Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Last Court of Honor

Game Boy on Cub Scout field trip
to police station
We joined our homeschool group's Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop last year.  We had been in Cub Scouts before, when Firstborn was in kindergarten he earned his Tiger Badge.  I always appreciated the fact that the Cub Scout troop was very "family orientated".  This was really important because I was the one taking Firstborn to meetings and I usually brought 3 year old Soccer Boy and under 1 year Game Boy with me.  We dropped out after that year from pure Mommy exhaustion.

For years after that the boys begged Doug and I to allow them to join the Boy Scouts again.  They wanted to go camping and do all the outdoor activities, our family was never a big "camping" family.  My version of camping runs somewhere along the line of Holiday Inn.  (Maybe if our tent was a magic tent like Harry Potter's I might consider it).  As the boys got older I wanted them to have more Godly adult men in their lives.  When I was growing up I was surrounded by not only my mother, aunts and grandmothers, but there was an extended family of women who "mothered" me.  My Mom's friends, ladies whose children I babysat, my Sunday School teachers and my own friends' moms all allowed me a front row seat into their lives.  They showed, by many different examples, what it looked like to live as a woman for Christ.  My boys spend the day with me as I tutor them through their lessons, but I cannot model masculinity for them.  Their Father has purposely taken a more active role in their schooling and mentoring as they have hit the middle school years.  They also have their grandfathers and uncles who we are blessed to live nearby.  But we wanted more Christ following men to mentor and sharpen our young men.  This is where the Boy Scouts fit into our lives.

At Game Boy's Blue & Gold Banquet
Our Troop has been a real blessing to our family.  The boys have made great friends there and Doug and I have made friends too.  Plus, the boys are learning life skills that, frankly, I haven't been able to teach them.  I was never an expert on starting campfires and rope lashing.  I do have some experience in first aid and keeping calm in a crisis situation (being a mom of mostly boys, it comes with the territory).

The Cub Scout Troop's Blue and Gold Banquet made for a very busy day for our family (read, me).  We had originally planned on attending second service at church but we were running late so settled for third service and didn't make it home until 12:30pm.  Changed clothes, then a quick lunch and threw together a green bean casserole for the banquet.  After getting it in the oven I ran over to pick up 12 boutiques of balloons, got them all in the van and drove over to help decorate and set out the awards.  Then raced back home with a 1/2 hour to spare to get myself dressed and make sure everyone were in uniform (the older boys were attending too), grab the food and get back.  Whew, tired just thinking about it!

Toddler Boy amused himself by coloring
on the paper tablecloth
The banquet was wonderful, Game Boy earned his Bear Badge along with receiving some additional belt loops, including one for chess that Soccer Boy had helped him finish.

Our family would attend the Boy Scout Troop's Court of Honor a few weeks later.  Firstborn would receive recognition for earning his Second Class rank and Soccer Boy received his badge for swimming.  I didn't have anything to do for that banquet except bring a couple side dishes.  It was going to be a longer ceremony so my parents came up to babysit the two youngest kids.

Doug & Firstborn
This would be our last Boy Scout function because our charter organization decided to start a Trail Life troop.  Trail Life is a new scouting organization that puts more emphasis on Christian character building.  Where the Boy Scouts focused more on religion in general, Trail Life is unapologetically Christian.  You do not have to be a christian to join the group, but group leaders must be professed Christians and also active in their church.  Game Boy's Cub Scout troop also disbanded and crossed over into the new Trail Life troop.  So now all three boys fall under one group, I think the change has been more of an adjustment for the adult leaders than for the boys.  The boys still work on the same things they always worked on at troop meetings (first aid, knot tying, camping, community service, etc).  There's always time for games and socializing too!  The new troop held a birthday party...
Campfire and last Boy Scout vespers

First official Trail Life meeting
"Walk Worthy"
Soccer Boy & Firstborn modeling the
new Trail Life shirts

There was cake and more picture taking and then clean up afterwards, making for a long night.  We are excited to see what is in store this inaugural year for our Trail Life troop!

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