BigGuy’s first Scouting adventure

It was a weekend that feels like the first day of the rest of our lives… because Boy Scouts is NOT Cub Scouts, people.  For one, in Boy Scouts, the boys run the show.  There are adults there to be sure nobody is hurt and some basic rules are followed; but the boys live and suffer by their own hands.  So when the Scout assigned to build the campfire Saturday night didn’t get to it, everyone ate “raw” s’mores.

And this was BigGuy’s first Boy Scout campout…

Papa has to go with BigGuy because although we sign the blanket medical release, we can’t leave decisions up to people who are not we parents or our doctor and they may not get our doctor.  His medical situation is more complex than it looks on the surface and with so many things still undetermined for his health, it’s not a chance we’re willing to take.  So be it.

But Papa is not there for backup in any other way.  Boy Scouts assumes that the boys are going to be independent and self-reliant humans.  The Scouts have a hierarchy and structure that helps the boys learn how to do this; and it’s a major reason we’ve agreed to let BigGuy enter into Boy Scouts.

Over the weekend, there was a time or two that BigGuy turned to Papa to get his water bottle or hold this or that and Papa promptly sent BigGuy off to handle it as if Papa wasn’t there.  BigGuy had a rough time when a lot of the boys couldn’t remember his name and called him something else.  One of the older Scouts called him a different name by mistake so the Scouts that didn’t have much interaction with BigGuy mistakenly called him that name a few times and BigGuy really had a hard time with it.  Honestly, I think this was really more a symptom of BigGuy feeling very out of sorts and unsure of himself.  It’s good that this trip was just a touch over 24 hours… he can ease into it.

They camp each month, but next month BigGuy will be at the state finals for the Science Olympiad.  Until then, he will be learning as much meteorology as he can manage and applying some of that towards the Boy Scout merit badge for Weather.

I think it’s going to be a good thing.  BigGuy could really use the many things that will be instilled in him through Scouts that we aren’t well-equipped to provide and he is with a really good group of people.  I hear a lot of harsh things about Scouts and I know they’re probably true; but they haven’t been our experiences with the groups we have been involved with.  Much like we know there are extremely conservative religious homeschoolers but we don’t really have much to do with those, either.  And I’m sure there are horrifying foster parents out there, but we didn’t involve ourselves in that section of that community, either.  Where Scouts is concerned, we chose not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and made sure to be involved enough to see a bad situation coming before it got out of control.

And I’m really glad for that.  Because BigGuy wants to do camping and self-reliant nature things and we are so not those parents.  Just like Girly wants to do sports and we are of no use there, either.  But we can work to pay other people to help them; and we can stay close enough to be sure they are with people that treat our children the way we feel they should be treated, and model behavior we feel is appropriate and preferred for our kids.

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