Back in September I wrote how Elliot had decided to leave Scouting. Several weeks ago, Elliot and I were playing card before bed and we talked about Scouting. He brought it up. Elliot loves to play Rummy before bed and is a card shark. He also plays Poker and Blackjack.
We talked about his former Troop and the one his buddies are now in. His friend was thinking about going to another Troop as well. He has gone back several times for meetings and likes the boys and games they play. He is having fun. He is being attentive as a 12 year old can be who is on the spectrum. I believe that he understands that the new Troop operates in a totally different way. One big difference is there are 35 Scouts instead of 90. He works better in smaller groups.
He has told me that he wants to be in Scouts for about two years. He wants to give it a good try. I explained that when he is 14, he should be First Class and able to do High Adventure Camps like Northern Tier and Sea Base. I explained that there is Fishing, Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing, Snorkeling, Swimming and so much more. All of that caught his attention. I explained that getting to First Class will give him all the Skills he needs to go on these adventures.
He countered with this statement. When I was in the Old Troop, I didn’t know what Merit Badges were or how they worked or why they were. I know a bunch about Fingerprinting, but all I did was fill out papers that were put in front of me. I did not understand what it was all about. Elliot was confused and most likely still is about how and why Merit Badges are a part of the program. He did not see them as fun.
I explained that Merit Badges are ways for Scout to learn about many different subjects that you maybe interested in. They are also there to help you gain skill in other areas that are needed for advancement with the Troop. He understood that.
Tonight, I had another quick conversation about Tenderfoot. I wanted to point out that there were things that he still needed to, but also that he had already accomplished a lot. I showed him his book. To which, we both realized that for Second Class, that his recent work on the Eagle project this past weekend will count for Service Hours. He did 2.5 hours in helping to install Bird Houses at the Oregon Humane Society. I told him that he needs to mark it down in the book and then get the Scoutmaster to sign off on it. The Scoutmaster was on site and saw him. I explained to Elliot that he needed to take the book and ask for a few minutes with the Scoutmaster at the next meeting.
We also talked a bit about cooking, camping out, the upcoming Snowcaving trip and other items that would work for his advancement. He kept saying that he could do this.
This isn’t Guided Discovery, but helpful pointing out and explaining of what someone has already done, what it takes and what they can do to get the next rank. It also was pointing out that all the fun things that someone has done and will do will lead to getting rank and better skills.
All of this seemed to have sunk in.