Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cub Scouts: The end of the road for my son

This past weekend marked the end of a long journey with my son through Cub Scouting as we marked the last of our Den meetings. A sad day and yet a happy one in that he now looks forward to joining a local Boy Scout troop and starting his journey toward the Eagle award.

My son joined Cub Scouts in first grade - I remember the day he came home from school that year very (!) excited about joining the Cub Scouts. The Cub master at the time apparently really talked a good story.

In first grade, the parents all shared some level of responsibility for managing the meetings, though we did have a Den Leader responsible for tracking things.

In second and third grade, it became more of just the Den Leader running the meetings and the Den Leader asked me to be the assistant Den Leader and I agreed to do that. We spent a year meeting primarily at his house and then a year meeting at my son's school for our meetings.

In fourth grade, the Den Leader for my son's Den took over as Cub Master for the entire pack and then asked me to take over as Den Leader. It took a lot of thought on my part because I knew that 4th and 5th grade (when the boys are Webelos) was where the activity gets more intense in terms of real scouting activities (camping, etc.) and the time investment concerned me (not to mention that I'm personally not all that interested in camping!)

I decided to take on the job and the first year had an assistant who helped a lot with running things and then this year, he decided that he would take on Cub Master next year (because the current one - the one who was my son's Den Leader - will be leaving the pack as his sons move on to Boy Scouts as well) and so he didn't have time, so 5th grade has been just me.

Last fall, I spent a lot of time working hard with the boys to help them earn their Arrow of Light awards - the highest achievement you can earn as a Cub Scout. The boys finished their work by December and since then we've been able to take a more relaxed perspective in our recent Den meetings.

These have included a Bowling outing, climbing on the rock wall at a local sporting goods store (both my son and I made it all the way to the top as did 2 of the other 4 Cub Scouts!), and playing laser tag this past weekend. It's been fun.

So, anyway - in a few weeks, we will hold the Cub Scout pack's Blue and Gold Banquet, which will be where the boys receive their final awards, including their Arrow of Light and then have their Crossing Over ceremony when they will formally graduate to Boy Scout status!

I am very proud of my son and his hard work and look forward to his continuing as a Scout going forward!

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