And another chapter of our life comes to a close.
In February 2007, my boys’ world was all shook up. Not knowing what to do, I turned to the Cub Scouts. I literally took my boys to their first meeting three weeks after our separation.
I watched in awe as boys happily ran around making neckerchief slides, eating cookies and driving their den leaders crazy. My boys didn’t love it the first night, so we waited until that summer to really commit to Scouts.
You know what happened? I became the WEbelos I leader, and my soon to be ex was set up to be the Wolf leader. With some help from others who came before us, we soon had 6 boys each in our dens. We sold popcorn, we built and rode on floats. We did all of the activity badges (and then some).
My oldest bridged over two years ago. My youngest then started WEbelos I, and today marks the last den meeting of our Cub Scout career. Four years of accounting, keeping track, whittling bars of soap, making Pinewood Derby cars…and four years of watching my boys grow into young men.
I have been a leader for all of these years. But I could never repay to Scouting what it has given my children. Children who were devastated at the breakup of their family…who cried themselves to sleep many nights…who didn’t know who to turn to…These boys had their uniforms and neckerchiefs, and Scout books ready for their meetings. They fished and swam, went bow hunting and rifle shooting. Boys who could have very well just sat around surveying their broken home, were literally saved by Scouting. We visited museums, went on hikes, camped and biked. Boys learned everything that boys need to learn, things I never could have taught them on my own.
And even as Cub Scouting comes to an end, we know it’s NOT the end. My oldest is very involved in Boy Scouts, and the youngest will soon join him. I thank the Cub Scouts for letting me be a part of this for four years. For all the times I sat up and planned meetings, for all the times we were racing around trying to get our acts together…even as I was training for marathons, and they were entrenched in their school activities…Cub Scouts were a huge part of our week.
For this, I am truly grateful.
We must depend upon the Boy Scout Movement to produce the MEN of the future.
Daniel Carter Beard