I'm now the Dad of a Boy Scout
April 08, 2009
Henry just signed up for the Boy Scouts.
We'll see how it goes!
He's been doing the more informal Cadet Corps for a few years with my parents' church. I've been helping out. He got quite a few badges. He and his buddies at least got exposed to a wide variety of outdoor skills there. It was a good experience for him. I suppose it correlated to a Webelos level.
I did a church scouting group myself from a kid to a teen, the Boys Brigade. It was pretty good for being as small as it was.
There've been several adult leaders who've volunteered many years of effort to our area Cadet Corps and Boys Brigade: quite a gift!
As a kid I also wanted to do Scouts. I went to a few meetings and knew the kids, but more action never happened. (Some of my pals did both.)
So now Henry is taking this step up. (He's in 5th grade.)
He just passed his first Swimming Test! ...And it wasn't easy. He's more of a dog-paddler at this point.
(I did the Test, too, so I can go along on canoe trips and such.)
I note that I've studied the available Summer Camps for kids in Michigan. There seems to be a fairly clear tiered system. Deluxe true summer camps, of about a month long, are about $2K. (The deluxe "arts" camps, like Interlochen, are also in this range.) Then there are the more "public" camps like the YMCA that are about $1K for a week or two. Then there are the church camps, which range from $250 to $500.
The BSA weeklong camps are $250. Affordable. They've been around forever.
Now, Henry has been more of a casual outdoor boy so far.
But in the past couple months it seems like he's put on a bunch more horsepower. He's getting wild and frisky and darn big and much stronger. He's moving into pre-teen territory.
He even asked to play catch!
Before that he wouldn't hardly play catch at all. I'd have to really encourage him.
He might be a bit like me, a bit of a slow learner in some things.
We'll see how he, we!, do with the greater structure of the BSA.
It seems like structure could be good. He's getting wild enough that rules and orderliness will be key to having him make detailed progress on projects, especially with other kids. Perhaps there's a risk of bureaucraticness in a "big" group like the Scouts---maybe particularly in a combination government-academic town like ours. We'll see!
I like the combination of outdoor skills, teamwork and civics that's at the core of the BSA.
I've long been a fan of founders of the Scouts like Dan Beard. I have a few of his wonderful, and wonderfully self-illustrated, Outdoor Skills books, written at the turn of the century---some of which I plan to offer for sale here at OYB soon.
Check out this Traditional Scouting heritage site: http://inquiry.net.
Lore, baby, lore! : )
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