Submitted by Francisco Guzman, Cubmaster, Pack 109, Chelsea
After a quick conversation with Chuck the other day, I felt compelled to put my thoughts in writing. I hope this will encourage others to remember the impact that our Outdoors program has on youth.
Every year, during the last weekend in September, our Cub Scout pack goes on an overnight at Camp Sayre as a way to welcome to our new Cub Scouts, and an introduce the parents to what Scouting really is. I am always amazed and thrilled by the reactions I see when our new Cub Scouts get to the Archery and BB ranges, or just the camp itself.
This year though, it was especially rewarding…
We invited a new Boy Scout on our trip. His mother is a business acquaintance of mine. She had heard my son and I talk about some of the experiences our Boy Scouts had this year, and asked if her son could join. They joined us at our Registration day, and fairly quickly we all got the feeling that he was not that interested. He attended the first couple of meeting, but was not engaged. He seemed to just want to make mom happy.
We decided to invite him to our Cub Scout Kick off trip to tag along with 2 recent Boy Scout crossovers who were completing some Merit Badge work. At first he seemed hesitant, but after talking to mom, he agreed.
Watching him over the next 24 hours is what makes all the challenges of being a Scout volunteer worth it! We went on a hike from the Trailside Museum to Camp. He quickly became engaged in the orienteering and map reading. When we arrived at camp he began setting up his own tent. If anyone remembers the first time they pitched a tent, you know it is not necessary easy. We all shared a laugh together! With some coaching, he managed to set up his tent. Then he also assisted in building the camp fire, cooking, and even led some of the skits and songs.
In the middle of the night, his tent collapsed!! As a true Scout, he simply shrug it off, and went back to sleep. The following morning he simply asked if we could bring the tent to the next Scout meeting, so he could learn how to set it up correctly. I knew then, we had succeeded in our mission of turning him into a Boy Scout.
PS: He has not missed a meeting since the trip, is truly engaged in every activity, and is assisting in the planning of their next camping trip in January.