Monday, June 25, 2012

Scout Camp 2012 - A Week of Courage

It's always hard to write an entry for Scout Camp since I don't get to go and I have to try and get stories and memories out of my husband and my kids.  This year all three boys went as campers and really had a great time.  Neil got tapped out for Order of the Arrow, Daniel completed most of his stuff to earn rank all the way to First Class.  Michael got to kind of do whatever he wanted since he's completed all his requirements for Eagle Scout.  He really showed great leadership skills with his troop.  He is currently the Senior Patrol Leader and I got to see a side of him I don't think I've ever seen.  Michael is usually quite relaxed and composed and the boys had frustrated him at one point and he got very firm with them.  He wasn't rude or bossy, he just laid down the law.  I was rather proud of him.

It probably undermines his authority to have his mama snapping pictures while he is trying to get everyone in line, but doesn't he look so cute?
At this point he was fed up and told them to all get together.  Again, probably didn't help the situation by taking pictures but luckily he forgives his mama easily!
He was effective, the kids started migrating towards him, as you can see in the picture, there is always one who thinks they are exempt from everything.
Michael wasn't the only one who really stepped up, Neil also stepped up as a leader and protector.  There was a situation where one of the younger boys was almost pushed out of a skit by an adult leader.  Neil was sharing a tent with this Scout and when he saw him upset and found out what was going on, Neil decided it was unfair.  I was proud of how well Neil handled the situation.  He didn't get loud or rude, he simply stated that the kid needed to be put back in the skit and reminded the adult leader that this was an opportunity for the kids to come out of their comfort zone in a safe environment.  It took some encouraging on Neil's part but he didn't back down.  The young Scout was a hit in the skit and did fabulous!  
We were so proud of Neil for standing up for others and not backing down.
 Kevin was one of two leaders from our Troop.  The boys are really going to miss him while he is gone.  He has really connected with the boys and when they thought he would not be going to camp this year, many were sad.  They love him and his megaphone. 

This picture of Neil scares me and makes me laugh a bit!
 This was Daniel's first year at Boy Scout Camp and he had a great time.  Kevin said he went to his classes on his own and did great.  I always worry that Daniel will get bored because he's been going to Scouts since he was an infant but he still loves it.  He also loves that he completed all the requirements for 1st Class before he officially turned 11 (his birthday was the Monday after camp).  We only had one moment where he had a meltdown and that was when I was leaving after family night.  He wanted to come home with me.  I told him he couldn't, that he had committed to stay and that he was paid for the entire week.  He got upset and cried a bit but finally said FINE and stayed.  He is not a lover of bugs and apparently had had his fill of ticks and spiders.  He stuck it out and had a wonderful time.

My Scout men...oh how I love them!

One of the really cool things about camp this year was that it was an LDS encampment.  What does that mean?  It means that it was all LDS Scout Troops from three different stakes in Missouri.  There was quite a wonderful spirit at the camp and it was neat to see the boys practice the song they were going to be singing for one of the visiting church leaders, Elder Roberts.

  Kevin and the boys had a really great time visiting with him and sharing Scout stories.

The last thing I want to share is a story of courage.  Michael is not a natural swimmer, my boys have never wanted swimming lessons and I've never pushed the issue.  All three boys have learned how to swim on their own and all feel confident in their ability to do what needs to be done.  Michael has very long, lanky limbs so his swimming strokes do look somewhat awkward  At the end of the week, a few of the Scouts and leaders decided they were going to do the 1 Mile BSA Swim.  It's kind of daunting really, most people don't even like to run a mile!  From what Kevin tells me, Michael was hesitant about doing it.  He didn't want to come in last or have people make fun of him.  One of the leaders took him aside and had a chat with him and Michael decided to do it.  I am so proud of him for putting aside his insecurities to do something few have done.  Daniel tells me that Michael didn't come in last, the person who came in last was the same person who had talked to him before going on the swim.  I am so grateful for wonderful leaders like President Blau who look after our boys physically and emotionally. 

I am so proud of all three of my boys and the courage they exhibited, whether it was stepping up for what they believe in or just working to overcome their fears and insecurities.  I know they grew so much from this year's Scout Camp.  I truly am grateful for our involvement in the Boy Scout organization, I know it is responsible for helping my boys become the men I want them to be.

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