ed was thrust into a similar role with older son's den-they needed a second.

Our tendency with older son's issues was to hole up and not go and do things socially, lest he have one of his come to Jesus holy terror meltdowns. In this pack, however, there's another Aspie. They're used to this behavior. It's a non issue-and to be honest, I feel that his behavior has improved noticeably this year. Anyway, this year Ed went with older son and I would participate with younger son in the dens. The leader in my group was good with some activities, then I'd pick up with the arts and crafts stuff-just not her forte.

A month ago, she made the comment that I really should lead the den next year. The reason she wasn't there as much at the beginning of the year is that her son participates in football. He will probably do that again. As much as she's focused on 'her boys', she knows that not being there isn't fair to them. At the camping trip last week, I asked her if she was serious about switching roles next year. She was.

Tuesday night, meeting time. The Pack committee chair comes to me with a flyer for leader training. Alas, Ed and I both can't go, but my Saturday morning off quickly gets filled up with this class. :)

The first hour was spent with seven other new leaders from various packs around the area. One of the men has a daughter a year younger and wanted to know if the Girl Scouts were structured the same way. I could answer that one, lol. He found it odd that BSA encourages the whole family, but Girl Scouts can only have female leaders. He's right, the cub scouts really fosters activities for the whole family. Witness the camping trips we're taking.

Then we broke out into leader specific training. One group was for Wolf and Bear leaders. The man running it was full of great ideas. Basically, his philosophy is that you make it interesting so that the boys are afraid of missing a week. Something our pack doesn't do is the "Progress towards Ranks". These are beads that the boys earn weekly until they hit the next level. He also has patches for the various activities. They can be found all over the internet for about a buck a patch. If the boys know that if they do the activity, they'll get the patch, then they'll be there.

It was a great class, and now I'm looking forward to next year to get these things happening. It was well worth the time and the money to now have a 'trained' patch to put on my yet to be purchased uniform. To say that son is happy with this development would be an understatement.

We're all scouts now!


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