Sunday, February 20, 2011

scouting

At the beginning of the school year the local boy scout leaders came to the school and led an assembly for the boys. They got the boys all hyped up about scouting and the wonderful times of campfires and camping that they would enjoy. @ came home on cloud 9 about scouts. "All the boys are going to be scouts, Mom." After checking his backpack for a note about the scouts and finding nothing, I asked how he knew all about scouts. "Oh, they had all the boys come to the gym and they told us about." and he rattled on about the wonders of scouting. Jonathan and I chatted about it and Jonathan, who had a good scouting experience as a boy, said maybe, we'll see. A day or two later we got a packet about the scouts and when the information meeting would be. So the boys went and @ came home a scout. It wasn't expensive and Jonathan said he had made it clear we wouldn't be selling anything (Jonathan and I aren't into kids selling stuff because it normally is parents selling stuff). We went around to the boy scout store and bought the uniform and generally enjoyed looking through the store. And I kind of sold myself on the wonders of scouting- envisioning father son camping trips back home in Asia.

Over the months scouting has been fun for @ and a constant source of mystery for me. I put scouting under Jon's responsibilities knowing that come a new baby my memory for extracurriculars would be gone. So I've never really kept track of the meetings or the details of scouts. Jonathan is in charge of scouts. I've sent the cookies and the drink and gone to a few pack meetings. That has been nice.

Last weekend they organized a bowling trip. Jonathan and I were really pleased because that was something we had meant to take @ on while we were in the states and had forgotten. @ and Jonathan had a great time bowling and we agreed we'd do it again before we left the states. The troop leaders wanted the boys to go to a radio station. The radio station they wanted to visit didn't return phone calls and they wanted to get it done before the awards banquet. Thursday we went out and the boys got a tour of a small town radio station. Fortunately Jonathan's brother had worked in radio during High School and College so Jonathan asked some leading questions to extend the tour to 15 minutes. The boys liked making there voices sound funny.

Our troop leaders are two moms that are exceedingly kind and patient. They've organized good lessons for the boys while not entirely understanding the details of scout structure. Scout structure seems to be and enigma to everyone except that insurance and scouting rules mandate lots of strict training for parents- to protect boys from predators. Those are good rules but they can be a little confusing to follow. We have a den where the dads are always able to be with their son and so the rules are a bit easier to follow.

The thing I haven't loved about scouts is the by products of being in a testosterone fueled environment. @ has learned to be crude. Fart jokes and burping. I know that sounds like a mom, doesn't it? And @ was bound to learn those things anyway, maybe, maybe not. But scouts certainly seems to encourage it. Oh, and my favorite thing he could learn, how to objectify women. The first pack meeting I went to, for the entertainment portion, the Webelos had a top ten list of boy scout pick up lines. No kidding. 8 yr olds with pick up lines. Most were light hearted fun. The stand out of the evening "I know 100 ways to tie knots." think about it a minute. @ didn't get it, he didn't get any of them fortunately but I don't want to explain that to my 6 yr old.

So last evening was the banquet. I'm a little confused why the end of the year banquet was in February but not a big deal. @ got his belt loops. He has done fairly well. This morning as we were going through the belt loops he had earned we saw the good manners belt loop. For the most part @ has Good Manners but the last week he's been a bit of a creep so Jonathan and I held back the Good Manners belt loop. We told him he has to earn that one back. The creepy behavior really has nothing to do with scouts, just being a 6 yr old checking boundaries. Still if we can use scouts to rid the house of creepiness, so be it.
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