In a little over a month, my youngest son and his den will cross over to Boy Scouts. I’ve been thinking about how much this group has changed over the years. This is my second time round as a den leader, and I remember how I felt when DS’s den crossed over. Maybe I’m not the sentimental type. I didn’t get all teary eyed like some of our den leaders do at this point. I can certainly understand their strong feelings though.
There is something really wonderful about starting with a group of 6 year old boys and watching them grow in maturity. They are still boys, but they have changed so much since they were Tiger Cubs. They think differently and act differently. They are growing more independent. I’ve been trying to prepare them for Boy Scouts. Just the other night I was reminding them that they aren’t going to have a den leader any more and that they need to be responsible and take care of themselves more in the troop. I think they are up to the challenge.
I see the same sort of growth in our Boy Scouts. We start with these 10 year olds and have the privilege of watching them grow from boys into young men. The difference between a 10 year old and a 15 year old is staggering. Some of the Scouters in the troop were talking the other night about how the 13 year olds in the troop were complaining that the younger Scouts kept interrupting them during skill instruction. It was humorous, because the 13 year olds were the same Scouts who were cutting up and not paying attention just a year ago while an older Scout was trying to explain something to them. It’s all part of the process.
So when you are spending more than that “hour a week” working on Scouting, think back and consider how much growth you’ve seen in your Scouts. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.