This past week was exhausting. It was hot. It was dirty. It will likely be one of my favorite weeks of this summer.
I spent this past week as a Den Guide for Cub Camp, co-leading a den of 12 rising 4th grade boys through a variety of activities geared toward earning achievements mapped out by the Boy Scouts of America.
If you ask the boys, they may say their favorite activity was archery or shooting a BB gun. It may be wood-working where they made a portable table or when they made a walking stick suitable for hiking…or drawing shapes in the dirt. Some loved the STEM activities where they learned to extract DNA from a strawberry, and crawling through a simulated smoke-filled room to climb out of the escape window. All would say a highlight was cooling off in the spray of a fire truck.
From their point of view, this week was filled with fun. There were silly songs, skits, scavenger hunts, and sports. There was bonding with old and new friends. And of course, there was plenty of laughter and smiles.
And though I absolutely love watching my son and his friends enjoying themselves so intensely, I am even more thrilled about the skills and character that they are developing by being in scouts.
They may be thinking about how much fun it will be to see the soda can explode when pierced by their BB or arrow, but what I see is the ability to apply focus and concentration.
They may be excited about using their newly constructed table as a perfect surface for lunch, but I see them applying discipline and patience as they methodically worked step by step, lining up pieces of wood and placing the screws at just the right intervals.
They may be having a blast creating new games with just a rope, Frisbee and soccer balls, but I see teamwork and creativity.
They may love practicing their skit for the final ceremony, but I see them being courteous and kind as they support the other dens in camp with their laughter and applause.
And whether our scouts learn these characteristics at camp or throughout the year at pack events, den meetings and camp outs, I am so grateful that they are learning and growing. I’m thankful that we have the Boy Scouts of America helping guide our boys through the essentials of life, creating a solid foundation at an impressionable time.
I hope you’ll join us in this scouting adventure, and I hope to see you next year at Cub Camp!
This story was submitted by Erin Stolle. Erin is the mother of two boys, Cub Scout Dean and soon-to-be Tiger Cub Graham, and a volunteer with Pack 429 at Lake Windward Elementary. You can read more blog posts on parenting from Erin at Macaroni Kid.