After 7 wild and crazy years, my journey as a Cub Scout Mom is coming to an end.
It all began when Big Boy was in second grade. I opened up his backpack and amidst the lunch bag leftovers and homework assignments, I saw a flyer- “Would you like for your son to join the Cub Scouts? Come to the information meeting!”After asking the boy if he was remotely interested and he was- I decided I needed some co-conspirators and set about rounding up a group of moms whose sons could join us and together we all decided to take the scouting plunge. There was only one problem. Who would step up to take on the coveted position of THE DEN LEADER? Cue scary music and happy face.
Faster than you can say Cub Scouts and together with one of my biggest partners in crime- Jackie D.- the next thing you knew I found myself wearing khakis. For those of you unfamiliar with Scouting- all den leaders must wear the khaki uniform shirt complete with sewn on badges to all scout meetings, outings and ceremonies. After some going back and forth and hours of den leader training and several trips to the Boy Scout Center it was decided that the meetings would be held twice monthly directly after school. So there we were, Jackie and I- lugging bins of arts and crafts, balls, marbles, training manuals and flags – in our khaki shirt to and from school. Other moms on campus would see us and shake their heads and laugh, “the things we do for our kids- you won’t catch me wearing that shirt!” It was humbling at first but you know what- looking back now- it was one of the best parenting experiences of my life.
Jackie and I took those boys from 2nd Grade Wolves Scouts to 5th Grade Webelos. We even managed to add another den leader – Dad of the Year- Brent to our crew. Over those four years together and along with a great Cub Scout Pack and involved parents, we learned how to camp, fish, hike, tie knots, build pinewood derby cars, sort canned food at the Food Bank, clean river beds and hiking trails, sing campfire songs, put on puppet shows, cook eggs in a plastic bag in boiling water, earn a multitude of belt loops and make cakes in the shape of rockets and boy scout emblems. We saw these boys grow from crazy, silly 7 year-olds to slightly more mature, respectful and honorable 10 year-olds who learned with time the proper way to fold the U.S. flag and participate in a flag ceremony.
Along the way and through the years, personal changes continued in my life. We added on to the family with baby girl’s birth and for a time- I thought how in the world can I still be a den leader with a newborn in tow? But somehow it worked out. First, I carried and nursed her as an infant in the sling while covering den meetings and then when she got old enough- she’d sit in her stroller watching the boys learn to play tennis on the courts or build marshmallow structures. She became a background fixture to our scouting activities.
Additionally, a few years into it all, my second, most honorable son began his scouting journey as a Tiger Scout in 1st grade. Although I wasn’t his den leader, I still very much remained involved. He too was a fixture to all of the big boy’s activities. I remember when the big boys were working on their personal fitness belt loop. We had to record the number of pull-ups and sit-ups they each could do. Let’s just say that the boys struggled with this. Maybe one or two. Then up stepped little brother, second most honorable son. He was 7 years old and he showed them. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight pull-ups! The boys couldn’t believe it. Creamed by a 7 year-old. One amazing little brother.
This little brother is set to bridge to Boy Scouts this coming April. This past week, he was invited to attend big brother’s weekly Troop meeting. He couldn’t figure out how to tuck in his too-big shirt into the too-big pants. I came upon the two of them like this. My heart melted and I felt like gosh darn it- I have done something right. As a parent there aren’t too many times I feel this way so I really had to relish the moment.
The boys are gonna kill me but I just couldn’t help myself and snapped the picture faster than you can say Boy Scouts!
Thank you boys for 7 crazy and awesome years. For putting up with this crazy Momma.
Forever Yours in Scouting.