Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday musings about Scouting

You're here, so you must have some idea what a blog is. Blogger is run by Google, and if you have a G Mail account, it defaults to the last email address that logged in to sign you into your account.

I've got two G Mail accounts, because you know, sometimes you don't need the whole world to know who your favorite Disney character is! This morning, when I went to log in, it had the "last name at gmail dot come" as the default. I don't have a blog with that account, so the screen that pops up says "What is a blog?" with a nifty tutorial. BTW, Blog is a conjunction of the words "WeB log". Simply, it's an online journal. (and a source of entertainment). No, I did not keep a diary as a kid, folks.

I'll tell more about the trio camping trip after I upload the pictures. I fully cop to being a lazy butt, because I am conserving energy for going back to work. However, I will report what I know about Gameboy's weekend.

Friday night, we grabbed dinner and arrived at the church for a 6:30pm departure. It was mass chaos until Mr. C got the Patrol Leader introduced. The Eagle Scout (R, who attended the last camp out with our pack) was quick to explain what the boys needed to do to get the trailer loaded. He's a good kid, well mannered and patient. It took about 20 minutes, but the boys had everything loaded in (or on) the trailer and the caravan pulled out of the parking lot.

For us, it was a major departure from our norm. We aren't comfortable with many people watching him due to his issues. It's not easy coping with meltdowns. Other than daycare situations, there have only been two of our friends who have watched him. It gets old for all of us-we need a break from each other. This trip was the first time he was away from family for more than a few hours. (If I could dance, there would be a happy dance) He probably loved the idea of not having Mom or Dad (a/k/a Drill Sergeants) around for a few days.

His camping trip was organized by Mr. C. Cub Scouts are adult run. Boy Scouts, on the other hand, are boy lead. They have leaders, but the decisions and the running of the Troop is completely up to the boys.

Mr. C developed this program* to introduce the concepts of Boy Scouting to the Webelos so that they see what it entails. Apparently, a lot of the kids leave scouting soon after they complete the Order of the Arrow. From what I've been told, the retention of the boys who attend this program has been incredible. It gets them energized for the next step and fully aware of what's in store. (If I get permission, I'll link Mr. C's website on here. If not, email me and I'll give you the link)

In Cub Scouts, where leaders facilitate completion of requirements and electives. Boy Scouts have to decide which requirements they will fulfill to achieve their ranks. There is adult involvement, but it's more of a support role. It's interesting to note that BSA will make accommodations for permanent mental and/or physical disabilities in attaining those ranks. I think we got a taste of that this weekend, though Ed will find out more tonight.

Gameboy didn't strike us as the type to take on Boy Scouting. His brother was the one hounding us to join scouting. However, Gameboy WANTS to do it. It's amazing to watch, to see him try to reach out, to try to belong. He may never make it very far, but by participating, he's bettering himself. I don't know if he plans to do more than attend the meetings. Even if he doesn't make it past Tenderfoot, I'll be proud. He is trying. That is all that I can ask of him.

He was coached a lot on what he would need to do for the weekend. We assisted him in gathering and packing his bag, going over what was needed and why. Daily, it's a struggle to get the kid to change his clothes, thanks to the sensory issues. That bag was packed with worry whether all the items would come home! He returned still wearing his Class A uniform. We thought it was cool that the boys came back in them.

Gameboy later told us he wore it all weekend. I have to say, it wasn't dirty, just a little ripe. I think deep down, the kid really is proud of that uniform and the sense of belonging it signifies. It was chilly this weekend, and he stayed in those shorts!

He admitted he was a little cold Friday night (according to another parent's outdoor thermostat, it was 39 Saturday morning), but wore his jacket to bed per orders. He participated in all the activities and enjoyed the Trashcan Turkey and baked potato for dinner. Apparently, all the fresh air tuckered him out and he went to bed before dessert was served. His breakfast Sunday morning was a portion of the Apple Cobbler they had saved for him.

I get the impression that this Troop will work with his issues. We had the opportunity to go to a Roundtable last week to meet with all the Troops in our district (like a college fair). The evening of the event, we asked Gameboy if he'd like to stay with this Troop or see what else is out there. He said he wanted to continue on to the Troop attached to our pack.

After seeing how he (and they) survived a weekend camp out, I think he made the right decision. Now I'm wondering, when can they take him for a weekend again?

2 People talked back:

Bob said...

Outstanding. I can only imagine how you guys feel.

Grandy said...

Suzanne,
Having been a den leader from the time my boy was a Tiger, and now a committee member with the Boy Scouts (Mom's get to step back more but I signed hubby up for Asst. Scoutmaster when he wasn't looking) I was truly blessed with boys with all sorts of learning and social labels. We live in a small town, where there is one pack and one troop. We have two boys with your son's disorder, and it touches my heart to see how they interract with the boys.

I think you've made a good choice in scouting!!

p.s. When they get to Boy Scouts...there are WAY more campouts. :)