We are a scout family. I have two boys and my eldest right now is spending this week frolicking happily at Emerald Bay, the Boy Scout camp at Catalina Island (off the California Coast, West of Los Angeles). Middle Child is a Webelo in Cub Scouts, and my Princess is a Brownie in Girl Scouts. My husband was a den leader for our eldest son, and has been Cub Master for our pack for the past 4-5 years. I’ve lost count. The hubby always wanted to be a scout, as Iran had a similar program way back when, pre-revolution. He likes to tell the story about how he had so much at his first scouting event, that he spent the whole entire day there – without telling his mom. When he returned home later that night, she was so upset about his disappearing the whole day that she forbade him to return to scouting. Give my mother-in-law a break. She married young and was mom for four very energetic kids. And my hubby was (and still is!) a handful.
I am co-leader for my daughter’s girl scout troop, and I love that I can make it whatever I want it to be. I believe in scouting, in empowering our youth, in teaching them responsibility and leadership skills, and we love to camp. Of course, it’s not all about nature and camping.
Politics aside, I strongly believe in supporting our scouts. I feel scouting has more to offer than little league football/sports where our youth gets pummeled physically at such a young age, and then find themselves with bad knees and shoulders by the time they graduate from high school. And don’t get me started on the concussions.
Yes, physical activity is a must. Yes, working as a team is a must. But today’s youth sports are horribly nasty compared to when I was a kid growing up. Go to a game and watch these zealot parents screaming on the sidelines. What about that poor referee who died from being punched by a young player. Nasty.
My boys both agreed they want to be Eagle Scouts. And my husband and I will support them in this endeavor all the way. I just read an article talking about the decline of membership in both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Please understand, these are two completely different organizations. I, personally, cannot stand how the Girl Scouts run “the business” and I am not surprised to see corruption, decay and loss of support for this organization. I will continue to have my daughter in Girl Scouts as I believe in the core philosophy, as do the mothers in my troop. Civic duty, personal responsibility, helping others. This is what we teach our girls, alongside with dancing, painting and having a jolly good time.
I won’t lie. I love my Boy Scouts. And again, I’m staying away from the politics. The BSA has set up a terrific youth protection program and our leaders go through a lot of training. At the Cub Scout level, parent participation is a must, and it’s sad when you see parents who do not want to do any “work” or just want to drop their child off and go do their own thing.
Yes, my pack has heard me gripe about my husband spending so much time on scouting, not to mention that I’m his unofficial assistant and get sucked into sending emails, making flyers/certificates and cooking on campouts. Like most things, the hubby takes his passion to highest extreme possible! He volunteers at the leadership roundtables, he is running the local Twilight Camp for the second year in a row, and I wasn’t surprised to see he received an award for being volunteer of the year. I know he is emotional about leaving his role as Cub Master, as our baby boy is entering 5th grade and will graduate to Boy Scouts in February. But, we both know he will be active our sons’ Boy Scout Troop in the future.
We have been blessed with so many amazing families in our scouting lives, and have made life-long friendships with many of them. Last weekend we participated in our cub scout summer event, the Raingutter Regatta. The boys made their boats (my girl painted hers in gold and loaded with bling). The kids had a blast getting wet with this not-as-competitive-as-the-Pinewood-Derby-event. We ended the day with a potluck bbq and a movie in the park. It was at this bbq that one scout mom brought her Cider Vinegar Potato Salad, using Bragg’s amazing cider vinegar.
I thought all vinegars were the same, but I was sorely wrong. WOWZA! What a zing! Great flavor! And best of all, no mushy-mayonnaise-mess of a potato salad. I quickly came home and created my own version, adding celery, green onions and Italian parsley. You can find the full recipe here.
You won’t miss the mayonnaise.
Enjoy the summer.
Enjoy your barbecues.
Enjoy your camping.
Support your local scouts. Like most things, it’s not all about what you hear on the national news.