Submitted by Diane Trubiano, Cub Scout Leader, Pumpkin Fest Chair, and (most importantly) Scout Parent.
It was 10 years ago Paul (my son) and I began our Scouting Adventure. We were off and running, attended everything, had a blast and we were hooked. As we joined in Cub Scout activities over that first summer I noticed something great was happening, not only was I getting to spend quality time with Paul, but I also got to meet a group of dedicated, loving, talented, caring parents.
It was shortly thereafter I soon realized that there was no going back and Paul’s future of fun was destined to be outdoors, in the woods, at Scout camps, around ponds, hiking trails, and beyond and I wanted to go too.
In the fall I became involved as a Den Leader for his Bear Den. I had no idea what I was doing. No REALLY… I had no experience. You have to know a little bit about me to understand, my definition of outdoors growing up was a paved street, tent in the back yard, and a playground. Not the woods or anything the Scouting outdoor experience offers. I was clueless and needed help!
As I began the adventure as a Den Leader, parents of the Cub Scouts I was trying to teach soon took on the role of teacher to me. They taught me the skills I needed to have as a Den Leader to bring their Cub Scouts outdoors. They taught me to be a better mom by providing opportunities for shared experiences for Paul and me in the outdoors, the real outdoors, not our back yard.
From parents and leaders in the Den and Pack I learned to camp. I learned to build a proper campfire and cook on it. They taught me to explore the woods in the dark without a flash light. I learned to hike trails and what to bring with me. Set up a tent and how to get it back in the bag. I learned to camp in the snow. I learned about trees and trails, scat and tracks, knots – let’s not forget knots! (well I keep forgetting most of them but I tried) – all the while spending time with Paul guided by those parents with their expertise.
A year passed and I soon found myself leading a Pack of young boys as their Cubmaster. I now had all those Cub Scouts expecting me to know what I was doing. I learned skills online from parents I have never met most of the time just hours before I would need to teach a Tiger or a Webelos Scout or I learned right alongside my Cub Scouts from their own parents. I attended trainings and learned new skills from Scout Leaders who have been teaching for decades. I am so blessed everyone was willing to share their talents.
Paul and I spent weekends in the woods and, shared firsts with those parents and leaders, first night in a tent, first campfire, first fish caught, and the list goes on. Those parents and I shared lasts and cried tears of joy together as our boys grew up and into Boy Scouts when they crossed that bridge. Laughed at the first moment we could leave our sons with the Scoutmaster and not have to stay and waited anxiously together in the parking lot for their first return home after leaving us behind. How each parent handled these moments and milestones in their son’s life was always a lesson for me.
Beyond the outdoors, these parents taught me to laugh more (you can never take yourself too seriously as a Cubmaster), listen more, and yell less. Sometimes it was the simple joy another parent would put into preparing fruit for breakfast at an overnight that would teach me something about what we have the opportunity to do each day.
People who I respect trusted me to be a role model for their children and have no idea they are my role models. These parents rise to each challenge and continue show me how a community works together to make the difference in the life of a child. They pay the dues for Scout Families in need, they hold hands of children not their own, camp out even when their own child is not there just so the other Scouts could be there, share generously of their talents, and so much more.
If you can do the math then you will know Paul is a college freshman this year. As years past, hikes on hills soon became mountains. He is just 3 mountains away from reaching his personal goal set just a few years ago to hike all 48, 4000 footers in the White Mountain Range. Like so many Scout adventures over the past 10 years, I plan to be there for #48, taking all those Scout skills and lessons learned with us in this milestone moment of his life. All these years later these wonderful, caring, dedicated parents are still with Paul and me with every mile we hike in the woods.
So I invite you to join us in meeting parents and families (some will even be those very parents that taught me – because they just love to volunteer too) at Camp Sayre in Milton on October 17, 2015 as we explore the woods of Camp Sayre together at Pumpkin Fest!