Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cub Scouts Rock!

I mentioned Scouts in my post a few minutes ago, but that was in passing, in the middle of a whiny, complaining blog. I've got some fun things to tell you and decided to give them a blog of their own, this one with a not-so-whiny tone to it.

At last night's pack meeting, my den received 46 awards. You read me right -- 46, and that's spread between only 5 boys. How cool is that!! We had two World Conservation badges (my son and one other) tons of arrow points (two for my son) two Wolf badges, scads of sports belt loops and pins, and some academic belt loops as well. I handed each of the boys a Ziplock bag and then dealt those awards out like Halloween candy to Trick-or-Treaters. I couldn't be more proud.

You know, it's one thing to give out a lot of awards and get public recognition, but even more important is the feeling of accomplishment the boys have. My son, in particular, is thrilled to get in there, do his requirements, stretch his horizons, learn and grow. The badges are awesome, but it's the personal growth that is the real reward.


Keeley said...

Are you the wolf den leader then? My husband and I are the wolf/bear leaders.

Tell me....HOW did you manage to get your boys through so many badges?? Please share your secret with me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Keeley,

I have the Wolves and then I also have the Wolves who have just become Bears. So I'm the Wolf/New Bear leader. :)

Sure, I'll share my secrets!

First is that we had Scout Camp at the end of July. There they earned their Archery and BB gun belt loops, as well as some electives, which went toward arrows.

Second, two of the boys have been going to different sports camps throughout the summer, and earned their sports belt loops and pins that way.

Third, I think, is to show the boys (and their parents!!) how they can take the interests the boys already have and use them as springboards into the badges. My son loves computers and chess. When we got out the book of requirements, we saw that he, just because he was already interested in those areas, had already done what it took to earn those loops. Now he's eager to learn more to get the pins. If I had said, "Let's do astronomy," for instance, when he's really not that interested in it, then it would have been harder.

Another thing -- get the parents as involved as possible. They shouldn't think of Scouts as free babysitting for an hour -- they should understand that this is a valuable program that will give their boys a foundation. I talk to all the parents about every two weeks, tell them how far their son has to go to get to the next level, what they can do at home to help him get there, etc. I do have some parents who need more talking to than others. :) You'll find that the boys have different motivation levels too. But get the parents as involved as you can. In fact, the boy in my den who has the most awards right now did a lot of them at home with his parents, all because he wanted them. You can't beat good parental involvement.

I'm a perfectionist and I want these boys to realize their full potential. So I do a lot of reminders and schedules, etc. But this many awards in one month -- that's unusual. It was Scout camp, the sports camps, and positive peer pressure that did it this time around.

Josi said...

You're so good, Tristi. I am a reluctant scouter, in fact when my son joined I was already preparing my explanation to the powers-that-be when he decided to quit--heck, I wanted him to quit. I have separation of church and charter issues with scouting as a whole. However, he absolutely LOVES it and his den leader is so incredibly sweet and fun. So, I need to step up and be a man about this whole thing. Thanks for the prod.

G. Parker said...

Way to go! My kids den is doing great stuff too, all due to the leaders.

Unknown said...

That's wonderful, Tristi. Please tell the boys congratulations and a job well done.

Keeley said...

Phew! And I thought I was doing ok as a leader; you make me look like the lazy bum I am.

I guess time to step up to the plate and make sure I reach the first mile, nevermind the second. =Þ

Note to self: do a better job of communicating with parents.

Tristi Pinkston said...


Keep in mind that this was an unusual month. It would be impossible to get that many awards every single month -- in fact, it was pretty close to miraculous. The most important thing is getting the boys what they need, and if they need more time, then that's your ticket. Some boys will want to power through and get as much stuff done as they can, and others will be content to quietly just earn the basics. As long as they're getting what they need, you've done a fabulous job and there's no need at all to feel lazy.

Pezlady Jana said...

I love Cub Scouts!! I was just released as the Committee Chair for our pack in May when I had my baby and then last month they called my husband to be the Assistant Cubmaster!

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