Chris's family is HUGE into scouting. Of 4 boys, 3 of them have achieved the Eagle Scout rank. It's a HUGE undertaking, scouting, and to go all the way to Eagle is actually pretty rare due to the amount of commitment it takes.
I think that was one thing that really drew me to Chris when I met him...he was a boy scout. I asked him about 100 questions in our first weeks together, and I found out that yes, indeed, it was as fun as I always thought it was. Chris's brain is FULL of fun memories of scouting, camping, and teamwork with other boys. Mine is full of lonely weekends, and waiting for my scout friends to get home so we could play a few hours before dark. Boo.
Before Charlie was even born, I planned for scouting. I dreamed of taking him camping, of sewing patches on his little uniforms, and of his Dad teaching him all the things he learned as a scout. Since the day he was born, I've been hoping, planning, and waiting to get him into scouts!
There are a few things I am very passionate about in my life. Natural birth, cloth diapering, involved parenting, and scouting are only a few. However, scouting is something that I feel every child should get to experience at least part of their lives.
Finally, this year, he's a Tiger Cub! I could not be more ecstatic if I tried! I'm THRILLED! I even bought a new sewing machine to sew on all his patches (which I did), and we all attended the first pack meeting together. I am DEDICATED to the cause, because I truly believe that scouting has created a well rounded person in Chris, and that it has also given him a solid foundation of morals, values, and experiences for life. Without scouting, I'm not sure that Chris would be any different, but I know that he's a pretty darn great guy due to it!
However, I'm finding out that not everyone feels the same way about scouting. Some sign up just to try it, some just want a place to drop off their kids, and some, I'm not sure why they signed up at all. Chris is our Den Leader, I am the Assistant Den Leader, and we have 7 boys in our pack. Of the 7 boys, we've only met 4 parents, and only 4 were able to attend the pack meeting last Thursday. I've sent out e-mail after e-mail about Den meetings, and have only heard back from 1 Mom. NONE of them want to be involved in their kids lives. I think they are just now realizing that they will actually have to fill out the book with their scout, and that they have to attend all Den meetings, and "go see it" activities as well. I think it has frightened off some parents...because they can't stand the thought of being involved with their child. How SAD!
I, as the Assistant Den leader get to motivate them and encourage them as well as make meeting plans, outing arrangements, and other things. Ugh. It's a LOT when I think about it, and the fact that I'm 24 weeks pregnant, but I am DEDICATED, and it WILL HAPPEN for us...I just have to push through...so today I will be sending out another e-mail and then will be making phone calls...and if I still get no response, I will just schedule the first Den meeting at our house, and whoever shows, shows, and whoever doesn't, doesn't. I can only hold their hands so much, I can't force them to love spending time getting to know their child.
We are currently selling popcorn, and Charlie and I attended a "site sale" yesterday. One Dad there said "My son is 7, he's in 2nd grade" and the boy looked up and said "No Dad, I'm 8, and I'm in 3rd grade"-HOW SAD. I almost cried. This Dad knew NOTHING about his son and even admitted "I'm only here because my wife is out of town for a family thing". Heartbreaking.
Our Pack, with 12 Dens has actually lost 3 Dens this year. Parents don't want to be involved. They don't want to take the time to spend 3-6 hours a month with their child at meetings and activities, and they don't want to DO ANYTHING. It sucks. Seriously parents, is that paycheck REALLY WORTH forgoing your child? What do you think your child is going to remember more, that expensive whatever you bought him, or the 3-6 hours a week one-on-one time with you?!? Puts it in perspective, right?
If you are out and see scouts selling popcorn, 1 bag of microwave is $1, please at least buy 1 bag, or donate $1 to the cause. Scouting is a wonderful, positive experience for kids who may or may not have interested, dedicated parents, and it often fills in the gaps left by careless or, often, alcoholic parents. PLEASE think of the boys, $1 is a HUGE investment in their futures!