This fall, my son joined the Cub Scouts. I was excited about sign-ups in September but then was a little worried when I learned that if Lewie were to be a Tiger Cub, we needed a Tiger Den Leader to get the ball rolling. Me, a Den Mother? Sure I was a Girl Scout back in the 80's, but what do I know about planning crafts and activities for boys?
Fast forward ten weeks later, and joining the Cub Scouts has been the best decision for our little family. All three of us (Lewie, Hubby, and me) have gotten involved with the pack, and so far Lewie has enjoyed a hayride, a Cub Scout bon fire initiation, an evening of fun racing boats at the raingutter regatta, and two early mornings collecting food for a nearby food bank. Our little Tiger Den of one has recently now grown to three members, and another mom is excited about hosting activities for the boys too.
This past weekend, Lewie had a chance to wear his new Cub Scout uniform, twice, at the raingutter regatta and scouting for food events. It was so much fun to watch my little boy be part of a "larger family" so to speak. Plus, I was especially proud to be teaching him about leadership and community service. He wore his little uniform with pride as he went from house to house collecting bags of food. Once we were done with the collection, the food was then taken to our local church who arranged to deliver it to a nearby food bank.
"Do you know where this food is going?" I asked my innocent seven-year old after the collection was done.
"To the pilgrims?" my son asked naively. (I did everything I could to keep from laughing.)
"Well, not exactly Lewie. The food is going to people who are less fortunate and don't have the money or the means to be able to buy their own food."
Later on, my mom asked my son the same question to make sure he understood the purpose of "scouting for food." "Do you know that the food goes to people in need?" my mom asked.
"Oh, yes Grammy. I saved their lives." (Once again, it took all my energy to keep myself from releasing a loud hysterical snort.)
On the one hand, I was surprised by my son's silly answers, but then I realized... how could I possibly expect him to provide a meaningful sophisticated answer if he's never had the experience of helping someone in need before? Even the food collection, while being a noble cause, still doesn't introduce my son to the real world realities of poverty and homelessness. Maybe he's still a little too young to grasp the entire concept of what it means to be cold and hungry, but I'm so happy, through organizations like the Cub Scouts, that he's at least getting a little more exposure to what it means to be a good person.
Now, onto explaining the historical significance of the Pilgrims... (It turns out that most children in Lewie's first grade class believe they are alive and well!)