This post is about Cub Scouts. I am well aware of the official policy with regards to The Boy Scouts Of America and homosexuals, which I disagree with. I will not allow this to deter our family’s participation. There are American government policies which I do not agree with, yet I am still an active participant in the American system. Change from within. Boycotting Scouts will not change their policy. But this is a discussion for another time.
This past weekend August and I went to an overnight Cub Scout camp, and the experience was fantastic. In the first grade he made his Tiger rank easily, but last year with everything that was going on I wasn’t able to be as participatory as I would have liked to, and he wound up missing out on earning his Wolf rank. This year he’s very close to earning his Bear rank and enjoys participating in the various Cub Scout activities.
The overnight Winter Camp is from Friday night to Sunday morning, and is about 2 hours away from where we live, at Camp Sheppard just a stone’s throw away from Mount Rainier. I won’t go into the how and why of it, but I managed to get lost and what should have taken just under 2 hours wound up being a 3 hour drive. Thankfully there wasn’t a heck of a lot going on that first night, so we got checked in, oriented, stuff placed in our cabin, and got settled in.
August wanted to take some pictures of the camp, so I let him. Having snow is a novelty for us, let alone this much of it. Where you live copious amount of snow may be just another part of your winter experience, but for us, it was a bit of a novelty.
Lights out was late, and waking was early, but that’s all part of the experience in my opinion. Oh, of course a few snowballs were hurtled at some point.
Breakfast, the opening flag ceremony, announcements, then it was on to our first activity which was about building and starting a fire. I had hoped it would be more hands on, but there were just too many kids to effectively allow for that to happen. Then we went to the craft lodge and constructed a couple of ping pong ball cannons.
With a little bit of time before lunch, we decided to hit the tube run.
After lunch August decided to partake of the challenge course. The first task was to tackle one of the instructors. It was an almost instantaneous pile-on in the snow that the guy wasn’t expecting. Then it was on to the actual challenges. There was a pit with two logs over it and kids had to approach each other and cooperate to make it over to the other side working together without falling off.
Then there was a tire obstacle and finally a complicated beam and stump puzzle that had to get assembled (as a group with specific rules and limitations) then traversed. These are the types of things August has some trouble with, what with his coordination limitations.
Of course, afterwards, it was time for some more tubing!
Actually, there were other opportunities for advancement, such as working with knives and whittling, or first aid, or learning about nature, but August wasn’t as interested. And I have to admit, the tubing was fun. And I’m still sore, actually. Next year if we get the opportunity to go, however, August knows he’ll need to be a little more focused and get more actual Cub Scout achievements worked on and is ready for that.
But really, tubing!
One of the things August did work on was participating in an outdoor flag ceremony. With a couple of other kids from his den he helped to raise, lower, then fold the flag.
The highlight of the evening was the campfire. There were a number of skits from the various units participating in the winter camp as well as from the staff. It was August’s participation, however, that made it the highlight for me. August is not a performer. He puts up with participating in the school pageants because he can sort of hide in the 3rd row of his class and not stick out. He was offered a lead role in a play but turned it down because he doesn’t like public speaking.
August performed in two skits at the 2013 Camp Sheppard Cub Scout Winter Camp, and I couldn’t be happier. The first skit was “The World’s Greatest Spitter” a two-person operation and he really needed to be out there selling his performance. The second was “Igor” and he played the title character. If you have kids in Cub Scouts, chances are you’ve seen the skits.
My pictures didn’t come out very well considering how far back I was and the only light source was in between me and him. the picture on the left was him as the world’s greatest spitter and on the right is him performing as Igor helping to deliver the punch line to the skit.
To bed, then up early again. August was beginning to look a little haggard at this point.
After the flag ceremony and breakfast a lot of the people were beginning to leave. Actually, a lot of the people were already gone by breakfast. Literally just a handful of camp participants were left by the time the closing ceremony took place. Maybe they were trying to avoid the rush? The parking lot was almost clear of cars as we left.
Our trip home was much shorter than our drive out considering it was light out and I had knew where I was going.
It was a very fun weekend full of activities that we would normally not get to do.