Saturday, January 28, 2012

The reluctant Scout

No, not really.  My boy loves Scouts.  He started a little late, as a Webelo, so didn't go up through the Cub Scout ranks.  Now he's a Star level, with only Life rank between him and Eagle.

But today he's reluctant.  His troop is participating in a Klondike Derby, and he doesn't want to go.  He's dragging a little this early morning, unable to muster his usual Scout enthusiasm.

This is only his second Derby, though he's been in Scouts for four years.  He went during his Webelo year, and he loved it.  He was one of the little kids then, but he pitched into the work enthusiastically and was thus welcomed by the bigger boys.  (Probably didn't hurt that he is rather large himself and didn't look like a Webelo.)   He came home tired but all smiles.

The next three years he was sick at Klondike time so he hasn't been back.  These weren't sudden "ooh, I don't feel well, I can't go" kind of sick, but real sickness that had been going on.  He's sick in winter a lot.   This winter he's not, so he's going.

But his memory is not of the fun time he had as a Webelo.  That's been replaced by the stories of hardship, cold, mud, and bad food that he's heard over the years.  Yes, he does remember the steamed hamburger lunch (ugh, I'd remember that too, and not fondly).   But he's forgetting the good parts.  The shared memory of the troop is telling him he's not going to have a good time.

But he will go, because he's a Scout and a Patrol Leader and it's his job to go.  And if he is a good Scout (and of course I think he is), he will be enthusiastic and the Webelos who are under his care will have a good time too.

Scouts is a lot of fun but it's also a training ground. There is a lot of hard work involved and not every moment is pleasant.  A few weeks ago during  a conversation about some rule that had previously annoyed him at one of the troop camps, my Scout and I had one of those moments I wish I had captured on tape: "Yeah, Mom, I realized that sometimes there are things we do that seem not to have a reason, but later we find out there was a good reason after all."   Yes!

Klondike Derby may look like a day of pointless hard work, bad food, cold, and mud.  But maybe this year he will find there's a good reason for it.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Margaret, he's on his way to becoming a good man :)
It is a pleasure to be given encouragement by way of the chilren coming into a noble realization.