I’ve been riding a wave of joy this week. On Tuesday night, I received the “Webelo Den Leader of the Year” award from my local Cub Scout District. It was an unexpected honor, and came at a time when I was feeling a little down about how I’d been doing as a Den Leader.
In two more weeks the Scouts in my den will be crossing over into Boy Scouts. At our last meeting I’d hoped to sign them off on many of the requirements for their Arrow of Light award, but it didn’t happen. While they all had memorized things like the Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan they just weren’t quite ready to explain them. I’d been feeling like a bit of a failure, they were so close, but needed a little more time to study up. Thought I should have somehow covered things a little better so they’d have known it better.
So now, two weeks later, I receive this award, which at least lets me know the people around me see and know how hard I’ve been working for these Scouts over the past 3 years. And then last night, I retest 3 of my Scouts and they all pass. So things are looking much better this week.
I felt so honored to receive the award. As a child I was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, though I never became an Eagle Scout. When my son reached the age to join Cub Scouts I knew I wanted him to join because my experiences as a Cub Scouts are things I still remember, and I hoped he would learn the personal values Scouting is meant to instill.
I didn’t immediately sign up as a leader when my son joined Cub Scouts. I wasn’t sure I qualified to be a good role model for the Scouts, and was unsure of my own ability to teach and lead a group of first graders. Though I wasn’t a leader, I did show up with my son for every meeting through his years as a Tiger and Wolf Cub. At the beginning of his Bear Cub year, his Den Leader dropped out and I was asked to take over. I hesitated slightly, but since it didn’t seem anyone else would do it, I accepted the position, and did my best to hit the ground running, and we haven’t stopped running since.
While there is stress from time to time, I’ve truly enjoyed my time as Scout Leader, and after a lot of thought I’ve decided I’m going to remain a Den Leader for the pack even after my son moves onto Boy Scouts. The thought is a little scary since things will be a little different without my own son as part of the group, but I hope I can be a positive influence on another group of Scouts, and I hope with my past experience I’ll be able to do things even better now.