This weekend was our District’s Webelos Woods. It was located up at Camp Cooper. Camp Cooper has not been in the Boy Scout Summer Camp rotation since 2005. It is now generally used by Troops for weekends, OA for events, Districts for their events and training courses. It is where I went through Wood Badge in 2009. In 2011, the second weekend of Wood Badge was held there. Rumor has it that Camp Cooper is going to be put back into rotation for the 2012 Boy Scout Summer Camp season.
To me, Camp Cooper is a magical place. It’s a place that I came to realize what Scouting is all about. So, it’s special for me.
I first heard Webelos Woods was going to be put on at a May or June Roundtable. The moment registration was open, I signed Elliot and I up for it. I promoted it lightly within the Webelos I & II Dens before the end of school and towards the beginning of school. For various reasons the Webelos I did not sign-up. Think Sports. The Webelos II did not sign up due to the fact that they went last year (to a different District’s Webelos Woods) and they had an invite from a Troop to go Crabbing this upcoming weekend. I get that. So, Elliot and I were the only ones going to Webelos Woods. The Webelos II need to camp with a Troop for their Arrow of Light and to check-off other requirements needed. The Webelos need to see if this is a Troop that they want to join. It’s a natural process.
So, I was pumped to go, but Elliot was not really. He said that he wanted to go, but swapped back and forth a lot. After explaining what Webelos Woods is, what would go on there and the promise of going to a Waterpark afterwards, he said he would go. Yup, I bribed the kid. To which he said as I left his room “Dad, don’t take offense at this, but your kinda nuts about Scouting.” I explained that I was not offended. We both laughed about it.
Well, that’s a wake-up call. Something that I have known for awhile. I had laid off a lot of Scouting stuff over the summer, but I plotted about what “he” was going to do for Webelos. Plus, I had worked up a lot of stuff via the Summertime Pack events that any Scout would be able to use as a requirement for their rank.
Towards the end of the Summer and the beginning of the school year, Elliot did work out both the Traveler and Aquanaut Activity Pins. I have given him those pins. He also has the Bear Summertime Activity Pin. These were paid by myself and not out of Pack money.
Going into Webelos Woods, I had planned on him earning the Outdoorsman Activity Pin. In light of that conversation, I realized that I was not going to push it. During the weekend, I point blank asked him if he wanted to work towards stuff. He replied, No. Clear answer. Message received. I stopped. It was just a weekend of Dads/Moms with their Webelos son.
I spent time talking to other Dads and going through the Lo-Cope course that they had, which was completely amazing. It was very Wood Badge-ish and I learned something that I am going to take away and use at the Pack Meeting. I also participated in the Webelos to Boy Scouts talk from the Scoutmaster. While, I have seen this online and read a lot, I got a ton of information. Grouping both activities together, all the information came together on what to look for in a Troop for your son and how to NOT become a Helicopter Parent. The Troop that was putting it on was there on display for the Webelos & parents.
So, for the rest of the weekend, I was Dad. We had a great time. It was early in the weekend that this happened, so it was good. Elliot was able to hang out with another Pack that I knew and he made fast friends. So much so, he asked me to have a playdate with one of them.
Overall, the weekend was an eye opener on several levels. This, is just the first one. Being a Dad and not a Cubmaster or Scouteradam.
So, more to come on the other levels in the coming days.