Monday, May 16, 2011

Renewing my adventures in Scouting

Greetings Scouters!

I am a father of four, two of whom are Scouts - one in Cubs and one in Boy Scouts. This a blog about my involvement - and that of my family - in the Scouting programs.

The Start
After several years of sitting on my laurels and letting others adults be responsible for my sons' adventures and growth in Scouting I stepped up to be a den leader for my younger son's Tiger Den. One thing I learned very quickly was that I didn't have any clue as to how to be a den leader - especially to 6-yr old boys.
We started the year with 7, and ended only graduating 3. :(

The following year, all of the families in our Pack moved from the Pack we had started in to one that was based at the elementary school most of our kids went to. This brought about two changes for me: one - I was now made a Wolf Den Leader, and two - I was asked to be Assistant Cubmaster.

Year two - Assist. Cubmaster & Wolf Leader
Assist. Cubmaster, I was told, wasn't going to be that much time or effort. Just back the Cubmaster up when he can't be there. And touch base with the other den leaders. And get to know all the Scouts, and attend committee meetings. And get more training. And go to RoundTable. And....
It was a lot of fun. There really wasn't much work beyond what I was already doing - and I love organization.
During my year as Wolf den leader we had fun, and it perhaps went a little smoother than the year before, but this year I only had three Wolf Scouts, and only two of them showed up at a time at any event. It seemed really difficult to come up with a program that worked for only three boys, kept their attention and worked them through all the achievements. We did no camping and few field trips. Two boys graduated.
Year three - Bears are different animals
This year it finally feels as though I have found my stride as a den leader. I have been leveraging more on-line resources, getting more training, and have been providing a program to the boys that they and their fathers are seeming more keyed into.
This year also, my eldest son has graduated from Webelos to Boy Scouts. It has been both exciting and saddening for me to see him graduate on to a program that is no longer about his involvement with family to his involvement with other young men and the outdoors. I have signed up as a merit badge councilor and gone to IOLS training so that I can contribute to his endeavors..... but am feeling a little unneeded. :(
When he graduated, however, so did ten other boys. One of them was our Cubmaster's son. This left a vacancy that I was asked to fill. I am now Cubmaster and acting den leader to our Bears - and it is now finally a lot of work.
The work is love however, so I am enjoying it.
More later.
Yours in Scouting,