Fun Cub Scout Pack Meeting

S is 9 years old and a Bear scout. He has been really enjoying his den meetings as they are a small group of boys where they get to do lots of hands-on activities.

He doesn’t usually like the pack meetings as they talk a lot and he has to just sit, listen, and watch himself and others in his pack get awards. Boring!

Yesterday he had shooting 4H and a pack meeting. He loves the shooting 4H because they shoot guns and bow and arrows. What’s not to love? Anyway, shooting 4H was getting ready for elections so it was a “no shooting” night.

S rationalized that if there was no shooting he wouldn’t mind missing the meeting and doing the Cub Scout pack meeting instead. Boy was he ever glad!

They had a Boy Scout Scoutmaster from a nearby troop come to the meeting to do a knot-tying demonstration. S loved it! He mastered all of the knots that they taught. He helped the kids and even some adults to learn to tie the knots when he had each mastered.

Paracord  Keychain

Paracord key chain is yellow and black.  The grey round thing is a monkey fist (I think) :/

The Scoutmaster also had a goodie bag that each of the kids got to pick out of that had parachute cord “key chains”. They aren’t really key chains, but if I had one that is what I would use it for 🙂 He showed the boys different things they could make with the parachute cord too.

S loved that it was hands-on and that he can use these knots when he moves up to Boy Scouts which is in “just 2 years”. It was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures from the meeting.

Paracprd trivets

Paracord Trivets

Paracord Belt with carabiner latch

Paracord belt with double carabiner latch.

Bowline knot

Bowline knot

Beginning of knot tying lesson.

S at the beginning of knot tying lesson.

We Are All Back Under One Roof

Yesterday at about noon, I picked my 3 big boys up from their week away at Boy Scout summer camp!  I hadn’t seen them for 10 days.  My sewing retreat was the Thursday through Sunday before.  They left on Sunday morning.  I got home Sunday about noon.

They are so worn out.  They came home dirty and hungry, so it must have been a fun trip!  I forgot to take pictures, but they looked like they had not slept and were filthy!   They said that there was plenty of food.  That is good, some years they complain that they just couldn’t get enough to eat.  They do have an outpost where you can buy junk food, but they said it wasn’t enough.  This year, it was the last week at this camp, so it was no-holds barred on the food.  All three boys said that they got their merit badges that they intended to get, but we won’t officially find out until our September meeting.  Our troop takes the month of August off!  I am so happy.  We can get school started for a couple of weeks without Scouts as a distraction.

When they got home, each went through their scout stuff and the washing machine began.  All showered and ate, and it was just like they never left.  The bickering started, the chaos resumed, the rude comments were free-flowing.  They of course were TIRED…no patience for the little ones who missed them for the past week and no appreciation for the $900 or so that their hardworking Dad paid for this trip.

Sometimes, I wonder if we get anywhere in this journey of parenting.  I often think that here we are 16 years into this parenting thing and this is all the farther that we have gotten!  Sad at times.

My oldest wasn’t the problem yesterday, so there is hope.  It was mostly M, the 14-year-old and R, the 13-year-old, so hopefully this is something they will outgrow.  I remember J, my 16-year-old being so very tired and grumpy too.

On the bright side, they told me that they love my cooking and camp food is nothing like eating at home!

All three of the older ones are still sleeping at 9:17 this morning, so maybe they will wake up in a better mood.  Let’s hope!

Cub Scout Crossover Ceremony

Our final pack meeting of the year!  Yeah.  Am I the only one this happy?  It was a good year.  Both of my younger boys moved up in their ranks.  Next year we will have a Webelos 2 and a Wolf.  They both love Scouts, but I think we are all ready for a break for summer.  Bring on the pool, zoo, free time, and sunshine!

T and S receiving an award for selling popcorn for our Pack.

S crossing over our packs special crossover bridge.

S shaking hands with his pack leader after crossing over from Tiger to Wolf.

T crossing over the bridge. Of course he wouldn’t look at me!

T leading the closing ceremony in front of a crowd of people!

J’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor

My oldest son J got his Eagle Scout in December of 2011, but he just had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor this past weekend.  After finishing his requirements, he had to wait to get his requirements verified and then the COH pins etc. sent up to our Scoutmaster.

J and his fellow scout Zack had their COH together.  We have had several Eagle scouts in the past year or so, so they thought if they had it together it would be less of a burden for the scouting staff and since both kids have most of their  family out-of-town, they thought that they would have a better turnout with one ceremony held together.

I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was my first Eagle scout.  It turned out really nicely.

J and Zack at the beginning of the ceremony.

Scouts in our troop doing the “Trail to Eagle”. M and R my 14 and 13 year olds are up their participating in their brother’s COH!

All Eagle Scouts in the room came forward to recite an Eagle Scout saying.

My husband up front with J.

J with his paternal grandparents! They are so proud of him!

J with his maternal grandparents. They are also so proud of him! He is the first Eagle scout on this side of the family!

J’s friends from school, who came to celebrate his award.

Awesome job J!  We are so proud of you!  Keep up the good work!

My Son Got His Tiger Cub Badge

My son S was recently awared his Tiger Cub badge.  He has really enjoyed being in Scouts this year.   With all of his older brothers doing Scouts, I was hoping he would like it as much as the other boys have liked it.  He has really enjoyed the meetings and the Go-See-Its.  We had the Blue and Gold Banquet, and it was great!  There was a nice meal with lasagna, garlic bread sticks, salad, brownies, and fruit punch.  They also had some great entertainment.  There was a guy with all kinds of snakes doing a show.  I didn’t pay much attention to the entertainment because I was on kitchen clean-up duty.  All I know is that my daughter had a corn snake around her neck.  All of the Scouts got a chance to hold on to the 15 ft   Tiger Reticulated Python if they wanted.  My kids said it was an awesome show!

A with the corn snake on her... she's not too sure this was a good idea!

Pinewood Derby 2012

We had the Pinewood Derby this weekend.  My 1st year Webelo, T and my Tiger cub S, were in it.  It is usually a good time, but our cars are never very fast.  We try to let our boys do as much of the work as possible.  My husband cuts out the cars, but he lets them sand and paint with spray paint.  They enjoy doing this, but they aren’t very detail oriented.  They are happy to draw out the design, sand for a couple of minutes and use the can of spray paint.  That’s about it!

Each year there are a couple of cars that seem to be awfully good for being done by a child.  This year, 10 out of about 30 were obviously not done by a child.  It is unfortunate.  My kids don’t even want to do it next year because they just can’t compete wth these awesome cars.

My husband said it was a competition of the fathers, not the kids.  The rules weren”t enforced.  They are supposed to use the parts in the box and there were obviously rules broken.  The only rule that they enforced was the weight.

It is a shame.  It could be a lot of fun.  It seems the more our Pack becomes established, the less fun parts of it become.  Maybe it is because I am getting older, maybe it is because it is our 4th and 5th boy doing it.  I don’t know, maybe I am just getting tired.

Get Organized–Look with Fresh Eyes

We have a larger family and an average sized home.  We have a lot of stuff, but not a lot of space.  My tip is to get the things that you use daily organized.  For example our laundry room is right off of the garage, so it has become the dumping ground for backpacks, coats, musical instruments etc.  The children use the most of these things daily or multiple times each week.  I have a wire rack in there that I put all of my kitchen overflow items and extra laundry supplies.  These are things that I don’t have space for, or appliance that I don’t want on the counter, or things I don’t use that often.

Laundry room shelf--before photo

My son had to do a family project for scouts and I thought that the laundry room could be a lot more efficient.  Of course his solution was to get rid of my things off of the shelf and put the kids stuff there.

I hated the idea at first.  Why is it always my stuff that needs to go?  Sometimes, that is how it seems!

I thought about it for a while, and he is right.  I don’t use that stuff frequently enough to justify taking up valuable shelf space in our cramped room.

Shelf-- after photo-kids backpacks are with them at school!

He cleared all of the shelves and claimed the bottom 2 shelves for kids backpacks and the middle shelf for musical instruments.  We moved some things around and getting all of the backpacks and musical instruments off of the floor has mad a big difference.

All of my items are in the basement on a shelf that we had just cleared off.  It makes sense to have these out of the way, but still easily accessible.

Look at your problem areas with fresh eyes.  My son didn’t worry about hurting my feelings, he looked at efficiency in the space and I am thankful for that!
This is linked to Frugal Tip Tuesday.

My Eagle Scout

This is J, my oldest son.  He just got his Eagle Scout in December.  This past weekend, Dan Beard Council had its yearly court of honor.  Dan Beard council is a 2 state area including 12 counties in southen Ohio and northern Kentucky.They recognized all who earned their Eagle Scout rank in 2011.  My son was one of 341 Eagle Scouts that were honored.  It was a very nice program.  They had guest speakers who were local business owners who had some connections with scouting.  Some were themselves Eagle Scouts, some were financial sponsors of scouts and the like.  I was happy to see such a love for scouting.

One reaction that I got from my son was interesting.  He felt like there were so many Eagle Scouts there, that it really wasn’t a big deal!  I told him what a HUGE deal this was.  There were 6 Eagle Scouts from our Troop.  There is another local scouting troop, but I didn’t hear of any from that troop.  So out of 1600 kids in our school districts high school, 6 became Eagles.  It puts it into perspective a little more don’t you think?

I am so proud of him.  What an accomplishment!